AuthorTopic: getting the CFA for an IT pro?
@2014-10-11 09:26:12

I am a Software Engineer and am considering a switch to finance to become an securities analyst. So I am looking for some guidance. Could anyone help me with the related questions I have listed below?

Thanks in advance.

My background: MSc Computer Science, BSc Computer Science, 10 years work experience


1. What are the qualifications necessary (and nice to have) while looking for a Securities analyst position?

2. Is it possible (or common) for people (from different backgrounds) to get a securities analyst position while doing CFA? If so, generally after passing which exam? Level I , II or III?

3. For a person like me who is from a completely different background, how many hours would it approximately take to prepare for CFA Level 1? The CFA institute does state 250 but I understand that varies with the individual's academic/work background.

4. What is the average starting salary for a securities analyst?

5. What are the books and websites are recommended while preparing for the level I exam?

6. I know this is a very tough market right now- both for finance professionals and technology professionals. However, if someone completed Level I and II, what are the odds of getting a relevant position in this market?
@2014-12-30 09:13:42
check CFAI website. Register for the test and you will get the 6 textbooks to prepare for the Level 1 test. The price of the textbooks are included in your registration fee. There are AnalystNotes
and Schweser that many claimed to have helped them in their preparation for the test. You can decide which one you will need. Search the posts in this forum for more opinions of which study guides to use.

I don't know the exact answers to the others. For salaries, you can just find from
@2014-12-31 17:03:06
Not sure how CFA will help somebody who has 10+ years experience as a developer or one with a non-finance background.

Even if you clear all the 3 levels on first attempt, you will have to start from scratch (despite having 13 years exp) and compete with 20+ year old guys who have passed out afresh. You need to be prepared for a massive undercutting as far as salaries go as your experience will not be considered relevant. Not sure if the game is worth the candle unless you are willing to make this huge sacrifice of your IT experience.

This is the view expressed by many in this forum.
@2015-02-26 09:22:44
No, this is not the view expressed by many, and is completely incorrect. Your experience may not count toward the required for the charter, but will most certainly give you a leg up on finding a position. Who would you rather hire as a tech analyst: Dude with little experience, undergrad in business, and CFA, or Dude with MS in comp. science, 13 years experience in the field, and CFA? Seems to me that this is a no-brainer.
@2019-05-01 22:37:45
I also think that if you have some professional experience you would not be subjected to working long hours at a firm; compared to a new graduate out of school with a CFA but without experience. You cannot say that experience of over 10 years in the tech field means nothing in the finance world. Concepts like High Frequency Trading and Bitcoin are tying in the technology aspect of finance more so today than in the past.

CFA Discussion Topic: getting the CFA for an IT pro?

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I was very pleased with your notes and question bank. I especially like the mock exams because it helped to pull everything together.
Martin Rockenfeldt

Martin Rockenfeldt