mba finance or CFA

MBA Finance or CFA: Which Course To Choose After Graduation?

Usually, the students who are planning to pursue a career in Finance are considering two main courses to choose from – CFA and MBA in Finance. Both of these courses allow you to work as an expert in the field of Finance. If you are feeling stuck with this decision, here are some insights about both of the courses that might help you make up your mind. 

MBA in Finance Vs CFA: Which Course to Choose?

 

MBA in Finance

A Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is a postgraduate degree which can be pursued to specialise in the field of Finance. This course is offered by numerous colleges and universities across the country. After completing your MBA in Finance, if you come from a good college and have done well in your academics, you may be able to work in job profiles like Accounting Manager, Corporate Controllers, Investment Banker, Manager Consultant and Financial Analyst.

The core subjects taught in MBA in Finance are 

  • Advance Marketing
  • Financial Planning
  • Hedge Fund Management
  • Securities Analysis
  • Global Finance

Eligibility – A bachelor’s degree (Engineering/B.Sc./BBA/B.Com) from a recognised university with a 50% aggregate

Course Structure – Four semesters of approximately 4 months each

Scope of MBA

The scope of MBA largely depends on what college you pursue your MBA from. An MBA is only of value when earned from one of the best colleges in your country. Most of these colleges require you to clear an entrance exam. These exams usually have a high cut off and if you are unable to meet that score, your chances of getting admission are slim. 

So if you have faith in your academic skills and are able to gain admission into these courses then MBA in Finance will open you up to a myriad of opportunities. You will be able to work for some of the biggest companies in the world and demand a hearty compensation package for your job. With a great academic record and CV, you will get numerous opportunities to work in India and abroad. 

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The Chartered Financial Analyst course is offered by the CFA Institute and is considered to be the gold standard for finance professionals across the world. After CFA you will be able to work in several high paying job profiles such as Investment Banker, Stockbroker, Hedge Fund Manager and Portfolio Manager. 

The core subjects taught during CFA are –

  • Financial Reporting Analysis
  • Ethics in Investment Portfolio Management
  • Asset Management
  • Financial Strategy

Eligibility – Graduation. (Students in their final year can also appear)

Course Structure –  

  • CFA Level 1
  • CFA Level 2
  • CFA Level 3

Scope of CFA

After completing each level of CFA, you can expect your earning potential to increase along with the designation or level at which you may get hired. Moreover, some of the most reputed investment companies in India such as Motilal Oswal and BNP Paribas are looking to hire CFAs in financial management positions. You may also be able to work in international companies like Blackstone, Morgan Stanley, Grant Thornton and the Big 4 (KPMG, Deloitte, EY and PwC). 

Differentiators

MBA in Finance

CFA

Type of Course Master’s Degree Professional Course
Duration 2 years 3 years
Eligibility Graduation  Graduation
Recognition MBA from the premier colleges like IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta are recognised internationally, but the rest do not have as much recognition or scope outside India.  CFA is a truly global certification, the top 5 countries where a CFA charter can land you are the US, India, Canada and UK.
Average Salary INR 7 to 9 lpa INR 6 to 8 lpa

Is CFA similar to MBA finance?

While CFA and MBA are both different types of professional qualifications, there are several factors that connect them. Both CFA and MBA-Finance are fields related to money. The career opportunities available to you after earning either of these qualifications may overlap in some job profiles like Investment Banking, Portfolio Management, Mergers And Acquisitions and Stock Marketing. 

Salary of CFA vs MBA

Since an MBA is a master’s degree and falls under the field of business management in the field of finance, the scope and number of opportunities available to MBA graduates are far more than CFA. However, it is important to note that the most desirable opportunities after MBA will only be available to those from some of India’s top colleges or tier-1 universities. So if you are someone who has a stellar academic record and can crack the entrance exams to one of these colleges, the sky’s the limit for you. A graduate from some of the top IIMs can claim a package of anywhere between INR 20-25 lpa whereas someone from the newly established IIMs can get that between INR 10 to 20 lpa. 

In the case of Chartered Financial Analyst, not only can anyone enrol for CFA, but based on your CFA scores and your academics, you can expect significant growth in your career in Finance after CFA, which might not be possible after MBA from a tier-2 or tier-3 college in India. After completing each level of CFA, you can expect a hike in the average salary that you can get at some of the companies. The salary of a CFA level 1 cleared candidate can be between INR 4 – 5.4 lpa, that after CFA Level to might be INR 6 lpa and after Level 3 will come up to INR 10+ lpa

Combination of CFA and MBA in Finance

If you are planning to pursue a career in investment banking, another popular choice made by candidates is pursuing a combination of both of these courses. The choice of pursuing a second degree should always be made carefully after evaluating your career and where you see yourself in the future. 

Ideally, most candidates opt for CFA as their first course because it allows you to learn the nitty-gritty details about finance and investment right from scratch. With CFA, even if you don’t have a strong background in commerce, you can easily understand the concepts taught in the course of CFA. 

After completing CFA and working for a couple of years to get some experience in the field of finance, if you believe an MBA will help give a boost to your existing career or make a difference in any way, then that decision should be taken. 

The Chartered Financial Analyst is a globally recognised qualification in the field of finance and investment. If you have recently completed your graduation or are appearing for your final semester, you may be eligible to become a CFA. Interested? We highly recommend checking out our Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course.

Who earns more MBA or CFA?

An MBA who has completed their degree from a reputed university will ideally earn more than a CFA in the beginning. But if you pursue an MBA from a regular college, the salary of a CFA will be in line with yours, or maybe even more.

Do you need work experience for CFA?

Yes, you need to gain 4,000 hours of relevant work experience in a minimum of 36 months in order to earn the CFA charter.

Are there any exemptions in CFA?

No, there are no exemptions available in CFA from other courses.

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