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Comments (5)

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  • Engineer in Legal
Jul 10, 2020 - 9:09pm

Assuming you can get into a decent school I'd say MBA>CFA>Master's in terms of overall clout but there are a lot of factors to consider. I've heard CFA>MBA in HF or Trading but MBA>CFA in IB and PE. Can't tell you much about how a master's in finance is regarded but I'd assume it's seen as just a slightly better bachelor's in finance due to the fact that it is a graduate level degree but you can get one with zero work experience and a lot of kids will have gotten one through a 4+1 program at their school. Probably similar to someone who has passed 2 levels of the CFA if I had to throw out a rough equivalency. At the end of the day it depends on the opinion of whoever's making the hiring decision which throws some luck into the equation as well.

All things considered a recent MBA grad will have higher status and immediate eligibility for associate level roles whereas I'm quite sure someone with a master's in finance would come in as an analyst especially if they have little to no experience as many do.

Jul 10, 2020 - 10:29pm

2 very different degrees for different points in your career. An MSF is typically a pre-experience degree (at least in the USA), while any decent MBA program requires an average of 4+ years work experience. The path to IB from an MBA is more clear due to structured Summer and FT Associate recruiting, but that only holds true if you are at a target MBA (Top 15ish and regional targets). Unless you have pre-MBA PE experience, there is very little opportunity to do PE after an MBA, and getting PE out of an MSF is extremely rare (especially at larger firms), since analyst positions are filled by the top undergrad students at top targets. IB is doable from an MSF, but it is difficult since most programs are 1 year, so you have to recruit for FT instead of SA and few target/semi-target schools offer MSF degrees.

No clue about HF from an MBA, but I assume if you do a quantitative MSF or MFE, you can get into a quant fund. Obviously, if you get into IB from an MSF, then PE and HF exits become available to you.

Jul 10, 2020 - 10:48pm

CFA won't guarantee you anything. Helps tremendously if you have a decent role, and if you maintained some of the knowledge from the CFA program. I know tons of kids that crammed all three levels and don't know basic finance concepts such as duration or convexity.

With CFA if you network, people will respect the designation and give you time out of their day to answer questions/consider you for a job, with exception to private equity (PE loves specific experience). I could see IB giving you a shot at an analyst role, same with a HF and companies within asset management. However, you will have to network and do well in the interview to get the job.

For MBA vs Masters in FInance, the most important factor is the role that you want and the ranking of your school. A top Masters in Finance may help you break in, however, they tend to be expensive and don't guarantee you any interviews. An MBA at a top school on the other hand will guarantee you interviews.

To summarize the factors:
- Age
- The role that you want
- Reputation of School
- Networking

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