How To Use The CFA Charter Or CPA License To ‘… Entry Level Jobs | Internships for students


These credentials can help new professionals spend less time in entry-level positions or skip them altogether.

CFA Charter | CPA license

The careers of finance and accounting professionals generally follow a step-by-step process of progression and advancement. Entry-level jobs can be good learning opportunities, but they’re not necessarily the intellectually challenging work you want to do.

For example, my colleague John Derrick is a CFA® charterholder who got his start in the investment world working as a customer service representative in a call center while in college. He felt limited in his career path because he had not attended the “right” school. Obtaining his charter as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA ®) helped him secure an interview for his next, much more satisfying position. I had a similar experience: passing the CPA ® exam certainly helped me advance in my career.

Passing the CFA or CPA exams can help new finance and accounting professionals advance to higher-level positions more quickly, or even “skip” an entry-level position. And it’s never too early or too late to take the plunge.

Jump while passing exams

John Derrick attributes his own professional success in large part to his CFA charter. Prior to obtaining his CFA charter, John was convinced that his opportunities for advancement were limited because his department valued the Certified Financial Planner designation.

Speaking from personal experience, obtaining the CPA certificate is a key professional milestone for any accountant. Passing the exam provides current and potential employers with proof of a person’s skills, abilities and knowledge. The CPA designation is generally preferred, or even required, for promotions and advancement to higher level positions within a company. For instance, Nishil Akbari got his CPA while in college and then started his career as a lead auditor almost immediately. Young professionals can easily spend years in an entry-level associate role, but earning their CPA can help them progress quickly, as Nishil did, by giving employers clear evidence of their skills and capabilities. knowledge.

Demonstrating relevant expertise broadens your career path

The CFA and CPA exams are committed to staying relevant with the skills employers demand. The CFA charter exam was updated in 2019 to include material on financial technology, or fintech. The updated CFA exam also integrates newer topics such as blockchain technology and machine learning with traditional quantitative skills. Since the exam covers up-to-date knowledge on current financial topics, it can help you find a position in areas such as cryptocurrency or financial forensics.

The CPA exam is also changing. As a member of CPA Evolution Initiativethe exam will be updated in 2024 include a basic more discipline model, in which the current Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section will be replaced by a more specialized section chosen by the CPA candidate. These discipline section options include Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC), and Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP). As more and more careers become more specialized, the new format and content of the exam allows accounting professionals to become experts in a field earlier in their careers.

I have spent most of my professional career in higher education and have worked with the business community to ensure accounting graduates have the skills required for entry-level positions. But once the graduate has secured a position, there must be avenues for career advancement. The knowledge demonstrated by passing the CPA exam is a great way to open up career opportunities. I think this update is a great adaptation to changing business needs.

How to pass these exams

You’re probably thinking, “Sounds great, but I already work full-time and have other responsibilities, so I don’t have time to get extra credentials.” Here are some key strategies to make getting certified a reality.

1) Be committed and disciplined. This commitment is important for your future and it can be achieved if you stay focused.

2) Start early: Schedule each exam as soon as possible, then work backwards from there to create your study schedule.

3) Use the right study resources: There are many programs available that help potential candidates prepare. For example, UWorld has proven platforms to earn your CPA license and/or the CFA Charter. Nishil Akbari cites the in-depth answer explanations and active learning style as reasons why UWorld QBank worked particularly well for him and helped him get his CPA license on the first try.

4) Create a custom routine: Studying for a professional certification exam while working is different from being a full-time student. John Derrick found that studying during designated hours on weekends worked better for him than trying to fit study time before or after work. John Derrick found that studying on weekends worked better for him than trying to fit in study time before or after work. He focused more on productivity than on studying for a specific period of time. He helped himself to concentrate by always studying at the same place, a local university library. I think this type of focused approach is the best and most effective way to study for certification.

5) Look for financial support: Studying for your CFA or CPA exam can be expensive, and the cost of prep materials can reinforce inequities in accounting and investment management fields. UWorld offers Scholarships for our CFA and CPA preparation courses. I encourage all who qualify to apply for these scholarships.

Although earning the CFA or CPA credential is a commitment of time and resources, it’s a great way for new hires to advance their professional careers.

Janice Stoudemire, CPA, CGMA, ABA, ATA, is the founder and president of Palmetto Academic Consulting Services. She retired from Midlands Technical College after 25 years of teaching and is now a CPA Content Developer at UWorld. She can be contacted at [email protected]


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