• Discover your future in finance
    You’ll be surprised where it could take you Take the Quiz

  • Our quick quiz will help you find your fit in the global finance industry Take the Quiz

  • Where will your skills take you? Take the Quiz

CFA Institute

Our mission is to lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.

  • CFA Institute is the world's largest association of investment professionals, with more than 120,000 members in 145 countries.
  • We are working to build an investment industry where investors' interests come first, financial markets function at their best, and economies grow.
  • We are driven by the belief that lasting economic growth depends on trust, competence, and transparency in financial markets, and we know that it must be led by professionals who are ethically centered and professionally trained.

Gain the skills to set you apart

which program is right for you?

CFA® Program

Professional/Graduate level

No credential is as widely respected in the industry for its breadth and depth of advanced skills, global relevance, and ethical grounding as the CFA charter.

The equivalent of an MBA in finance – but at a fraction of the cost

CIPM® Program

Professional/Graduate level

The CIPM Program offers practice-based skills for investment performance and risk evaluation, manager selection, and communication of investment results.

Advancing performance in investment, protecting clients’ investments

Claritas® Program

Foundation level

Providing a clear understanding of the essentials of the investment industry, Claritas enables you to speak with confidence and authority and explains your role and responsibilities within the industry.

Finance 101 for anyone working in a support role in the finance sector: no math required

  • Our range of world-class online programs are cost-effective and open to students and working professionals
  • Members cite career advancement, global networking, and industry resources as key program and membership benefits
  • Top CFA charterholder employers include JP Morgan Chase, PwC, HSBC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UBS, Ernst & Young, RBC, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo

Where could your skills take you?

Try our quick career quiz and hear what the professionals have to say

Finance is a diverse business; learn more about the roles you already know, and discover new ones. Our quiz will highlight some of your options and help you make informed decisions about your future in finance.

For each question, choose the answer that best reflects your views or preferences. Where more than one answer applies, choose the one that you feel is most accurate.

  • Q1

    You are meeting with a team for the first time to discuss a new project.

    What is the main role you will play in this meeting?

    1 Facilitator/enabler
    Building rapport within the group to encourage a strong team dynamic.
    2 Planner
    Ensuring the group has a detailed plan of action.
    3 Leader/chair
    You feel comfortable making team decisions and delegating tasks.
  • Q2

    You have just started a new job. What will motivate you the most in your new role?

    1Driving activities that have a direct impact on the firm's profits.
    2Being recognised by the organisation for providing a valuable service.
    3Problem solving on behalf of clients.
  • Q3

    You have been asked to write an article for a student publication.

    How would you describe the approach you might take to write your article?

    1 Creative
    You like generating new or different ideas.
    2 Analytical
    You enjoy precise, persistent, and objective analysis.
    3 Consensus
    You canvas opinion and go with the majority.
  • Q4

    You have been asked to talk to a group of 16- to 18-year-olds about job seeking.

    What style of communication would you use?

    1 Storytelling
    Show them the different types of jobs that people are doing and the rewards those jobs bring.
    2 Interactive
    Get them to ask questions and express their views.
    3 Information/data-driven
    Illustrate with facts and figures.
  • Q5

    You are on a hiking trip in the mountains with a group of friends. The group is lost and needs to decide which direction to go in.

    How would you describe your approach in deciding which way to go?

    1You feel it is important to keep the group moving rather than stop to discuss options, so you make a decision swiftly.
    2You use the time, distance travelled, and your knowledge of the local area to work out where you are and then decide which direction to take.
    3You ask the group to share their ideas and vote on a course of action.
  • Q6

    You've lost your job right before a vacation. Would you:

    1Cancel the holiday; you'd rather find a new job first and save for later.
    2Keep the holiday and extend it because this might be your last chance to have such an opportunity; there'll be another job when you get back.
    3Take a much more modest holiday; you still need a break but can't afford to splash out.
  • Q7

    You have just completed an assignment and are about to present your findings when you are given information at the last minute that will affect your results.

    How do you deal with this situation?

    1You suggest the meeting be postponed until you have been able to incorporate the new information into your findings.
    2You tell the audience you have new information and that you will weave it into your presentation as you go along.
    3You explain that new information has come to light, which will affect your results, and you suggest you present your original findings and then follow up with the new information at a later date.
  • Q8

    Which adjective best describes the way in which you work?

