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Want a job in finance? Hot qualifications in London, New York, Asia

Neither a CFA nor an MBA will make you hot

Not all finance qualifications were created equal. And not all finance qualifications are equally relevant in different global markets.

Based upon the jobs currently advertised on eFinancialCareers and the finance résumés uploaded into our own database in the past three months, we’ve put together the following helpful ranking of qualifications most likely to land you a job somewhere like Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan or Credit Suisse in London, the U.S. (mostly New York City) and Asia (defined for our purposes as Singapore and Hong Kong).

There are some quick conclusions to be drawn from the data below.

Don’t take a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification and expect to walk into a job. No matter where in the world you are, there are plenty of CVs out there which mention a CFA pass – and far fewer jobs.

Similarly, don’t expect an MBA to be a magic career bullet – although an MBA from a top school might improve your chances, purely as a result of the networking opportunities it affords you. If you do have an MBA on your résumé, you might want to put yourself about on Wall Street, where your chances of finding a job look might higher.

Finally, our own CV database and our own job advertisements both suggest that your chances of landing a job with any kind finance qualification are far higher in Singapore and Hong Kong than on Wall Street or in London. If you want to maximize your chances of employment, statistically speaking Asia is still the place to be.

Top qualifications for finance jobs in London (based upon the number of résumés per job) 

1. The ACA (we have 1.7 ACA CVs for every job specifying an ACA qualification).

2. A PhD and C++ (we have 3.3 CVs suited to every job specifying a PhD and C++ capabilities).

3. A Cima qualification (we have 3.3 Cima CVs for every job specifying a Cima qualification).

4. A PhD alone (we have four CVs for every job specifying a PhD).

5. A CFA pass of any kind (we have 15.8 CVs for every job specifying any kind of CFA pass).

6. An MBA (we have 17.9 recently uploaded CVs with MBAs for every job specifying an MBA that’s currently advertised on our UK site).

Top qualifications for finance jobs in the U.S. (based upon the number of résumés per job) 

1. A Cima qualification (we have 3.7 recently uploaded CVs in our US database for every US job requiring the qualification).

2. A PhD (we have four CVs in our US database for every US job requiring a PhD).

3. An MBA (we have 7.8 CVs in our US database for every US job opening requiring an MBA).

4. A CFA pass of any kind (we have 19.2 CVs in our US database for every currently advertised US job requiring any kind of CFA pass).

Top qualifications for finance jobs in Asia (based upon the number of résumés per job) 

1. A PhD (we have 1.4 Asia-based CVs in our database for every Asian job requiring a PhD).

2. An ACA (we have 1.9 CVs in our database for every Asian job requiring an ACA qualification).

3. A CFA  pass of any kind (we have 6.2 Asia-based CVs in our database for every Asian job requiring any kind of CFA pass)

4. An MBA (we have 6.4 Asia-based CVs in our database for every Asian job requiring an MBA).

Comments (3)

Comments
  1. Bit pointless mentioning any type of CFA pass as the only one that counts is a full CFA Charterholder with anything quoted to sound like a pass bordering on a violation as per CFA rules ( You can say you are a CFA charterholder if you are, but you can’t say you are a CFA Level 2 if you have passed). Of course you will get people saying they have passed level 1,2,3 and waiting for the charter upon getting the relevant experience. But you really should be comparing apples with apples and only consider CFA charterholders in making your comparisons to other qualifications.

  2. I completely agree with the comment above.

    As a CFA candidate this information really interesting to me.

    Any chance of running the stats on CFA charter holders only and posting results in comments or something?

  3. With regards to CIMA, are you referring to Certified Investment Management Analyst or Chartered Institute of Management Accountants? If the latter, why would that be prevalent in the U.S.? Don’t you mean CPA?

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