Was CFA enrollment affected in the global crisis?

The growth did slow down as per this interview of CFA Institute Managing Director Thomas Robinson.

Are you seeing more people expressing an interest in obtaining the CFA qualification in the last few years? 

We were growing very rapidly up to the financial crisis, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, and we expected a slowdown with the crisis and what was going on in the finance industry. But in reality, each year for the last three years, we’ve had more candidates than the preceding year. We’re not growing as rapidly, but our candidate numbers are still growing. The growth is slow because I think there are fewer investment professionals in the industry after layoffs in recent years. But the people left in the industry are more serious investment professionals and those are the ones always attracted to the CFA program in the first place. Another reason for the uptick in candidates is people realize they need to have something on their résumé to set them apart from others in a very competitive environment.

It still is seen as a strong education signal for investment analysts or portfolio managers.

He also discusses CFA vs MBA program and the employment potential of CFA.

I would guess one major lesson from the crisis for CFA is to have more of macroeconomics and lots of ethics as well. Prof JRV has suggested some changes in the finance curriculum as well which could be seen as well.

2 Responses to “Was CFA enrollment affected in the global crisis?”

  1. pravin Says:

    oh no.please no macroeconomics.it is like suggesting astrology be included in an astronomy course. i passed the cfa exams by 2009.i found the economics sections ridiculous since it was too silly and didnt explain what was going on in the real world during the financial crisis.economics should not be taught in universities either.they should be self learnt ideally- from experience and thinking.there are enough internet resources for those inclined.
    i’ve read one of your articles on Mint asking for more monetarist and keynesian stuff in university courses.nothing could be farther than what is needed.what people need is to stop treating econ as a natural science and treat it as a social science.less emphasis on the formalism -math junk -and more on first principles.less emphasis on the “policy” making and more on the understanding of incentives,signalling,impossibility of central planning.we dont want manmohan singhs and ahluwalias coming out of econ schools.we want more humble hayeks or even friedman
    a greater emphasis on the economic history of our world would help too.

    • Amol Agrawal Says:

      hi pravin,

      thanks for the comments. well what you say of economics one can say for finance too. Why teach finance in schools? what purpose does it solve? One can learn finance by working in organisations and anyways whatever theories we learn in finance schools are very different from the world of finance.

      The article in Mint you mention (http://www.livemint.com/2010/11/18211620/Economics-after-the-crisis-ne.html) was about how economics teachers are looking at changes in their books and teacing curriculum post the financial crisis. I did not mention that I preferred adding more Keynesian and monetarist views. Infact Alan Blinder was wondering how much Keynesian his new book should be.

      And what you mention about state of economics in CFA is precisley what needs to change. It needs to be more realistic and explaning current times. The internet sources you mention are also likely to be written by an economist! So there is no escaping them provided you want to be in this field.

      I fully agree with you on the more humble economists. But then they are just responding to incentives. Look at importance accorded to the field of economics. One thought it might decline post 2007 crisis but has only increased. I think we all should realise that it is social science and stop expecting too much from the field.

      The reality remains. We need to teach economics but has to be on line of principles of economics and not on the priniples of math models which it has become.

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