FRM vs CAIA – Which Finance Career to Choose?

FRM vs CAIA – Which Finance Career to Choose? Finance Certifications have always been a lucrative career option. There are many of them and it always a nightmare if we were to decide, what it should be finally. Just to help you out on this process, let us grab a quick understanding of the two – FRM exams vs CAIA exams through this article.

In this article on FRM vs CAIA, we discuss the following

  1. FRM vs CAIA Infographics
  2. What is Financial Risk Manager (FRM)?
  3. What is Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)?
  4. FRM vs CAIA Exam Requirements
  5. Why pursue FRM?
  6. Why pursue CAIA?

FRM vs CAIA Infographics

Reading time : 90 seconds

Lets understand the difference between these two streams with the help of this FRM vs CAIA Infographics.

FRM vs CAIA Infographics


What is FRM or Financial Risk Manager?

The Financial Risk Manager is a global certified program based in the US and offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. The course consists of two parts and prepares you for everything from risk management and measurement to quantitative analysis techniques, as well as financial markets and products and evaluation models.

The FRM course requires the candidate to have two years of full time working experience in the finance arena which can be in the form of risk management, trading, academia, research, portfolio, management, auditing, economics, risk management or risk consulting.

What is CAIA?

The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst is a designation achieved by an investment professional after successfully clearing the CAIA exam conducted by CAIA institution. The CAIA course requires the candidate to pass two examinations in order to be recognized as a specialist in the field of alternative investments such as hedge funds, real estate investment, private equity, and venture capital. The CAIA exam is globally recognized and is a benchmark for professionals wanting to achieve a distinction in alternative investments. The course divided into two levels, helps a professional to understand the fundamentals of each alternative investment class and apply the asset allocated information to achieve result oriented decision making. The curriculum designed helps a professional to understand a portfolio from the investor’s perspective and implement diverse strategies.

FRM vs CAIA Exam Requirements

There is no prerequisite to take the FRM exam (educational or work experience), however GARP Individual Membership is required to sit for the FRM exam. Individual membership costs around. $100 To appear for the CAIA exams candidates must have at least one year of professional experience and a bachelor’s degree.

Why pursue FRM?

FRM today is considered as an alternative option to CFA Charter. While CFA and MBA remains the traditional choices to boost career prospects, FRM as observed by industry experts is poised for growth considering that the market is less saturated with FRMs than CFAs at the moment. Though FRM can boost your earning power, to believe that it would happen overnight and create you a millionaire is a wrong perception. The HR managers in the banks are still to be made aware of FRM as a certification which is on par with a CFA (though less holistic and more narrow) and therefore it is not a must have while a candidate is being recruited.

FRM certified course is best suited for those individuals in the finance industries who play a senior role in management firms, government agencies, Investment banking firms, hedge funds, asset management firms, commercial banks, central banks, credit agencies, corporations, technology and asset vendors, consulting firm and so on and want to jump up in their positions or are looking for a change in career domain.

Additional certification after a traditional degree is a pre-requisite considering the booming number of talented professionals in the industry. Thus FRM is for professionals who are looking to excel and make progress in their portfolio or who desire a shift in their career with a more diversified, analytical and challenging role in their career. The syllabus of these certified courses have a much broader global perspective and has a current relevance in today’s financial market scenario.

Why pursue CAIA?

CAIA is a perfect course for those individuals who wish to fill the educational gap to rise quickly in the alternative investment field. The program brushes up with you the core fundamentals giving an edge over the other candidates in the industry. Moreover CAIA is globally recognized and is a well-respected course, giving you a credibility in the alternative investment field. The program is said to be the highest achievement an individual can achieve in this field which directly increases his career opportunities.  It opens up doors to achieve more client base and professional networking connections through membership in global chapters.

Other comparisons that you may fine useful –


  1. By sunny on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Fee info of CAIA seems to be wrong. Enrollment fee is $400 and $1250 exam fee for each level. And pass percentage seems to be different as well. Not sure if it is an average of all the years.



    • By Dheeraj Vaidya on

      Hello Sunny,

      Thanks for point out incorrect information. I have updated the same. Hope this is fine now.



  2. By jeromebrooks on

    i do agree with this infographic here as it provides better knowledge of CAIA field. This make me understand what is CAIA & how it can be used effectively in investment filed. Thanks


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