Who’s hungriest for industry designations?

Who’s hungriest for industry designations?

Who’s hungriest for industry designations? If the numbers of those preparing for the CFA exam are any indication, one market is poised to make a quantum leap in building its army of accountants and wealth professionals.

“When you look at the exam candidates for all of these designations, the numbers in China are astounding,” says Peter Milburn, the associate director of digital products marketing for Wiley. “There are multiples (of candidates) as compared to the rest of the world. Financial training in Asia, and China specifically – there is a huge demand for that, and I think that will continue.”

Milburn also sees what he calls “a tremendous hunger” for the CFA exam review product in Asia and the Middle East. It’s an observation being made across the industry’s designation landscape.

“There is a will among those governments working with their national education institutions to train their populations for finance,” Milburn told WP. “I know that Singapore has a goal to make itself an accounting hub in Asia – that’s an official government program.”

Still that hunger is increasingly shaped by practical considerations: The engagement for CFA exam review products, for example, remains white hot, with the number of those buying the product having doubled year after year during the past five years, says Milburn.

And part of that is due to a desire to have training that isn’t what Milburn calls “as dense” as what the CFA institute offers.

“If you just studied from the CFA institute, that would probably require about 700 hours of time, just because it is so dense and there is so much of it,” he says, stating that many want to spend only the required 300 hours of study. “We’re positioned between a ‘pass the exam digest’ that Kaplan (Schweser) produces, and the CFA Institute itself – and that has proven popular with people.”