    1 Investigative
    You are analytical, curious, and independent.
    2 Highly organised
    You prefer environments that are precise, rule regulated, and orderly.
    3 Team oriented
    You prefer to get input from others.
  • Q9

    You have entered a competition in which you have to design your ideal business.

    Which environment would you create in your organisation?

    1 Hierarchical
    Where the role of each employee and the nature of his or her relationship with other employees within the organisation are clearly defined.
    2 Competitive
    Where you are encouraged to show passion and ambition and raise your profile in the organisation.
    3 Collaborative
    Where you are encouraged to work with others to achieve a common goal.
  • Q10

    How would you describe your level of commercial awareness?

    1 Fairly low
    You are aware of topical subjects in the news.
    2 Medium
    You keep up to date with the latest business news.
    3 High
    You regularly read the business press and appreciate how changes in the economy affect business.

Results

Thanks for taking our quiz. Your responses suggest you may be suited to the role of research analyst. This is just one of the roles that your responses point to; there may be others and we recommend you research all options.

Research Analyst

Research analysts look at what individual companies are doing, how they are performing within their sector, and how outside events are impacting the industry, both nationally and globally.

"Buy-side" analysts typically work for asset management firms while "sell-side"; analysts work for securities brokers.

The role requires a combination of technical analytical skills and the ability to transform data into a compelling narrative. You will need to dissect and understand financial statements, create and tailor company and sector stories, and present your views in a timely manner. Common sense, commercial savvy, and an ability to take a view and argue your case against challenges are also valuable qualities.

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Thanks for taking our quiz. Your responses suggest you may be suited to a career in investment banking or corporate finance.

These are just two of the roles that your responses point to; there may be others and we recommend you research all options.

Investment Banking

In investment banking you will be working with companies, institutions, and governments on the decisions and transactions that will define their futures. From international mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures, to raising finance through equity, debt, and structured finance, you will advise them on strategy and execution across a broad spectrum of industries and geographies.

Corporate Finance

Corporate finance focuses on how businesses and institutions access and deploy their assets to drive corporate strategy and maximize shareholder value. Heavy on analysis, modeling, forecasting, and strategic thinking, corporate finance requires a combination of big-picture business understanding and the capacity to assimilate large volumes of detailed information.

The hours can be long and the pressure to perform intense in both these areas, but the work can also be exciting and the rewards high.

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Thanks for taking our quiz. Your responses suggest you may be suited to the role of portfolio manager. This is just one of the roles that your responses point to; there may be others and we recommend you research all options.

Portfolio Manager

Portfolio managers make decisions on how to invest clients' assets and manage their investment risks.

As a portfolio manager you will analyze the performance of assets, create forecasts, and use these to drive investment decisions.

You will work closely with a team of research/investment analysts who will provide financial data and analysis, and you'll use your own judgment to make important investment decisions. In a fast-changing and intensely competitive environment, the role of portfolio manager is both challenging and high profile as you seek to use your expertise and insight to identify opportunities to outperform the market.

Show More roles

Thanks for taking our quiz. Your responses suggest you may enjoy a role in wealth management or consulting. These are just two of the roles that your responses point to; there may be others and we recommend you research all options.

Wealth Management

Working in wealth management, you will provide tailored, comprehensive, long-term investment strategies to individuals and families, and trusts and endowments rather than to larger institutions.

Wealth management requires a combination of technical financial skills and the ability to build and maintain close, trusting relationships with wealthy and potentially demanding clients. Working within a bank or investment or asset management firm, you will analyze portfolios, provide investment-planning advice to your clients, and conduct business development for the wealth management and family-office areas.

Consulting

Consultants use complex financial tools and methodologies to identify and deliver solutions – strategic and operational – to organizations addressing change.

As a consultant, you'll need to combine financial and business knowledge with the capacity to communicate complex ideas simply and engage client teams in adjusting established behaviors and structures.

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Thanks for taking our quiz. Your responses suggest you may be suited to a career in risk management, compliance or investment performance management. These are just three of the roles that your responses point to; there may be others and we recommend you research all options.

