CFA and MBA Degrees

There are two professional designations in the world of high finance: a CFA and an MBA. A CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst, is a professional designation certificate awarded by the CFA Institute. An MBA or Master of Business Administration, are one-or two-year master-level degree awarded by business schools. Both an MBA and a CFA has their advantages and disadvantages.

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A CFA candidate have to pass three levels of complex investigations relating to accounting, economics, business administration, ethics, money management and security analysis. It costs about $ 2200 to complete, which is not a lot of money, given the boost to the earning degree brings. CFA designation is essential for a career in the asset management industry, where you will be required to make investment decisions on behalf of the investment funds, such as pension funds. But if you want to go into investment banking or business, a CFA may not be necessary.


MBA–a common term for graduates of MBA programs—typically pursue a career in investment banking or management consulting. MBA’s salaries are typically high, ranging from $ 70000 to more than $ 100,000 per year. But people who come into MBA programs, which already has typical salaries of over $ 60,000 copies, so the increased earnings, while real, is not extraordinary, especially if you consider the many hours an MBA need to work for an investment bank or a management consulting firm. The cost of getting an MBA degree is high—an MBA at a top business school can cost $ 100,000 to complete. In addition, the competition for entry into top business schools, such as Harvard or Stanford, is extremely tough.

CFA Track

idea to combine a MBA program with a CFA designation is not new. But in 2006, the CFA Institute began a partnering program with 41 business schools worldwide to provide at least 70 percent of the CFA course activities as part of the MBA curriculum. After getting their MBA degrees, students in these business schools, with a little preparation, should be able to pass the CFA exams.


There is no guaranteed way to get success in finance or business. Many business leaders, such as Bill Gates, does not even have a higher education qualification or designation. Still other people come in high finance and business services after the commissioning of a certified public accountant (CPA) qualification, another highly regarded professional designation.

How to Choose a Business School

There are several factors to consider when deciding where to apply. Information on these factors can be found in magazine rankings of business schools, books that profile business schools, prospectus materials from the schools themselves, and Internet web sites.

Overall Reputation: Rankings like those produced each year in Business Week and US News and World Report can give some idea of a school’s reputation relative to other schools. Reputation can be important for placement success, because companies will sometimes only recruit at certain schools.

Instructional Method: Two predominant methods are theory based and case method. Theory based coursework emphasizes learning theory in lecture formats. Case method emphasizes discussions about real-life business situations and how to resolve them. Some schools, like Harvard, are case method only, but most schools offer a blend of both. Instructional method is usually discussed in a school’s prospectus.

Curriculum: If you are interested in a particular concentration, find out which schools are noted for that field of study. Northwestern’s Kellogg School, for example, is considered to have one of the best Marketing departments in the country. Consult any one of several books that profile business schools and highlight noteworthy departments for more information. You may find information using the MBA websites to which BC has links.

Placement Success: This is often a measure in determining published rankings of business schools. Check the business school’s prospectus to see what companies recruit on campus, what percentages of graduates are employed within three months of graduation, and what the average starting salary is for graduates with different concentrations and different backgrounds (prior industry experience, length of experience).

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