MBA or Master in Finance?

Hi everyone,

I am looking for advice on a few programs that I have available. I seem to get conflicting viewpoints and would appreciate some additional input.

I have offers from Notre Dame 1-year MBA and NYU Stern/HKUST MSc in Global Finance. Also, I am waiting on decisions from other Mfin/MSF/etc. programs.

Some say NYU Stern is only recognized for its MBA, so take Notre Dame. Others say NYU Stern has a stronger brand, and the degree doesn't matter as much.

In any case, which degree/school is more appealing to employers? My goal is to reenter the pe industry (at least mid-cap). Undecided if it will be in Europe or the U.S.

Basic info: 6 yoe - 4 in boutique pe and 2 in advisory (in that order), plus a BSc in finance (non-target).

Thank you in advance for your input!

Comments (8)

MrPermaBear, what's your opinion? Comment below:

With that much experience, you should be targeting MBAs. Don't even consider any Masters in Finance or similar programs. They are meant to be an extension of undergrad and you wouldn't benefit from that.

  • 2
jci95, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Ya, that makes sense. Some MSF programs directly mention they are designed for students with no or 1-2 years of experience.  

However, the MSc in Global Finance is an executive format program with an average age of 35 and 11 YoE. Although, this might be a downside if the curriculum, networking, and recruiting opportunities are not designed for transition, considering the students are likely to be well-placed. 

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redraidermustang, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have an MSF, and I strong believe that the MBA is still the superior degree to the MSF, but with a caveat. The 2-year MBA is superior because of the summer gap that allows you to network for an internship in order to either pivot into something new or reaffirm skills in what you want to continue to do. The 1-year MBA doesn't allow for that in most set ups. Most of the US schools don't materially alter the MBA and MSF curriculums (at least as it pertains the finance curriculum) and in fact my MSF program held joint classes with the MBAs and there was no delineation between us in terms of grading, professor relationships, etc. So the 1-year MBA vs. the 1-year MSF career outcomes didn't materially differ between the two once you adjust for demographics, work experience, etc. I chose the MSF with 3 years of work experience and was right in the median outcome for my school's 1-year MBA

TLDR in my opinion, I think the brand of the school matters more than the program itself since most of the time the programs aren't really differentiated except for the piece of paper you get at the end. Small sample size example: I had a friend who was a student athlete at a small middle of nowhere school, who then transferred to UVA's masters in accounting program after graduation from undergrad...had no intention of being an accountant at all but took a chance on the UVA name...ended up in IB > PE

jci95, what's your opinion? Comment below:

When it comes to internships, I am hoping that my previous experience will work in my favor come post-grad. Perhaps this is wishful thinking, and I may need to apply for internships directly after graduation instead of full-time positions. Time will tell.

I see your point about the curriculum. I haven't been too focused on it, and I am almost certain the MSF program overlaps with the MBA finance track at ND. Besides the career outcome, I believe an MSF would be more interesting and technically enhancing. Still, I'm not convinced a Stern MSc in Global Finance (Executive Format) outweighs an ND MBA (On-Campus). When it comes to the logistics of relocating for a year to South Bend vs. an online program with occasional in-person classes in Hong Kong, NYC, and Shanghai, I would certainly choose the latter, haha. 

  • 1
jci95, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Haha, I suppose that's always an option. 

Score a 740+ on the GMAT, then apply for Wharton next year. Seems like it could be risky, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities.

A bird in the hand kind of situation. 

earthwalker7, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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