Is CFA a globally recognized degree

More than 29,000 investment professionals worldwide pass Level I of the CFA exam

The successful candidates now reach Level II of the CFA program, the second of three steps on the way to the CFA degree, one of the world's most recognized qualifications in the investment industry. Compared to 2016, the number of Level I candidates who took the exam in December rose again by more than 14 percent.

“The goal of the CFA Institute is to increase professionalism in the investment industry. The CFA program provides a solid foundation for this by providing candidates worldwide with the highest standards of ethics, learning content and professional excellence, ”said Paul Smith, CFA, President and CEO of the CFA Institute. “Congratulations to our successful Level I candidates. You are one step closer to your goal of becoming a CFA Charterholder and will support us in our mission to create a better world for investors. "

To become a charterholder, candidates must pass all three levels of what is arguably the toughest exam in the investment sector. You must also have at least four years of professional experience in the investment industry, subscribe to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, and become a member of the CFA Institute. Less than one in five candidates who start the program becomes a charter holder. Successful candidates take an average of four years to complete the CFA program. (Overview of results from previous years)

Strong candidate growth in Asia Pacific

The December 2017 Level I exams were held in 119 test centers in 76 cities and 40 countries and regions worldwide. The ten most important countries and regions were:

  • Mainland China (19,598)
  • USA (12,126)
  • India (6,889)
  • Canada (4,392)
  • United Kingdom (4,367)
  • Australia (3,357)
  • Hong Kong (2,289)
  • Singapore (1,379)
  • South Africa (1,369)
  • United Arab Emirates (1,054)

The Asia-Pacific region continues to show the strongest growth, led by mainland China with a total of 19,598 test takers, an increase of more than 38 percent compared to 2016. Significant increases were also recorded in India, where the number of candidates rose by 20 percent compared to 2016. A total of 56 percent of the candidates in the global CFA program come from the Asia-Pacific region, with growth in the 2017 financial year primarily from the above-average proportion of women (41 percent; worldwide: 35 percent) and students (28 percent; worldwide: 24 percent ) was driven. In Germany, the number of candidates rose by 2.5 percent to 735 (previous year: 717).

To meet the growing interest in the CFA program and the worldwide growth in the number of candidates, the CFA Institute has opened four new examination centers for the December 2017 exam in Anchorage (USA), Halifax (Canada), Hangzhou (China) and Rio de Janeiro ( Brazil), established. For the June 2018 exams, five more exam centers are to be added in Barcelona (Spain), Dalian (China), Hyderabad (India), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolai) and Lagos (Nigeria). Level I exams are held annually in June and December, Levels II and III are only examined in June.

The CFA program offers a strong platform tailored to professionals across the industry. Annual curriculum updates ensure that the CFA degree remains the international industry standard. It encompasses the areas of ethical and professional standards, securities analysis and valuation, international financial statements analysis, quantitative methods, economics, corporate finance, asset management and portfolio management and analysis. The curriculum on which the December exam was based also received new content, including topics such as trust in the investment industry, updates on corporate governance and the environment, social and governance (ESG) investments and an update on analyzing supply and demand from an economic perspective View. Further information on the CFA program including the course of study can be found here.

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