Which is best FRM Vs CFA ? This is not the correct question. Question should be:

Which one is best for me FRM or CFA?


Why CFA are needed?

CFA is often compared with MBA-Finance. Before, CFA was introduced or it became popular MBA was the de-facto program for all finance related jobs. However, MBA is focused on management not financial analysis. Where as, CFA is more focused towards financial analysis.

It is a broad program, you learn portfolio, financial reporting, fixed income, economics. equity investment, alternative investment; more or less you are exposed to everything in finance. So, in CFA your base is build.

Why FRM are needed?

FRM is a specialized program in Risk Management. So, normally it is recommended that you should have some education in finance or commerce before you enroll for FRM. CFA/MBA program are not designed for Risk Management, after 2007-2009 recession most of the financial organization revamped their risk management team and hired FRM across the globe.


  • CFA takes on an average 3 years to complete all  three levels.
  • FRM takes just one year for both parts.

So, If you choose FRM,  in short time frame you are industry ready and can start your career.

Job competition / availability

  • CFA are given direct competition by MBA-Finance and MBA supply is more in the industry. However, due to wide curriculum CFA has broader job opportunities. So, we put it in High competition, High supply and High demand category.
  • FRM are facing low competition. Due to focused curriculum job opportunities are narrowed. But good thing is that now days every industry is demanding risk professionals. So, We is put it in Low competition, Low supply and High Demand category.

Career growth

Both have great career growth. However, switching job profile will be easy for CFA and hard for FRM.


It completely depends on Job profile. In few profiles CFA are earning more and in few profile FRM are earning more. There are no huge difference in salary. But, yes if you are CFA and FRM both you have better salary packages.

Relative Comparison FRM vs CFA

Administrator GARP, USA CFA Institute, USA
Inception 1997 1963
Fee FRM I  – $750 CFA L1 – $1250
FRM II – $450 CFA L2 – $750
CFA L3 – $750
Course 4 Subjects 10 Subjects
Similarity in course 20% CFA 20% of FRM
Exam MCQ, No Negative Marking MCQ, No Negative Marking
Pass Rate 50%-55% 35%-40%
Average Time taken to complete 1 year 2.5 years
Study Time required 150 hrs – 200 hrs 300 Hrs – 400 Hrs

If still you have any doubt you can contact us. We’ll be pleased to assist you.

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Disclaimer: Above view points are taken from working FRM & CFA. Also, We took feedback from Faculties and past students. iPlan Education is not responsible for any financial or academic loss accruing due to any decision made by the reader.

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