This spring, Business Insider took a deep dive into how to decide whether you should get your
CFA or MBA— now we’re getting more personal.
We found that both accreditations have their purposes. For example, the CFA charter is better if you want to be an analyst, and the MBA is better if you want a more diverse skill set.
But this is a hotly debated topic, one that get people frothing at the mouth and rolling their eyes.
So there’s a lot more to be broken down here.
We reached out to sources who hold either CFA charters or MBA degrees to find out what makes one better than the other. Agree to disagree?
title=”Better networking during the process.”
content=”According to our sources, Business School is where you meet people — your classmates, faculty, speakers, recruiters. They all come to you.”
title=”A better-connected alumni base.”
content=”The CFA Institute is trying to get better, but it just doesn’t have the close-knit alumni community that Business Schools around the country have been fostering for decades. If you think you’ll need that, the MBA is a better option.”
title=”Better for working in a variety of sectors.”
content=”Yes, you’ll likely concentrate in a certain skill set, but with the variety of business classes at your disposal, the MBA is better for working in different kinds of jobs from business journalism to the C-suite.”
title=”Better on work-life balance.”
content=”Yes, a lot of people do business school part time along with a job, and that’s tough, but CFA candidates always do it.
To them, full-time business school students probably look like they’re having the time of their lives.”
title=”Better name recognition.”
content=”More people simply know what an MBA is than the CFA. And one CFA charter-holder told us it really hasn’t helped him get a job that much.
‘You kind of get it, and then you tell your mum,’ he said.”
title=”Better for mentorship.”
content=”At Business School you have faculty to guide you. You can find a mentor.
For the CFA, you’re on your own.”
title=”Better for developing new skills and experimenting.”
content=”The CFA is meant for one thing — analysts.
But as you work toward your MBA, you can try new things in class that you find interesting. It could open some doors.”
title=”Better for growing your own business.”
content=”If you want to be an entrepreneur, this is where you need to be. The CFA teaches you nothing about that.”
title=”Better on time — it’s shorter than the CFA.”
content=”All told, the CFA takes 300 hours of studying (6 months or so), and that considered, usually about 2.5 years or so to finish. If you really rush it, you can maybe … mayyybbbbeeee make it in two.
The first-level test is offered in December and June, the other two are only offered in June.
On top of that, only around 20% of CFA test-takers get through the process without failing one test and having to take it again.
Getting your MBA can take two years or less straight through.”
title=”Better for helping you break into the industry.”
content=”Any industry you weren’t in before.
Getting your MBA gives you a clean slate. Recruiters know you come out with a brand new skill set and they’re willing to take a chance on people coming out with the degree, especially if they come from a great program.”
title=”Better for FUN.”
content=”At Business School you might actually make friends, go to some cool parties, and get involved in the tradition of your school.
The CFA is solitary.”
title=”Now check out …”