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Do I also need a Masters of Applied Finance in addition to CFA for entry level roles?

clmreclmre AustraliaPosts: 1 New Hire
I studied a Bachelor of Finance in my undergraduate and got a HD average. I also passed CFA Level 1, currently enrolled for the CFA Level 2 exam. I read about a lot of people studying a Masters of Finance in the same time as doing the CFA course. I wonder if i will be at disadvantage doing the CFA alone without a Masters. I am applying for entry level graduate roles in the field at the moment.
Thank you for your help.


  • My opinion, Masters in finance is not needed with the designation. Unless you're talking ivy league degree I'd refrain.
  • rsparksrsparks MelbournePosts: 80 Sr Associate
    I know this is a while ago and I'm in Australia. I currently had a discussion on this with a friend and CFA charterholder. You don't need to get a Masters; however, it will allow to explore more depth in areas the CFA curriculum doesn't go into. Alternatively, an MBA can give you broader management, strategy, operations, etc experience. Both of these options are not necessary, but will help with networking and landing a job after completing. CFA is a self-study program and surrounding yourself with other people/experiences is a plus. I would recommend looking at linkedin and jobs in your area from people who graduated from X university. Are they working in a job you want to work in? If so, a Masters may be beneficial. It is also handy to reach out to them. Tell them you are applying to the school and want to catch up for a coffee to learn about their experience with the program; You could end up landing a job without the need to go through the program and/or gain more insight to the program.
  • LagartaLagarta Raleigh, NCPosts: 62 Jr Portfolio Manager
    edited May 2017
    What kind of roles are you looking at? 

    With a masters in applied finance program, you are paying for redundancy. If you get the CFA charter, the 3 levels + 4 years of work experience will put you far ahead of a person who has 1 or 2 years experience and a 2 years Masters degree. Work is so valuable in conjunction with the theory. The CFA charter should be more than enough. 

    However, if you wanted to get a masters degree in applied statistics, econometrics, or financial engineering, those would be supplementary from a skills development perspective. Becoming a specialist on econometric forecasting (VAR models, VEC models, ARMA, ARIMA, GARCH models etc.), numerical methods, probability theory/bayesian methods/copulas, linear/nonlinear optimization, stochastic programming, factor models, OLS/GLS, monte-carlo methods (particularly those with higher-moment parametric incidence), finite difference methods, jump processes, and the literally THOUSANDS of other applicable concepts will be additive to someone who itches to learn things. 

    Common programming languages for these methods: R, Python, SAS, SPSS, C++, Matlab, VBA

    Here are a few of my books on my shelf that I was able to learn these things (yes, I have a couple "XXXXXX for dummies" books!):
    "Invest in yourself. Your career is the engine of your wealth." - Paul Clitheroe "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman
  • Lagarta said:

    With a masters in applied finance program, you are paying for redundancy. 

    Harsh, but nonetheless spot on...
    When things get too tough, sit back with a nice bottle of red wine and remind yourself how inconsequential things are.
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