Claritas vs CFA Exam – Which Certification to Choose?

Claritas vs CFA – Comparing the CredentialsFinancial services sector has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years and has increased in complexity as well. Today, there are thousands of job roles within finance and investment industry requiring different levels of expertise in specialized areas of finance. In order to fulfill this need and validate the capabilities of professionals, a number of financial certifications have mushroomed over the years. In this article, we compare the much sought after CFA Certification exam with the newly introduced Claritas Investment Certificate.

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The article is articulated in this order:

  1. Claritas® vs CFA® Infographics
  2. Role of CFA® Institute
  3. Choosing the right certification
  4. What is Claritas®?
  5. What is Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®)?
  6. Claritas® vs CFA® Exam Requirements
  7. Why pursue Claritas®?
  8. Why pursue CFA®?

Claritas® vs CFA® Infographics

Reading time : 90 seconds

Lets understand the difference between these two streams with the help of this Claritas® vs CFA® Infographics.

claritas vs cfa infographics

Role of CFA® Institute:

Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA®) Institute is one of the most influential bodies working in the financial services sector with the intent to bring in greater accountability and transparency by defining standards of global practices in the investment industry. No wonder, CFA® also offers some of the most prestigious financial certifications to help validate the knowledge and skills of professionals associated with the investment industry.

Choosing the Right Certification:

However, for a professional it might seem difficult in the first instance to decide which certification would serve their purpose best. Here, we are discussing two such certifications offered by the CFA® Institute including CFA® Charter Holder and Claritas®, aimed at comparing their relative merits for professionals planning to pursue these certifications.

What is the Claritas® Program?

Claritas® Investment Certificate is a foundation-level self-study program offered by the CFA® Institute. This program is designed to impart the knowledge of investment industry fundamentals and to help become acquainted with the professional responsibilities of those working in different areas of financial services sector. It primarily covers finance, ethics and investment-related roles and is suitable for entry-level financial services professionals.

What is the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) Charter?

The CFA Program focuses on investment management. The top employers of charterholders include the most respected financial corporations in the world, e.g., JPMorgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS, and Wells Fargo, to name a few.

Many of these are investment banks, but the CFA Program focuses on the knowledge and skills most relevant to the global investment management profession from the standpoint of a practitioner.

Investment professionals who hold the CFA designation (or CFA charter) meet rigorous educational, work experience, and ethical conduct requirements. Only those who complete three graduate-level examinations, four years of work experience, and annual membership renewal (including an ethics and code of professional conduct attestation) are permitted to use the CFA designation.

Complementary codes and standards (such as the Global Investment Performance Standards and Asset Manager Code) help enhance this professional distinction.

Claritas® vs CFA® Exam Requirements:

For Claritas® Program You Need:

There is no special criterion to qualify for Claritas® program in terms of educational qualifications and work experience. Anyone can register for it.

For CFA® You Need:

To qualify for the CFA®, a candidate should have a Bachelor’s Degree (or they should be in final year of Bachelor’s Degree) or 4 years of professional work experience or 4 years of higher education and professional work experience taken together.

Why Pursue the Claritas® Program?

This learning program is best suited for entry-level financial services professionals and even non-finance professionals planning to enter investment industry. This program affords the knowledge of global industry standards for investment industry which makes it highly useful even for professionals working in IT, HR, operations or sales and marketing roles in the industry. No entry requirements make it a much less cumbersome certification to pursue. On top of it all, getting accredited from a highly reputed institution helps boost the confidence of a professional in his or her knowledge of industry practices and enhances their employability in the eyes of prospective employers.

Why Pursue the CFA® designation?

The differentiating benefits of earning the CFA designation include:

  • Real-world expertise
  • Career recognition
  • Ethical grounding
  • Global community
  • Employer demand

The sheer demand for the CFA charter speaks to the difference it makes.

More than 160,000 CFA exam registrations were processed for the June 2015 exams (35% in the Americas, 22% in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and 43% in Asia Pacific).

For more Information, refer- CFA Programs

Other Useful Comparisons


Without any entry requirements it becomes a somewhat easier undertaking but it is no use opting for Claritas® as a build-up to CFA®. Instead, it is much better to go in for CFA® Part I for those working in decision making roles in the investment industry.


  1. By Debruni on

    I am an Project manager with an IT firm and do some investments. I track stock markets and want to learn more about financial analysis and value investments. Which one between the two – CFA level 1 or Claritas makes sense in this context?


    • By Dheeraj Vaidya on

      Hi Debruni,

      I suggest you take CFA Level 1 intead of Claritas exam. CFA level 1 includes financial analysis and will help you learn important aspects related to valuations and investments.



    • By Dheeraj Vaidya on

      Hi Rosalie,

      Not sure if Claritas will make sense for you. Claritas exam is useful for those who are connected to finance industry but not in core finance. For example, handling HR, IT or operations in an Investment Bank. If you looking for core finance profiles, Claritas Investment Certificate will not add much value



    • By Dheeraj Vaidya on

      Hi Imke,

      I think Claritas is just a certificate.  I guess in Claritas, they have not included the samples of usage of Claritas certificate. What you should include in your resume is “I earned the Claritas Investment Certificate issued by the CFA Institute”



  2. By Ashish on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am working as a CFO in a service sector.

    I am thinking of pursuing CFA to enhance my knowledge on finance and to add a international course to my academic achievements.

    I have no plans to move to the IB sector as a working professional.

    Do you advise my putting the efforts in CFA.


    • By Dheeraj Vaidya on

      Hi Ashish,

      Given you are CFO of a firm, I think CPA/ACCA will suit you more. This should really help you.
      CFA you can give it a shot, but it may not be beneficial as you don’t plan to move into IB sector.



  3. By Anuj Thaker on

    Hello Dheeraj..
    Your knowledge has cleared my confusion. Thanks.
    I have got admission in SIBM and thinking to pursue CFA along with it.
    Will it be helpfull?
    Can you share a strategy to crack it?


    • By Dheeraj on

      Hi Anuj,

      Congratulations on your admission to SIBM. You can surely pursue CFA along with this. Which exam are you planning to appear for – December? You may have to put atleast 4-8 hours per week if you plan to appear for the December Exam.



  4. By Turki AlQabari on

    Great & useful article .The practical experience comes by understanding the fundamental aspects first and I fully agree for fresh graduate in Investment management or investment banking to go for Claritas.Many Thanks


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