The liberalization of the Indian economy has seen an increasing demand for specialists in the field of financial services. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) programme is a training programme for financial executives to upgrade their skills in corporate financial management, investment management and financial services.
A candidate needs to clear four levels of exams conducted by the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts in order to be certified a financial analyst. The candidate then becomes a member of the ICFAI. In the past a CFA in itself was not enough of a qualification to pursue a good career in finance. It was more of an additional qualification, which helped broaden and improve a candidate's career prospects.
Today, however, the services of a certified financial analyst are being increasingly sought after. Professionals and executives, who complete the CFA programme in order to update their knowledge and enhance their expertise, have a distinct advantage. Employees of commercial banks are exempted from certain papers, which need be cleared in order to get a promotion if they have completed the CFA programme.
Men greatly outnumber women in this profession. However lately it has been seen that a large number of women both married and single are opting for a career in this field of specialization.
CFAs may work as financial analysts, fund managers, executives in charge of resource mobilization and investment managers.
BANKS, FINANCIAL INSTITU'FIONS, FINANCE COMPANIES
CFAs may work as appraisal executives, specialists in leasing, hire purchasing, portfolio management and merchant banking.
CFAs can be individual professionals such as financial consultants and investment advisors.