Risk Management

Risk managers play an important role in maintaining a healthy balance between risk taking and profit making. You are there to identify potential problems, assess their impact, and identify ways to mitigate them. Preserving investors' assets while allowing sufficient opportunities for growth and return is a constant and rewarding challenge.

Compliance

In compliance, you will manage relations with regulators and will be pivotal in promoting the highest levels of integrity and accountability within your firm. You will be working with senior leadership to interpret, ensure, and monitor compliance with regulatory requirements.

Investment Performance Management

In investment performance management, you will be looking at how individual funds, their component assets, and the managers who run them perform against forecasts and the market, with a view to refining or revising investment decisions.

Show More roles

Thanks for taking our quiz. Your responses suggest you may be suited to a career in sales, marketing or client relationship management. These are just three of the roles that your responses point to; there may be others and we recommend you research all options.

Sales

In the ultra-competitive environment of financial services, building relationships with clients and constructing and presenting a compelling narrative for products and services are vital skills. Sales is about understanding clients' needs and being able to show how your products and services respond to them; it's not about persuading people to buy products they don't need.

Marketing

Marketing is a creative role typically focusing on communicating the qualities and attributes of companies and groups of products or services to target clients and institutions, or to the market as a whole. It combines being able to articulate both the nature and detail of products and brands with an understanding of the most effective means of reaching target audiences – for example, through advertising, events, or public relations.

Client Relationship Management

In client relationship management, your role will be to understand your clients' needs and priorities and to facilitate their access to different services and products. You will be responsible for telling clients about new products and helping them to make informed decisions.

Show More roles

Thanks for taking our quiz. Your responses suggest you may be suited to a career in IT or operations. These are just two of the roles that your responses point to; there may be others and we recommend you research all options.

IT

IT has become a fundamental part of the financial services industry, providing the platforms, systems, and tools to process and analyze information and execute investment strategies. Speed, stability, and security are vital as technology, and the professionals who develop and maintain it, play an increasingly important role in delivering competitive advantage.

Operations

Operations professionals devise and run the systems and processes that take financial transactions from idea to execution. In a world of global connectivity, operational excellence – speed and accuracy – is increasingly what makes the difference.

In both IT and Operations, you'll need a structured approach to problem solving and a desire to create solutions that deliver efficiency to the end user.

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Thanks for taking our quiz. Your responses suggest you may be suited to a career in human resources. This is just one of the roles that your responses point to; there may be others and we recommend you research all options.

Human Resources

The financial world is principally about information and people, and as a human resources (HR) professional, you will play a vital role in ensuring your organization has the right talent, appropriately trained and incentivized, to realize its strategic goals.

You will work with senior leaders to understand the issues and challenges the business faces and partner with business units to develop workforce plans and staffing strategies, assess organizational effectiveness, and consult on the development and implementation of solutions to support business strategy.

Show More roles

CFA® Program

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The graduate-level CFA Program will help you succeed as a research analyst, broadening your financial expertise, adding to your skills, and enhancing your professional reputation. Requiring around 1,000 hours of study, the three-level accreditation will give you a comprehensive understanding of the investment profession, how performance is managed and measured, and how individual asset classes work. It will be a practical and relevant foundation for your role as well as a valuable networking tool, extending your industry contacts and adding further depth to your understanding of the requirements of the job.

If a more introductory-level program would better suit your needs, look into our Claritas® Investment Certificate.

Claritas® Program

Read moreShow Less

The introductory-level Claritas® Investment Certificate may be a useful qualification for you, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the financial services industry. It's a six-month program designed to give you a clear and wide-ranging understanding of the industry and your professional responsibilities within it. Through the Claritas Investment Certificate, you'll learn the fundamentals of investment and develop the confidence to communicate with other industry professionals. You may then want to consider the CFA Program to further develop your investment expertise.

CFA® Program

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The graduate-level CFA Program will enable you to develop a deeper understanding of international finance, and financial markets and products. As the most widely respected investment designation, with a strong focus on ethical standards in finance, it will lend further credibility to your business relationships and to the advice you give. Colleagues and clients will recognize that as a CFA® charterholder – or someone working toward this credential – you are bound by the highest ethical standards. With the recent turbulence in global financial markets, individuals who can demonstrate their expertise and commitment through the acquisition of advanced skills and qualifications will be highly sought after by employers and clients alike.

