Share with your network!

CFA vs MBA – a Detailed Comparison

When it comes to CFA vs MBA, a lot of people have the question if they should pursue the CFA Program or the MBA Program? Which certification you should take depends solely on your professional goals. CFA Program Charter and MBA both the certificates are expensive, require time and a lot of effort on the student’s part. It is very important to note the distinction between these two certifications.



MBA is a Master’s degree in Business Administration, where students are introduced to various areas of business such as accounting, marketing, human resources, operations management. There are also Business schools which offer PhD and master courses specializing in specific domains like consulting, finance, marketing etc.

The career path after MBA, depends on a lot of factors, including your area of interest, previous work experience and business acumen of specific domain. A lot of employers recruit MBA’s for team manager’s profile where the employee is expected to manage and take quick decisions in their domains. The basic type of MBA courses are typically full time (2 years), part time for evening and weekend batches . There are also Executive MBA’s which are specifically meant for more work experience people.

Nowadays, professionals engineers, CA’s, Doctors, politicians go for MBA. Most of the business schools also prefer candidates with at least 4 -5 years of work experience. Almost all of the top B schools recognize GMAT exam ‘s score to test student’s aptitude. However, just giving the exam does not guarantee you an admission, there are a lot of other criteria also that B schools look for, like your past academic record, work experience, other academic qualifications and certifications etc. B Schools in India take CAT, SAT, XAT exams as there entrance examination.



CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) is the certification provided by CFA Institute. The exam is categorized in 3 levels, based on the level of difficulty of the exam. Level I Exam is held twice a year whereas Level II and Level III are held only in June.

The CFA exam essentially tests your fundamental knowledge in Finance domain. Anyone having graduate degree is eligible to appear for the exam. People having degrees in domains other than finance are also eligible. These days engineers, doctors, MBA’s who want their career in risk management, investment banking, opt for this exam. A lot of Business schools and firms also give preference to candidates who already have certifications.


Often, candidates who want to pursue master’s degree in finance, go for both CFA Program Charter and MBA.

CFA degree is recognized worldwide by the investment banks and firms in financial services domain. Qualifying CFA Program can certainly help candidates seeking a career in finance and risk management. Students also go for CFA Program Charter even post MBA or while doing MBA. Passing all the 3 levels could take about 3 years, to appear for each level in each year. Preparation for the exam could be pretty rigorous and demanding if you are from non-finance background.

We hope that you have made your choice. If you still have any doubts in your mind, mention them in the comments box below.

Related links you will like: