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CFA - Is it a qualification worth having?

Key takeaways

  • The path to obtaining a CFA designation requires a lot of hard work, commitment and time.
  • Qualified CFA holders can earn roughly R200 000 more than their colleagues who have other similar qualifications.
  • Determining the value of a designation is key before choosing it as a career of choice.

If you're interested in a finance career, it is very likely that you are doing your research and have come across a long list of potential options. There is a lot to consider and each institute will claim that their qualification is the right designation for you. Doing the necessary research in order to choose the right qualification for you is crucial.

What is CFA?

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential is held by over 150,000 professionals around the world. The charter gives a strong understanding of advanced investment analysis and real-world portfolio management skills. It is a globally recognised investment qualification that requires candidates to pass three levels of exams covering areas such as accounting, economics, ethics, money management and security analysis.
What are the entrance requirements?

To enroll for the CFA programme students will need to meet at least one of the following education requirements:
Undergraduate education: A completed bachelor's (or equivalent) degree or be in the final year of your bachelor's degree programme. You will have to complete your bachelor's degree programme to register for the Level II exam
Work experience: Four years of professional work experience (does not have to be investment related), or
A combination of professional work experience and education that totals at least four years. Part-time positions do not qualify, and the four-year total must be accrued prior to enrollment.
In addition to the above the candidate must have an international passport, complete the assessment in English, meet the professional conduct admission criteria and live in a participating country.
What sets CFA apart from other similar finance qualifications?

The list of requirements to enter the CFA programme is long and the work involved takes even longer. Nothing good comes easy though and we firmly believe that the qualification is worth the slog.


According to a recent article on Investopedia, the CFA designation is not only popular and widely recognised but is also the professional standard of choice for over 31 000 investment firms worldwide. That is an impressive list of work opportunities. Furthermore, according to the Business Insider, qualified CFA holders earn over R200 000 more compared to other related qualifications.

Is CFA for you?

The CFA qualification requires a lot of effort and hard work. It is highly recognised and it pays well, but how do you know whether it is right for you? Ask yourself the following:

  • Are you looking for a globally recognised qualification that pays well?
  • Are you willing to put in the hard work to reap the rewards?
  • Would you like to hold one of the most respected designations in finance and the field of investment analysis?

If you answered yes to all the above, then CFA might be the right qualification for you. You don't need to make this decision alone however. Contact us today and one of our specialist consultants will help you make the right decision.

Study CFA with IBTC

To find out more please contact Robert on 0861 111 411. Alternatively, you can send an email to or visit