Pivot from Accounting ===> Finance: MSF or CFA?

I graduated in May with a Finance degree from a top 75 business school gaining traction, though not a target school. I lack distinctive extracurricular activities and my only relevant work experience is in managerial accounting, a role I recently began. Now, I aim to transition to a more forward-looking finance position, but I’m uncertain about the best path forward. Any advice would be appreciated.

Due to financial constraints, pursuing the MSF in the next 1-2 years isn’t feasible. If accepted, I plan to pursue the degree part-time while working, and maybe using it as a fresh start to seek internships for relevant experience. This approach provides access to networking events, student-run investment funds, and capstone projects—valuable additions to my resume and interview talking points.

Although the CFA is more affordable and prestigious within the industry, I’m concerned about its effectiveness given my lack of experience and limited extracurricular involvement. In my geographical area, those with the CFA typically started in the industry right after college, using the charter to advance their existing career. Alternatively, individuals pivoting from Engineering or Big 4 Public Accounting often pursue an MBA from a top school before obtaining the CFA to further their career in investments.

Overall just looking for some thoughts to help me navigate through this. Should I wait and pursue a MSF in about 2 years, or should I begin prep for the CFA Exam soon?

I think if you are considering whether the CFA or MBA is better, you have not figured out yet what you would enjoy doing in your career. You spoke only to the jobs you think you would get. You’re more likely to get a job in the field you enjoy. You will study harder, achieve more and be a better informed more passionate candidate for any position you pursue.
If you truly want to move to a financial projection position from accounting (not uncommon), do the CFA. The CFA should get you in the interview room for a financial projection role. Likely you would take a small step back from a managerial role, but the trajectory for a good CFA is simply higher than for a good accountant.

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