Education in India, Career in India: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
Looking for a Career Option as a Chartered Financial Analyst ? This section features Chartered Financial Analyst as a career option, elaborated with reference to the job profile, personality traits required, the courses and training involved, premier institutions and future prospects.
Liberalization and globalization have brought about a sea change in the financial services sector. The scope of the financial services broadly covers money market operations, merchant banking services, international banking services, portfolio management, lease financing, mergers, acquisitions buy-outs mutual funds, factoring services, etc. Chartered financial analysts (CFA) utilize their managerial skills in the core areas of corporate finance, investment management, international finance and financial services. Their training and skills are useful for providing a host of financial services.
The constantly developing industrial scenario has created a demand for experts in the field of finance. This has created a niche that can be filled by a person specially trained to handle financial matters with all its ramifications. In order to fulfill this need, a training programme called the Chartered Financial Analyst programme has been brought into being by the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts. The qualification of a CFA is not merely an additional qualification; it is a specialization that gives a person a distinct advantage over others in the field. The CFA course enjoys wide recognition all over the country. In fact, bank employees who have completed the CFA course are exempted from appearing for certain papers in the various examinations that they are required to appear for.
Keen, analytical inquisitive mind, imagination, objectivity, flexibility and agility in thought processes, good judgment, tact, discretion, numerical ability, broad perspective, interest in current affairs, intellectual maturity, strength of purpose and capacity for long hours of complex mental work meet the demands of this professional course.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional programme in Financial Management and Analysis offered through distance learning as:
- Regular CFA Programme (3 years)
- Accelerated CFA Programme (2 years)
Eligibility criteria is that the candidate should be a Graduate, Management student or a working executive and professional.
The CFA programme is offered on a distance-learning basis and is open to all those applicants who satisfy the eligibility criteria. There is no Admission Test for enrolling. As the CFA Programme is offered on a distance learning basis, admission is open throughout the year. The propectus and appliaction materilas, which are issued from time to time, are monitored so that enrolments are synchronized with the examination schedule.
CFA Foundation Course (CFA-FC) is a 6 months course offered to Degree and Engineering College students to provide a strong base in Financial Accounting and Economics.
The ICFAI University provides comprehensive study package specially designed for independent study. The comprehensive courseware includes high quality textbooks, workbooks and the analyst magazine as a continuous learning input. Further, in order to supplement the candidates' efforts through self study, the ICFAI University provides an opportunity to the candidates to attend training classes at scheduled centers. Attending these training classes is optional.
The training classes are conducted at the following centers:
Agra, Allahabad, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Jabalpur, Kanpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nasik, New Delhi, Noida, Patna, Pune, Ranchi, Thane, Trivandrum, Vadodara, Vijayawada and Vishakapatnam. Candidates who plan to attand teh training classes are required to pay the specified fees.
Executive CFA Programme
The ICFAI university through its constituent, the ICFAI Business School (IBS) offers the CFA Programme on a campus format. This is a 2 year campus based programme offered both on a full time and part time basis.
This programme is open to :
- Graduates (any discipline)
- Final Level students of CA, CWA, CS and other PG and CAs, CWAs, Company Secretaries and other Postgraduates (any discipline).
- Working Executives, Entrepreneurs, Bankers, Civil Servants, Consultants, provided they are graduates.
The executive CFA programme is offered on a classroom instruction basis in the following two formats:
- Full Time Executive CFA Programme (2 years)
- Part Time Executive CFA Programme (2 years)
The ICFAI University will be awarding the Master Of Science (Finance) Degree to all the successful candidates. Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) and Bhartidasan University have recognised CFA Programme as equivalent to a Master's Degree while considering application for admission to Ph.D Programmes in Management.
ICFAI has established close networking relationship with leading educational institutions and professional bodies across the world. ICFAI represents India in the Asian Securities Analysts Federation (ASAF) based in Sydney, Australia. ICFAI is a member of International Council for Open and Distance Education, Oslo, Norway. ASAF is a member of the International Council Of Investment Associations (ICIA), which is the international organization for securities analysts' societies.
Please click here for the list of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institutes in India.
CFAs can seek exciting career opportunities in several fields. The economic liberalization and globalization have become twin engines of growth. In this new era, adequately trained and qualified finance professionals have promising prospects in the corporate sector and the financial services industry.
Following are the exciting fields, which the CFAs can choose:
- Corporate Finance & Control
Corporate Finance & Control is fast emerging as a specialized function in many companies and the routine accounting function is being delinked from the finance function. A career in corporate finance centers around mobilization and utilization of financial resources for short-term and long-term purposes from domestic and overseas markets through a proper mix of debt and equity, with the goal of optimizing returns. Treasury management has become an integral part of corporate finance.
- International Finance & Risk Management
With the introduction of convertibility of rupee on current account, the importance of international finance has considerably increased. Further, the prospect of introducing convertibility on the capital account appears bright. Growing exports and imports require a thorough understanding of international finance. Several companies are looking for professionals who understand the nuances of international finance, international capital markets and risk management.
- Investment Management
With the freeing of interest rates and free pricing of issues, the capital markets and the money markets have witnessed the introduction of new instruments and intense interplay of demand and supply forces which have increased the volume of activity in these markets. Investors entrust their funds to mutual funds with trained and experienced portfolio managers. A portfolio manager's job is very challenging since it involves the balancing of risks and rewards through skillful shuffling of the portfolio and maximizing the return on investment. With the significant growth of the mutual fund industry, there is a growing demand for portfolio managers.
- Investment Banking and Financial Services
Investment banking is a growing field, which offers advisory services to corporate clients on restructuring, capital structure decisions, IPOs and raising funds through Euro issues and private placements. Financial Services include financial consultancy services, advice and negotiation with regard to merges and acquisitions, formulation of nursing programmes and rehabilitation packages for revival of sick units. Additionally, several asset-based financing products like leasing and hire purchase also form part of Financial Services. Other allied services include stock brokering, National Stock Exchange (NSE) dealership, marketing of public issues, share registry, credit rating, providing venture capital assistance, loan syndication, etc.
- Information Technology
With the growing application of Information Technology in business organizations, the career opportunities for finance professionals with IT skills are increasing at a very rapid pace. To keep abreast with the impact of IT revolution, more and more CFAs and finance professionals are getting trained in high-end ERP packages like SAP, Oracle applications, Baan etc.
- Placement Services
The CFA Programme is a career-oriented professional certification programme. This career-orientation is built into the design and administration of the CFA Programme. The body of knowledge, curriculum design, education methodology, examination and grading process, all have a thrust on improving the skills for new career opportunities of the candidates. ICFAI provides advice and assistance to the CFAs in getting suitable placements. ICFAI constantly interacts with industry representatives at various for including Seminars, Conventions, Executive Education Programmes, Placement Conferences etc and the networks with them for placement of the CFAs.
The potential employers are apprised of the relevance and utility of the CFAs in finance and allied areas. The profiles of the CFAs are made available to potential employers. The CCFA membership directory, which covers the profiles of the CFAs, is extensively circulated among employers and placement agencies. Placement meets will be organized at select cities. All candidates who enroll into the CFA Programme will be provided guidance in career planning. Through workshops and other career guidance support, the CFA candidates will be equipped to augment their placement potential. ICFAI believes that the entire placement exercise is a joint effort between ICFAI and the candidates. While ICFAI gives the guidance and support and networks with potential employers, the candidates have the responsibility to put in maximum possible efforts to get suitable placement.