11 Reasons Why Getting An MBA Beats Getting A CFA

One of the hottest debates among young Wall Streeters involves six letters — MBA or CFA.

We’ve looked at it from the perspective of recruiters, comparing compensation and time spent getting each accreditation, but nothing beats hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth.

We reached out to sources who hold either CFA charters or MBA degrees to find out what makes one better than the other. In this particular story, we’re presenting the MBA case.

Agree to disagree if you want.

Better networking during the process.

According to our sources, Business School is where you meet people -- your classmates, faculty, speakers, recruiters. They all come to you.

A better-connected alumni base.

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.

Better for working in a variety of sectors.

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.

Better name recognition.

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.

Better for mentorship.

At Business School you have faculty to guide you. You can find a mentor.

For the CFA, you're on your own.

Better for developing new skills and experimenting.

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.

Better for growing your own business.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, this is where you need to be. The CFA teaches you nothing about that.

Better for FUN.

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.

Of course, if you get your MBA and go back into finance there are more challenges.

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