Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MBA vs. CFA

Are you interested in a career in finance? During college of medical school, I also didn't have any interest in business or finance, but now I find myself applying to business school so that I can get an MBA. For those of you who've never taken a course in finance, you may want to get familiar with this interesting question: CFA vs. MBA? Chartered Financial Analyst vs. Master of Business Administration. Which is more valuable?

Here's what Investopedia has to say:
The advantage of an MBA is that the knowledge obtained in the program is valuable in other industries outside of the investment world. The great disadvantage is cost - both the direct cost of the program, and the loss of income that results from a two-year hiatus for those considering going back to school full-time. The advantages of the CFA program are the ability to acquire specific investment related skills at a relatively low cost. However, although the CFA program is based on self study, it is arduous, requiring a commitment of four years and 1,000 study hours (on average) to complete it.
I've spoken at length with different people about the value of an MBA vs. a CFA. I don't know many physicians who have pursued a career that's 100% in finance. There are many physicians who work in financial services: venture capital, investment banking, equity research analyst, wealth management, etc. However, you probably won't find many physicians out there who also have the CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst designation. How do you get the CFA designation? No business school required. You simply have to pass all three levels of the CFA exam.

1 comment:

  1. A few things implied, not much said, and just a cut-and-paste from investopedia. So which is it, CFA or MBA? I'm guessing CFA, but that's a weak guess based on what you wrote. Anyway, there are many more factors to consider in such a decision.
    Side note: You need relevant work experience (think it is 4 years worth), not just to pass the 3 CFA exams.

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