The CFA Program is an advanced investment program, requiring around 1,000 hours of study to complete. Look into our Claritas® Investment Certificate if a more introductory-level program would better suit your needs.

Claritas® Program

Read moreShow Less

The introductory-level Claritas® Investment Certificate may be a useful qualification for you, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the financial services industry. It's a six-month program designed to give you a clear and wide-ranging understanding of the industry and your professional responsibilities within it. Through the Claritas Investment Certificate, you'll learn the fundamentals of investment and develop the confidence to communicate with other industry professionals. You may then want to consider the CFA Program to further develop your investment expertise.

CFA® Program

Read moreShow Less

The CFA Program will provide you with many of the skills needed in your portfolio management role and give you valuable credibility as an investment professional.

Studying for the CFA Program will deepen your knowledge of asset classes, including equities, private equity, foreign exchange, derivatives, and fixed income, helping you to construct portfolios that best meet investors' needs. You will gain a detailed understanding of how the financial markets work and how fund management fits into the wider financial services sector. Becoming a CFA® charterholder will demonstrate your commitment to developing yourself as an investment professional and your dedication to upholding the highest standards of ethics.

The CFA Program is an advanced investment program, requiring around 1,000 hours of study to complete. Look into our Claritas® Investment Certificate if a more introductory-level program would better suit your needs.

Claritas® Program

Read moreShow Less

The introductory-level Claritas® Investment Certificate may be a useful qualification for you, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the financial services industry. It's a six-month program designed to give you a clear and wide-ranging understanding of the industry and your professional responsibilities within it. Through the Claritas Investment Certificate, you'll learn the fundamentals of investment and develop the confidence to communicate with other industry professionals. You may then want to consider the CFA Program to further develop your investment expertise.

CFA® Program

Read moreShow Less

Wealth management is about combining financial expertise with a deep understanding of clients' needs. With a strong emphasis on client focus and ethical behavior, the CFA Program content is reviewed annually to ensure it remains both practical and relevant to daily investment-related work. It will also help you to work with and analyze unstructured data to produce actionable ideas, investment analysis, and recommendations.

For consultants, the CFA Program will bring a depth of understanding of financial markets and products and the contexts in which they work that will enhance your capacity to support your clients.

In both roles, completing the graduate-level CFA Program – which requires around 1,000 hours of study to complete – will be a statement of your commitment to professionalism, lending credibility to your name and offering reassurance to your clients.

CFA Institute's CIPM® Program may also be a valuable option for you as your career develops. It focuses on effective investment performance and risk evaluation, manager appraisal and selection, performance attribution, and communication of investment results.

Look into our Claritas® Investment Certificate if a more introductory-level program would better suit your needs.

Claritas® Program

Read moreShow Less

The introductory-level Claritas® Investment Certificate may be a useful qualification for you, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the financial services industry. It's a six-month program designed to give you a clear and wide-ranging understanding of the industry and your professional responsibilities within it. Through the Claritas Investment Certificate, you'll learn the fundamentals of investment and develop the confidence to communicate with other industry professionals. You may then want to consider the CFA Program to further develop your investment expertise.

CIPM® Program

Read moreShow Less

The CIPM designation will set you apart as a deeply knowledgeable investment performance professional committed to your clients' best interests and your firm's success.

The CIPM curriculum is based on an advanced body of knowledge that is continuously reviewed and updated by more than 1,000 active investment practitioners around the world to ensure it reflects the relevant trends and core competencies needed by today's top investment employers.

CFA® Program

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The graduate-level CFA Program will provide you with a broad and detailed understanding of financial markets and products, and knowledge of the tools and techniques for analyzing them. With a strong focus on professional standards and ethics, it will also provide you with a framework for conducting yourself in all spheres of your professional life and a clear understanding of what is expected of other professionals in the industry. CFA® charterholders are required to uphold a clear Code of Ethics and renew their commitment to this Code annually.

The CFA® designation will enhance your personal reputation, providing reassurance to clients and employers alike and underlining your commitment to the highest standards of professionalism.

You may also consider CFA Institute's CIPM® Program , which focuses on such areas as effective investment performance, risk evaluation and management, manager appraisal and selection, and performance measurement and attribution. The CIPM Program will help you to make smarter, more effective decisions that maximize investors' value.

