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MBA, CFA Discussion Dominates Debate

Our article on MBAs and CFAs has spurred observations on everything from degree requirements to the importance of soft skills.

Some highlights:

"Both degrees are useful. Being aware of where you truly are in your career and avoiding steps that will land you in places you don't want to go (several people have mentioned the middle office), will help you determine exactly what you need to do to keep moving (CFA vs. MBA, or both). Awareness of what your ambitions really are, and learning about the skills developed by each degree - not a formula or a tradition - will help you make the right decision."

"On the MBA v CFA question, while I respect those with MBA's, you have to place a high degree of value on those people who make the commitment to study, on their own time, particularly those who hold full time 'professional' jobs as well. If all I had to do with my time was go to class and be lectured by Ivy League professors that would be a piece of cake."

"MBA is good for those sales people on wall street willing to sell anything to retire as early as possible. The CFA on the other hand has way more top investors working to make people money and not money with people. Look at Buffett; he dropped out of his MBA program because he felt it wasn't serving his career as an investment manager. If you are serious about investing, forget about the MBA and start studying for the CFA and read as many 10-Ks as you can..."

Join in! Add your comments to the story here.

AUTHORMark Feffer Insider Comment
  • Mr
    Mr. Investor
    6 June 2011

    I put my money into hedge funds, and then keep myself busy with performance evaluation and monitoring -- no need for an MBA or CFA for that

  • Ke
    Kevin Spellman
    7 June 2007

    When I was hiring new investment research talent as Director of Research, I hired out of MBA programs or, if a person did not have an MBA or investment experience, I looked for people with a credit analyst background or progress toward the CFA charter. If they were studying for the CFA exams I knew they were serious about investments. Hence, a CFA designation or an MBA is good but a CFA designation and an MBA is much better.

    The CFA Institute recently started partnering with various universities ( Several of these partnerships are with MBA programs and some of these programs are strictly geared to train people in investment research (for instance, the Applied Security Analysis Program - The partnership indicates that their programs cover 70% or more of the three levels of the CFA Curriculum.

  • Wa
    30 May 2007

    I suppose that, it would be rather beneficial having dual qualifications having first of all MBA and followed by a CFA. MBA teaches u managerial skills with little stress on the major you do. the CFa only focuses on the streamline finance which may sometimes shrinks your output in a bigger scenario. It is therefore prefferable if you want to do CFA first do your MBA then opt for CFA since it's not a classroom i.e on daily basis study you can attempt on your self study basis.

  • An
    1 May 2007

    Actually, the CFA is a designation, not a certification.

  • Pr
    30 April 2007

    Since when is the CFA a degree? Isn't it a certification? And what about considering MBA vs. MS? Better yet, get all three and your covered. ;-)

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