Steve Hanke has helped kickstart a lot of careers on Wall Street.
He’s an applied finance and economics professor at Johns Hopkins University, and says that 100% of his students get their top-choice jobs in finance after graduation.
Hanke, who’s been trading currencies and commodities for more than 50 years and runs his own wealth management firm now, has one big piece of advice for young people looking to succeed on the Street:
Skip the MBA and do a CFA instead.
Chartered financial analyst credentials, he said, are “more rigorous” and “much better.”
“It’s narrow but it’s very rigorous and tough — and that is the combination, for an analyst anyway, is a winner.”
Business school degrees can cost upward of $US60,000 for tuition alone. CFAs are closer to $US2,500.
And in terms of compensation, CFA holders tend to take home more at the end of the year than folks with MBAs, too.
To Hanke, MBA programs are simply not worthwhile. His own students, who are mostly undergraduates, do more modelling than most MBA programs (they build company models every two weeks; meanwhile, Hanke says, most MBA degrees only require students to build one or two models throughout the entire program.)
And, he says, his own students are scoring top jobs on Wall Street with nothing but Bachelors degrees.
Of course, they’re all going for entry-level analyst positions, while most MBA grads would be aiming for slightly more senior roles.