I currently work for an investment bank and have been with them for nearly a year now. Because of this, I’m eligible to pursue my graduate degree and they will pick up the tuition costs at 80% of the total costs. My question is, I’m currently studying for Level I, but also want to take advantage and get a graduate degree. I would love to go for my Masters in Finance, but the closest school that offers that program is 2 hours away! So, what would be the degree that would aid me the most in obtaining my CFA…an M.S.A (Masters of Science in Accounting) or my M.B.A.? I know I should be focusing all my attention on the CFA, but I have to take advantage of the hook up. I was thinking the MBA originally, but after looking at all the accounting classes (15 credits which our required for the MSA, which includes Financial Statement Analysis and International Accounting Methods) and the other 15 credit hours can be directed towards electives like finance or econ.

1st year of mba covers all the L1/L2 topics: stats, econ, acctg, finance (though L2 will exceed depth of mba in certain subareas). It would be easy to direct mba electives to pick much of the rest of L3 (portfolio theory, behav finance). That’s why you’re starting to see combo mba/cfa programs. You won’t see combo msa/cfa programs. But at your current pace you’ll pick up the material via cfa before you do in mba school. I think you’re approaching this wrong. What do you want to do for a career? That’s a more important planning input than the desire to shave a few months off a combined grad-school/cfa study plan.

I currently work as an Assistant Portfolio Manager. I could conceivably see myself doing that for the long-term. Aside from that, I would like to start my own business on the side later down the road.

As for accounting goes, you can take the CPA track at an undergrad B-school or online from a CC…as long as you pass the CPA. It seems to be a better deal in terms of money spent than getting an expensive MSA. After finishing up the CPA, get your MBA. I’m doing CPA, CFA right now. Assistant PM, that’s pretty good. Do you really need the full CPA knowledge (Tax, Audit, BEC) along with FRD in your job as an assistant PM?

Probably not, but I’m doing one or the other since my bank pays for 80% of the total costs. Makes sense. Just can’t decide which to pursue.

MBA definitely. MSA (the CPA) can be obtained easily on your own time with very low cost.

Hi… I’ve just completed my MSc in Accounting & Finance from a uni in London. I found that studying MSc will help you in preparation for CFA since you will cover most topics - CFA, CF, QM, Porfolio Management etc. They only thing that’s greek to you would be ethics & econs. Other than that, MSc will certainly cover most CFA syllabus albeit in different context