The CFA charter is one of the most respected designations in finance and is widely considered to be the gold standard in the field of investment analysis. To become a charter holder, candidates must pass three difficult exams, have a bachelors degree, and have at least four years of relevant professional experience. Passing the CFA Program exams requires strong discipline and an extensive amount of studying.
The basic requirements for participation in the CFA Program (with or without obtaining the charter) include holding a university degree or being in the final year of a university degree program (or equivalent as assessed by the CFA Institute), or having four years of qualified, professional work experience in an investment decision-making process. To obtain the charter, however, a candidate must have completed a university degree (or equivalent) and four years of qualified, professional work experience, in addition to passing the three six hour exams that test the candidate’s knowledge of the academic portion of the CFA program. However, an accredited degree may not be a requirement.