Becoming a Financial Analyst

 My undergraduate degree is in philosophy, and I have been working in mortgage banking as a loan officer for 2 years. I would like to become a chartered financial analyst and will start studying for the Level I exam in June. I was told that once I pass the first exam, I would be able to find a job at an analyst firm or bank to get the necessary experience to get the charter. Is this true? Would you advise going back to school for a finance degree? Most of my credits will not transfer as they are from a university based in Rome.

No one can guarantee that anyone can find a job under any circumstances! But the best way to make decisions about career change is to do your homework prior to spending time and money for exams and additional training. One way people begin to explore a new career path is through informational interviewing and networking. Click on this article by Career Consultant Lola Lucas to learn more about informational interviewing and a series of articles on networking by Janet M. Shlaes, Ph.D., Beyond The Basics: Career Strategies That Work Part I, Beyond The Basics: Part II, and Beyond The Basics: Part III should be helpful to you.

You can also talk to people in an association for the industry to learn more about the possibilities. Check your local library for books on careers in finance.

Speak to people at local university career centers to learn more about the value of a finance degree. A counselor at a university can work with you to determine which of your credits transfer and what it would take to complete your degree. You might also meet with a career counselor at one of the fine local agencies to help you walk through this process.

I wish you great success. Sounds like you are very determined to make this happen!

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