You’ve got through your 300 hours of revision and you’ve joined the roughly 42% of your CFA candidate cohort who’ve actually passed Level I.
As you contemplate the unpleasantness of even more study and exams ahead if you want to pass Levels II and III, it’s also worth thinking about how the CFA might help you land a well-paid job in Asian financial services.
We’ve scoured our jobs database in Singapore and Hong Kong and identified the sectors – from asset management to risk management – where the CFA (at any level) is most in demand. We’ve then looked at recent recruiter pay surveys to determine average base salaries for VPs (people with around six years’ experience) for key jobs in these CFA-friendly sectors.
If you’re taking the CFA to make a lucrative career change, the sectors towards the top of these two tables are the ones you'll want to work in:
While few Asian investment banking jobs on our database call for the CFA, the qualification is comparatively sought after in three other well-remunerated front-office sectors: equities (sales, trading), asset management and private equity.
VP-level private bankers in Singapore and Hong Kong don’t earn as much as those in the top-three sectors mainly because it takes longer to rise up the ranks in an industry which values experience and client connections over youthful talent.
The CFA is in demand in the three back and middle-office sectors at the bottom of our tables – just don’t expect an enormous paypacket. Still, quants in Singapore can command fairly healthy S$205k (US$145k) salaries when they become VPs, while Hong Kong product controllers earn HK$1,195k (US$154k).