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Engineers - considering CFA or Financial Engineering?

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-05-2007, 08:20 PM
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Default Engineers - considering CFA or Financial Engineering?

I know of many engineers who regretted not getting the right career advice when they were in school. (What's "right" is subjective, of course.)

Envious of the high income that an investment banker can fetch, some of these engineers decided to take up courses or certifications that hopefully will give them a chance to enter the lucrative finance sector.

Their options include:

- Getting CFA charter. This can be done through self study, but it takes a fair bit of effort. The catch is that in order to get the charter title, you gotta accumulate a few years of relevant experience. There are people who deliberately became financial consultants (i.e. insurance agents) just to earn the CFA title. The interesting point here is that even working as a financial adviser/consultant counts as relevant.
- Getting a financial engineering degree from NUS or NTU. You need to pay school fees, attend classes, do projects, homework, etc. It can be quite challenging.

BUT, does it help to do all this?

If you're studying just to gain worldly knowledge of finance, then you're fine. I salute you.

But more likely, you're in this game because you want to get a job that pays well, at least reasonably better than your miserable engineer pay. If that's what you want, then chances are you will be disappointed.

Don't believe me? The next time you attend a preview session for such a course, ask questions.

Ask important questions, like "will I get a good job that pays well after I graduate?", "can you show me statistics on the before-and-after salaries of your graduates?" and "how many of your graduates have gone on to be associates with a bulge bracket investment bank?"

You'd be lucky if the presenter advises you not to expect too much. He could've said, "you might need to take a pay cut..."

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-2008, 12:00 AM
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Default 836


Is a person without any working experience and degree able to take the CFA Level 1 exams?


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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-2008, 07:52 PM
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Default 838

Collin, yes. In fact, you can take all 3 levels but will only receive the charter status after you have accumulated the relevant experience.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-2008, 09:47 PM
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Default 840

Oh, I thought that degree or relevant working experience is needed in order to ENROLL for the exams?
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-2008, 12:23 AM
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Default 841

Collin, I interpreted your question as "whether both working experience AND degree are needed". Yes, a degree is needed.
Seems there's also a requirement on "professional conduct". See:
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2008, 03:25 AM
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Default 1253

Thanks for the above information.
I am engineer with work experience of 2.5+ yrs into IT industry.Currently i am working into IT department as software programmer into USA based Financial company.Should i take CFA, if yes then what would be carrer path ahead and starting Salary package.
Thanks in advance.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 27-04-2008, 12:25 AM
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Default 1521

Dear all, the world is populated with CFAs and MBAs... getting the right network and staying lucky is so much more important
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 27-06-2008, 06:20 AM
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Default 2049

Engineers make more on average than finance majors tho. An engineer just have to be good at what he/she does, a CFA has to be lucky as well(and trust me, a credit crunch is not lucky time). Citi just cut 10% of their investment banking department(and need I say more about bearstern?), so right now u have a crap load of experienced finance ppl out there looking for a job, just be happy as an engineer lol. Plus an investment banker works 80 hr weeks(so in term of hrly wages it isn't anymore than a senior engineer). A lot of companies right now are saying they can't find enough engineers even though the economy isn't so hot right now.

Btw, I thought u need either a degree or some experience to be able to qualify for CFA exam? Cos that's what it says on their website.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 28-06-2008, 12:59 PM
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Default 2061


Just to clarify doubts on CFA exams.

One would only need to produce his Degree or 4 years qualified working experience for Level 2 paper. So for Level 1, any dog cat also can go take.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 13-07-2008, 11:48 PM
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Default 2174

I am an engineer havign trained in One Year General Managament Programme from a reputed management Institute. I have about 15-16 yrs workign experience in Manufactuing ,Project Engineering & Planning and at presently looking after the Busines Planning job in a SBU.Presently I am workign as a middle level manager and want to develop myself for taking up senerior busines leadership position in Corporate Strategy .Please give your view whether CFA will be helpful for me .
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