An MBA is better than a CFA if you want to make MD in banking

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MBA or CFA for investment banking

An MBA is more likely to take you to the top

It's the perennial debate: should you get an MBA or a CFA if you want to get ahead in banking? An MBA from the sort of top tier school banks like to hire from will cost you a small fortune and mean that you need to give up work for two years. A CFA will not - and will mean that you can keep on working.

Over the long term. however, the discrepancy between the two qualifications becomes apparent.

We looked at the 13,000 resumes in the eFinancialCareers global CV database which belong to people with the words "managing director" or "MD" on their CVs. The implications, as shown in the chart below, are clear.

The higher you aspire to climb in an investment bank, the more worthwhile it may be to spend $160k+ on a top MBA instead of scrimping and studying the CFA Program. Naturally, there are caveats - 'CFA' could simply mean that someone has studied CFA Level I, rather than completing the full CFA Charter.

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