best offers online classes ca cs cma

CISI or CFA – Which Financial Qualification is the Best?

If you have landed up on this article, chances are, you too are confused between CISI and CFA. And it’s completely understandable, after all, they seem so similar.

But in reality, CISI and CFA are very different from each other. CFA offers a stronger base in finance, while CISI allows you to choose a banking and finance field to specialize in.

In this article, we will first be discussing both CISI and CFA certification separately and then comparing them together.

What is CISI?

CISI is offered by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, and it is accepted worldwide by global banks and corporations. The great thing about CISI is that it offers a wide range of financial courses which you can undertake according to the direction you want to take your career towards, including commodity markets, capital markets, investment banking, Islamic finance, and wealth management.

The pass rate depends on the exam you take. There are about six CISI test centers in India where you can schedule tests according to your convenience. There is no specific eligibility requirement, but you need to clear the first introductory exam.

What is CFA?

CFA is one of the most difficult finance courses out there, but that makes it all the more special, rewarding, and prestigious. Only 38% of the students clear level I, 39% clear level II and 46% manage to clear the final level III.

After passing CFA, you will have the academic knowledge, professional and ethical standards, and a strong foundation of portfolio management skills and advanced investment analysis.

To be eligible for CFA certification, you need at least a bachelor’s degree and four years of work experience. You can start preparing for CFA before you have completed four years, but you will only be awarded the certification after the completion of 4 years.

Today, the CFA exam is widely recognized all around the world with students from the top B-schools also opting for it because of the of the job opportunities it offers.


CISI or CFA – Depends on your career trajectory

The reason why CFA and CISI exams are often compared is that they are both globally recognized and they can add great value to your profile. But, that doesn’t mean they are both equal. In this battle of CISI vs CFA, the truth is, there is no correct answer. The right certification depends on your career trajectory and the direction you want your career to take.

While CFA can provide you knowledge about portfolio management and technical skills to be a successful project manager, CISI provides you with a great opportunity to choose the stream that you want to specialize in. A lot of trained professionals opt for CISI because it helps them specialize and focus on the stream of their choice.

But there is also no denying the fact that CFA, offered by ICFAI, is more globally accepted and recognized, while CISI is slowly increasing its popularity in some countries, including India.

If you are looking to create a generally strong background in finance, then opt for CFA. But if you are thinking of focusing on a particular stream, then pick a more fitting course option with CISI.

Also read: Careers in Financial Sector