If a more introductory-level program would better suit your needs, look into our Claritas® Investment Certificate.

Claritas® Program

Read moreShow Less

The introductory-level Claritas® Investment Certificate may be a useful qualification for you, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the financial services industry. It's a six-month program designed to give you a clear and wide-ranging understanding of the industry and your professional responsibilities within it. Through the Claritas Investment Certificate, you'll learn the fundamentals of investment and develop the confidence to communicate with other industry professionals. You may then want to consider the CFA Program to further develop your investment expertise.

Claritas® Program

Read moreShow Less

The Claritas® Investment Certificate will augment any function-specific professional qualifications you have by giving you valuable financial knowledge and insight, and lending authority and credibility to your work in these market-facing roles.

It's a six-month program designed to give you a clear understanding of the financial services industry. You'll learn about different kinds of assets, investment tools, and products, and develop an understanding of the ethical, regulatory, and professional standards frameworks in which you operate. You'll also gain a clearer understanding of your responsibilities, where your role fits into the bigger picture, and what client service means in today's fast-changing financial landscape. With the Claritas Investment Certificate, you will feel more confident communicating with colleagues and clients, and they will be assured that you understand the business.

The CIPM® Program may also be of interest if you're considering a career in client relationship management, since within investment management someone in this role is often required to look at performance.

If your role requires a much deeper appreciation of the financial services industry – for example, institutional sales – then the CFA Program will be more appropriate for your needs.

CFA® Program

Read moreShow Less

If your role requires you to demonstrate a much deeper understanding of the investment industry, then the graduate-level CFA Program may be appropriate for you. It will give you a wide-ranging and detailed appreciation of financial markets and products. As the world's most widely recognized professional investment program, it will add authority and credibility to your recommendations and provide the strongest possible assurance to clients and prospects that you know your industry and are committed to upholding high ethical standards.

Claritas® Program

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For both IT and operations, delivering effective solutions requires a detailed understanding of the context in which they are being implemented. The Claritas® Investment Certificate is a six-month program designed to give you a clear understanding of the financial services industry and augment your function-specific professional qualifications. You will learn the fundamental concepts and global standards of the industry, including ethics and regulation, global market characteristics, roles and responsibilities, analytical tools, and client service. You will feel more confident communicating with colleagues and they will be assured that you understand how products and services work.

If your role requires a much deeper appreciation of the financial services industry, then the CFA Program will be more appropriate for your needs.

CFA® Program

Read moreShow Less

If your role requires you to demonstrate a much deeper understanding of the financial services industry, then the CFA Program may be appropriate for you. It will give you a wide-ranging and detailed appreciation of financial markets and products. As the world's most widely recognized professional investment program, it will add authority and credibility to your recommendations and provide the strongest possible assurance that you know your industry and are committed to upholding high ethical standards.

Claritas® Program

Read moreShow Less

The Claritas® Investment Certificate will augment your HR-specific qualifications by giving you a clear understanding of the financial services industry and the roles within it. As an HR professional, you will be more effective and have greater credibility with the business when you can demonstrate your knowledge of the fundamental concepts and global standards of the industry, and an understanding of how each role contributes to the bigger picture. Your capacity to communicate in the language of finance and appreciation of the ethical, professional, and regulatory frameworks in which it operates will enable you to better understand the issues your organization faces, develop more effective HR solutions, and persuade busy investment professionals of your own expertise.

If your role requires a much deeper appreciation of the financial services industry, then the CFA Program will be more appropriate for your needs.

CFA® Program

Read moreShow Less

If your role requires you to demonstrate a much deeper understanding of the financial services industry, then the CFA Program may be appropriate for you. It will give you a wide-ranging and detailed appreciation of financial markets and products. As the world's most widely recognized professional investment program, it will add authority and credibility to your recommendations and provide the strongest possible assurance that you know your industry and are committed to upholding high ethical standards.

More Results

  • Research Analyst
  • Investment Banking or Corporate Finance
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Wealth Management Consulting
  • Risk Management, Compliance or Investment Performance Management
  • Sales Marketing or Client Relationship Management
  • IT Operations
  • Human Resources

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