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CFA vs MBA: 8 Points to Help You Decide

edited June 2013 in 300 Hours
imageCFA vs MBA: 8 Points to Help You Decide

As we've  covered the MBA subject briefly in a recent post  and many readers wrote in for more, a natural follow up would be the classic question:  CFA or MBA? A very, very popular question among...

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  • Hi,

    I am a Journalism graduate and has 2 years of work experience in financial research. Currently, working at a research profile for investment banks. I am planning to build a career in Finance. As you can see, my graduation is not at all related to my work experience and I have landed in a situation where my education and work experience does not complement each other. According to some career gurus it's a benefit for me as I have knowledge of different industries and companies need people from diverse backgrounds. But at the same time, I don't feel myself having a specialization and personally feels that jack of all traits can be a trouble factor if seen in long duration. Initially it can benefit me but eventually to reach to a senior position, I feel a specialization is required.

    I am really confused now as to what should be a correct career path for me. Weather a MBA in Finance or CFA would act as a turning point in my career.

    Can a CFA designation help getting a good profile if graduation subjects are totally different?

    Please suggest.

  • Hi @Kaustubh1988 - it depends what career you want to go for? If you're in financial research in an investment bank, CFA works best for asset management and research roles, hence would represent the best value for money investment as you don't need to leave your job (opportunity cost of lost salary) and pay a huge fee for that certification.

    For your role, CFA would help immensely regardless your initial undergrad degree.
  • pacoomespacoomes Brussels, BelgiumPosts: 1 Associate
    Sophie - great points. I'm stuck in this exact decision point right now. Took the Dec '12 exam and didn't pass, and was just offered admission to a b-school MBA program. Now weighing whether to retry the CFA or accept the MBA offer. Right now I'm working in the public sector, but my goal is to move into private sector finance. Not yet sure what field as I'm a newbie, but there are significant "barriers to entry" for someone trying to make that switch. Either the MBA or CFA seem to be my ticket towards my goal... but after reading your article, maybe the CFA makes more sense.

    Your thoughts on a "new guy" trying to leave government work for the private sector.. how to get started, etc.? Anything is appreciated, and thanks again for the great article.
  • @pacoomes seems like it might be a good idea to also look deeper into the industry and where you'd like to apply for, as well as improving on job application skills! there's a few help articles on that here too:
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