A recent study indicates that most of the managing directors at banks worldwide have an MBA degree rather than a Chartered Financial Analyst designation. This means that four years and the numerous hours of hard studying for CFA may not be worth the effort.

The study was condected by Efinancial Careers, a London-based financial services website. They analyzed over 17,000 resumes of people from their database. The managining directors holding an MBA degree prevail over those with a CFA designation by 5 %. (MBA Degree-18%; CFA designation-13%).

The debate over which set of letters people should pursue- CFA vs. MBA- has been going on for quite a long time. In order to complete an MBA degree, one needs to spend one or two years at a business school. In comparison, the CFA takes about four years and approximately 900 hours of studying for three exams to complete.

Becoming a charterholder is in fact quite difficult. Most people fails the exmas, even after spending a great deal of hours preparing for the exams. Statistics show that 44 % of the financial professionals, who took the exam in December, passed it.  On the other hand, the majority of people, who get admitted to business schools, finish with a degree. So why would someone even consider taking the CFA instead of pursuing an MBA degree?

First, the CFA costs around $3,000. In comparison, obtaining an MBA degree from a top business school can cost up tp $100,000 per year. Second, for most people taking a year or two away from work seems more of a sacrifice than spending four years on the CFA.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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