You've passed the CFA level III. Now what?

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There are now 16,700 new CFA Charterholders around the world. 54% of this year’s cohort level III candidates passed, according to results released today, and the numbers keep growing. The CFA Institute is opening new test centres across the US, Brazil, China, Spain and India to cope with the massive increase in demand for the qualification.

But while interest in becoming a CFA charterholder may be on the rise, the asset management-focused qualification faces the same issue as the industry at large – it’s male-dominated.

81% of CFA charterholders around the world are male, according to figures provided by the Institute. This is a massive under-representation of women, but the CFA is at least ahead of the asset management industry at large. Just 7% of portfolio managers in asset management are women, according to recent figures by Morningstar featured in the Wall Street Journal. This is incredibly sparse.

There are some caveats to the CFA’s gender balance – it’s been going since the 1960s, so the number of charterholders (145,623 at the beginning of 2017) is cumulative. If the industry is still dragging its feet on gender diversity now, imagine what it was like during the Mad Men years. Meanwhile, if the CFA's figures actually look good compared to the broader asset management industry, it's worth noting that just 50% of charterholders work on the buy-side.

The average age of CFA charterholders is 41.18, and the mean time in industry is 16.72 years.

The new charterholders’ primary concern right now will be what impact their new status will have on their career. Here it’s positive – just 4% of those with the qualification are without a job and 91% are in full-time employment.

Where will you end up? J.P. Morgan is the biggest employer of CFA charterholders, followed by UBS and then Royal Bank of Canada. The biggest proportion (23%) are in portfolio management roles.


Image: Getty Images


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