company pays for grad school....would that be a better option?

I’ve been studying for the CFA level 1 exam since november of last year, but I’m such a poor studier. I feel like I have no chance once the exam happens on June 2nd. I hate tests in general…you can put in so much work but if it’s not enough, you wasted 7 months of your time and gained nothing if you did fail…and this is only the first level. I would still have 2 more levels to complete for this charter to mean anything. Even if I was smart enough, I don’t know if I would have the dedication - not when you consider the underlying risks based on the nature of these exams.

But my company DOES pay for grad school. I’ve always considered myself a better student than test taker. There’s something about slowly moving through material and making tangible progress (classes passed, credits acquired) so that in the long run your chance of a meaningful degree or charter rises up so much more.

I do work full time, but I’m going to try to get a master’s at NYU…either one in quantative finance (more of my background but not necessarily my experience related to my current job [app developer in asset servicing]…or if not, just a master’s in finance.

I’ve seen threads here comparing grad school to CFA and that MBAs are a dime a dozen unless you go to a top school, but as it stands, grad school would be free for me. The CFA costed me so much already.

What would you do if you were in my position?

What is your goal? To move up in your current company? or to jump ship?

If you just want to move up, you’re probably just fine going with the paid masters.

Moving up would be better at the moment. AT my current salary, I barely make any money. I have like the lowest pay grade out of all people in NYC with similar jobs. On the other hand, VP’s and managers make a crazy amount of dough . So I think(or hope) a masters would give me a huge pay increase, maybe not immediately, not somewhere down the line.

what do you do for work?

If you can get into the NYU MQF program that would be immense.

my department in general does custody services for ETF’s, although my job in particular is writing business documents, developing some applications, and the rest is just reports to senior management. Kind of mundane, though.

So basically you hold assets for clients that are ETF’s as a way to show investors they’re not just a giant pyramid scheme.

If you just want to move up, then studying for the CFA wouldn’t actually help you in terms of knowledge. L1 is basics of finance, and that’s a base foundation everyone working in finance can benefit from. But L2 and L3 would be way overkill and since you said you hate big tests, I think you would be miserable trying to study for the CFA while working and still have a big risk of not passing.

In your shoes, I would go for the paid master’s. As long as you get in, you’re practically guaranteed a degree without nearly as much pressure and stress as the CFA exams.

What you said about MBA’s is true, but you have a job already and just want to stay and move up. So you have a better situation than other people.

I would do the QF master’s. Never been a big fan of MS Finance (I just think it’s a bit soft) but if work pays for it, then it’s all upside, and it would suite you better than CFA route if you don’t like big exams and the stress that the CFA program is going to bring.

How long are you committed to stay at your job after you graduate?

Its part-time school?

Has anyone else at your work taken grad school? Where are they now?

if you cant pass level 1 CFA and are considering a Masters in Finance from NYU… ummm

that says alot about the quality of the program at NYU… get in/ pay up/ and get the degree… great

^ Most MBA programs are nothing in comparison to the big kaboom like the CFA exams.