future prospect of CFA (chartered financial Analyst) from ICFAI in India
CFA from ICFAI
Indian CFA program from ICFAI has always been a troubled child for the university and moreover, does not hold much value in the job market. Here are some words of wisdom from someone who has actually undergone the course and has at least 10 close friends studying for the original CFA.
ICFAI in India has offered its own CFA course for many years. In fact it has been the flagship product of the university ever since it was established. Some of you may be aware about the controversies surrounding this course and enough has been written on them. However, the biggest and the most practical question that faces all aspirants is the worth of it. Some sample questions that one often hears are, "Can the Indian CFA guarantee a job to me?" or "Is the CFA course from ICFAI recognized everywhere?" or "Will the course help me taking my career further?"
The answer is not very difficult. Here is why?
1. The Indian CFA is surrounded by controversies and legal battles. In fact technically, it is not even a CFA degree/diploma. It is called MS (Finance) leading to CFA charter from an obscure university in the tiny state of Tripura. With the legal problems surrounding the course, there is always a probability of the course being banned or curbed to suit what the others want.
2. The course is customized for Indian market and does not provide an international view the way American CFA does. This does not even guarantee a job in India. All the I-Banks and PE firms prefer US CFA because of the global acceptance. US CFA has more credibility in front of corporate as well. At most you will find people in business world neutral towards US CFA but there are many (and believe me, I say this out of own experience) who are absolutely against the Indian CFA.
3. Most of the CFA aspirants aim for an I-Bank, PE firm or MNC financial powerhouse. Needless to say, most of these have international roots, affiliations or clients and involve working for international economies. They are obviously heavily biased towards the international CFA. Indian CFA does not provide an international exposure of things. If your current or prospective dream job requires you to be knowledgeable on business concepts applied in developed economies like USA, the original CFA is the best bet.
4. There are many who went through the original CFA some time back and ended up with good jobs. However, trends have changed drastically. Now Indian CFA is just another degree, which actually earns you nothing. The people, who matter in the business world and specially recruiting, follow the trends. Sometime back, it was fashionable to hire Indian CFA pass outs. Now with the heavy international outlook of businesses, it has gone out of fashion and doesn't seem to be coming back in fashion for a long time.
I am not an ICFAI basher. In fact I have earned my PG degree from the same institute. I have undertaken the course and know how it added to my career. It is definitely a good course if you just want to increase your knowledge on financial analysis in the context of Indian market but an international CFA gives you the same exposure, is globally accepted, fashionable and does wonders to your resume. Even the complexity level is not very different. I leave you with a question - is not the international CFA a natural choice for someone in India?
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