Guest Blogger: Dr. Nivine Richie, Chair of the Cameron School of Business’ Department of Economics and Finance
In 2017, on the first Saturday of June, over 150,000 people sat for CFA exams across the globe.
That’s a record - up about 10 percent from the year before and more than double the number of candidates who took the exam in June 2007. The results are in: 43 percent passed level I; 47 percent passed level II; and 54 percent passed level III.
Known as “the finance industry’s toughest exam,” the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is described by the Financial Times as the “coveted designation” awarded to those who pass all three exams and have four years of relevant work experience. Those who succeed join a network of over 140,000 charter holders in more than 150 countries in positions such as financial analysts, bankers and investment portfolio managers.
The Master of Science in Finance and Investment Management (MSF) at UNCW’s Cameron School of Business, launching fall 2018, will offer students the opportunity to gain a specialized finance graduate degree, as well as the opportunity to prepare for the CFA exams.
Designed for the working professional, the program is fully online and can be completed in one calendar year or at a pace that allows students to balance work, home and school responsibilities.
Preparing Candidates For The FutureThe courses are designed to prepare students for the rapidly changing landscape of financial services, one of the most highly regulated and scrutinized industries in the U.S. and abroad. The online courses cover traditional graduate finance course work in equity analysis, fixed income and financial statement analysis, and emphasize the application of financial theory to the practice of investment management.
Graduates of the program will be able to apply:
- Quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, and corporate finance to investment management
- Advanced investment tools to the valuation of equity, fixed-income, derivative, and alternative investments
- High ethical standards to investment management, consistent with the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct
Jobs OutlookAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the anticipated growth in financial services jobs is above average.
|Occupation||2014 Median Pay per year||2014 Number of Jobs,||Job Outlook Growth, 2014-24||Employment Change 2014-24|
|Personal Financial Advisors||$81,060||249,400||30%||73,900|
|Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents||$72,070||341,500||10%||32,500|
|Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm|
From NC Works Online, job openings outnumber potential candidates in positions such as:
- Financial quantitative analysts
- Personal financial advisors
- Risk Management Specialists
- Treasurers and controllers
Is Graduate School Right For You?As a bond trader in 1993 working for a regional dealer bank in south Florida, I was choosing between graduate school and the CFA designation. I didn’t know of any online university graduate degrees at the time, and I couldn’t leave my full-time work to go back to school. So, I began the three-year self-study journey towards the CFA designation instead.
If online graduate school had been available to me, I would have gladly sought an MSF while pursuing the CFA charter. The three years of self-study was challenging; I put in hundreds of hours preparing for each exam while working full-time. The investment paid off when I was awarded the CFA charter, and continues to pay off as I enjoy the privilege of working with charter holders from around the globe.
Today, students deciding between graduate school and the CFA designation no longer have to choose. The Master of Science in Finance and Investment Management delivers a traditional M.S. Finance degree that is aligned with the CFA Candidate Body of Knowledge.
To learn more or receive updates about Cameron’s new Master of Science in Finance and Investment Management degree program, click here.