An MBA is the traditional route into investment banking, particularly in the U.S., but it’s lack of technical training often leaves new recruits lagging others in the organisation and MBAs are gravitating away from finance anyway.
The CFA, meanwhile, gives a great technical grounding, but doesn’t necessarily give you the management nous to navigate the financial services industry into the senior ranks. And CFA and MBA qualifications are more relevant in some sectors of investment banks than others.
Demand for CFAs versus MBAs
Relatively speaking, the CFA is an exclusive club. There are 125,000 people who have passed all three exams globally after the 14,000 people who got through level three in June 2015 are added in. Around 72,000 of these are in the U.S.
MBAs are a vocation for elite students who can afford the fees, but here are around 100,000-150,000 people enrolling in MBAs every year in the U.S alone. Even at schools with close links to financial services firms, only around a quarter enter the industry upon graduation, but there are still a lot of MBAs out there.
For even more clarifications you can see the below mentioned point:
- #1. CFA: great for finance
- #2. MBA: more widely recognised outside of finance (but that is changing)
- #3. CFA: more time-efficient
- #4. But you can expect to earn an MBA sooner than a CFA charter
- #5. CFA charter costs less
- #6. CFA & MBA success rates are about equal
- #7. Both have great alumni networks
Hope this will help you in making a wiser decision. Best of luck!