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MBA or Level 3?

Hmmmm…I’m not so sure I buy the “25 is too young” theme. Harvard, Stanford, and Penn have all made it clear that they intend to start bringing in younger candidates, although I agree that 4-6 years is still the average work experience for top U.S. b-schools. I liked 88fiveo’s post, but again I’m not sure if it’s bad to go to bschool even if the opportunity cost is 300-600k. This is what every ibanker and many other top candidates are pulling in. I can’t imagine anyone living in NYC with a decent job who would have a cost less than 300k (including tuition). On one hand it’s hard to give up all that salary and pay out a large amount if you don’t really “need” to. On the other, it’s hard to believe that having an MBA from a top 5 school wouldn’t pay for itself a few times over during one’s career. If you’re talking 2nd tier MBA, however, I’d say go PT or don’t go at all, and just stick with the CFA.

Lastly, I’d agree that there are many mediocre/stupid MBA’s, but the majority of CFA’s seem to be pretty sharp. just my 1.5 cents.

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i really don’t understand this obsession with getting both the CFA and MBA. At the end of the day, work experience is what counts most. I have my CFA now and I’m going to focus on learning my markets, building a track record and working towards managing my own portfolio. My boss would just look at me strangely if I said I wanted one day off a week to do an Executive MBA: “Why the hell do you want that? We’re snowed under with work! We need to remain focused and make money!”

Also, from conversations I have with people in management positions, the majority would prefer some with experience than an over-qualified and under-experienced whipper-snapper who thinks he’s on the fast-track to senior mgmt.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not degrading the MBA or CFA as they are both excellent qualifications. I just think you need one and then you should focus directly on gaining experience and climbing the career ladder. Unless you have a legitamate reason such as a career change, your career is stuck in a rut or have recently been made unemployed, then no one needs both qualifications.

Anarchist - you’re making the false assumption that this is an “either or” type decision. No one wants to give up quality work exp. for certifications. However, quality work exp. combined with the MBA and CFA is always superior to just quality work exp. or just the certifications. Oftentimes you’ll only get the shot at the quality work if you have an MBA or the CFA or (better yet) both. Also, you don’t NEED both qualifications, but it will help. Just like you don’t NEED to work at Goldman to have a quality resume, but it will help.

If you’re hiring, who do you take: Wharton MBA w/ CFA who worked on Wall St. for 5 years or somebody with neither who also worked in similar job for 5 years. It’s a no brainer. Knowledge is power. Get my drift?

I have a MBA from a top school….and also a Level III Candidate.

I believe CFA will differentiate me with all my other MBA peers….and an MBA will differentiate me with all my other CFA peers.

It always helps to be able to offer something extra….

Work Exp - Everyone nowadays have it!

Faaltu Wrote:
> I have a MBA from a top school….and also a Level
> III Candidate.
> I believe CFA will differentiate me with all my
> other MBA peers….and an MBA will differentiate
> me with all my other CFA peers.
> It always helps to be able to offer something
> extra….
> Work Exp - Everyone nowadays have it!

what abuot those with both huh? then u would need an MS too

MBAs and MSs don’t normally compete for similar level of jobs….

Of course if you have both an MBA & MS :-)

Work experience requirements for MBA programs is different depending on the institiution. There is no magic number that makes or breaks your app.

Michigan specifically told me that you don’t need to have significant work experience to be taken seriously as an applicant. UCLA said the same thing.

The bottom line is many schools are recognizing the demand of people wanting to get their MBAs after 1-3 years and have responded by having more flexible entry requirments.

My friend just got into Ohio States MBA, another into Cals program, both with less than two years experience. Both did have a 700+ GMAT scores.

Hi Guys,

I think I empathise with Equity .. the situation is quite different in India.

An Equity Research (ER) career in India, till the recent past, was one that only MBA’s from elite B-Schools (IIMs) or CA rank holders could think of. Its only in the present boom that companies who can’t afford to hire MBA’s are going for plain CFAs or commerce grads. (As it is, the way I look at it, ER is losing its sheen to consultancy in the elite B-Schools.)

It can be quite frustrating for a non-MBA in India to work in a Finance (or any non- IT field) related field esp. in ER. You kinda find yourself in a catch 22 situation which is very difficult to break out of.

It is frustrating because,
1. Your CV might not get screened since it does not carry a MBA degree
2. You might see mediocre MBAs getting better profiles without a corresponding work-ex
3. Your batch mates who preferred to go for an MBA without working would enter the Job-market at far better salaries than yours

Yet I believe that the times are changing, and Indian cos are increasingly prefering experience over degree. I personally have benefitted quite significantly from the 2 levels of CFA. If ER is what you want to build your career on, I would rate CFA far higher than any non-elite MBA from India.

I think it makes sense to get a good work experience (at least 3 yrs) and then go for a MBA from ISB or any good international B-schools. I am not so sure about other Indian B-schools because of the relative lack of importance they place on work ex (To get an interview call in IIM-A, you generally need more than 97-98 %ile.)

Equity … I think I am in a similar position as you are, if you want to get in touch, mail me at

To b or not to b