Wire: BLOOMBERG News (BN) Date: Aug 18 2009 10:52:14
By Michael J. Moore
Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) - A lower percentage of Wall Street job applicants passed the third and final test to become Chartered Financial Analysts, a designation that offers an edge during Wall Street’s worst shakeout in at least three decades. Forty-nine percent of candidates passed the third stage of the test, down from 53 percent last year, the Charlottesville Virginia-based CFA Institute said in an e-mailed statement today. Forty-one percent of the people who took the Level 2 test passed, down from 46 percent a year ago.
Candidates take the CFA exam betting the certification can become a path to better jobs, higher salaries and a deeper understanding of finance. Completing all three levels costs about $2,500 and takes an average of four years. Financial firms cut more than 328,000 jobs since global markets started to unravel in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “In a tight job market, having the CFA charter is a significant distinguishing factor, and we saw much lower no-show rates for Level I of the exam, which indicates how serious candidates are about their careers,” said Tom Robinson, managing director of education at the CFA Institute.
Last month, the CFA Institute said 46 percent of Level I participants passed, up from 35 percent a year earlier. Across the three levels, 45 percent of the 104,111 test takers passed. A record 128,600 people enrolled to take one of the three levels of the exam in June.
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