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Furthering Your Finance Career: Which Path is Best for You?

If you want to further your finance career through education, there are two primary ways to do it: On the one hand, you can pursue a master’s degree in finance. On the other, you can study for the chartered financial analyst (CFA) exams. It’s important to recognize the difference between the two so you can make the decision that’s best for you.


When you earn an MBA in finance, you acquire a broad-based set of skills that can enhance career opportunities, increase salary-base, and allow for a job promotion. An MBA in finance also offers skills and knowledge needed to start a small business or move into a leadership position. Earning an MBA in finance provides a solid foundation in business practices which can be used in every facet of the business world.

MBA graduates tend to have a larger skill set, which means they typically qualify for a broader spectrum of job opportunities. While initially these graduates average $100,000 upon graduation, studies show they could bring in as much as $300,000 after five to 10 years.1

An MBA prepares students with a deeper skill set and knowledge base around all aspects of business. While still finance-specific, an MBA in finance helps applicants reach career goals in every type of business. Career possibilities with an MBA in finance include high-level positions in management within such industries as health, automotive, finance, marketing, and consulting. MBA coursework includes such business-related topics as management, economics, communications, accounting, statistics, and entrepreneurship. Graduates of the MBA finance program at Notre Dame de Namur University are not only ready to work for financial institutions such as banks, they are also prepared for management positions in other fields or as executives in start-up companies.


With the Chartered Financial Analyst program, a self-motivated person can develop a study program that is personalized and flexible. A CFA provides you with a targeted area of expertise. You’ll find that it can enhance your finance career path, is affordable, and globally recognized.

The CFA qualification can lead to new career paths for people who switch specialties from equities to tech advisory functions, or private equity back to corporate finance. The CFA can add immediate interest and qualification to a resume that may not have included obvious finance coursework.

Know the difference

When you consider your choices between an MBA and a CFA, it’s important to understand the time commitment and value associated with each. The typical MBA student at NDNU takes 6 hours per semester. Terms are 7 weeks, so they take one course each term making this program perfect for students who want to continue working throughout their program.

The average CFA candidate should spend at least 10-15 hours per week preparing for each exam.To complete the full CFA program (all three exams), one would expect to commit 3 to 4 years to the process.

Choose the Program That Meets Your Goals

Notre Dame de Namur University’s online MBA in Finance program is a flexible degree designed for working professionals. The program helps you achieve a deeper understanding of essential financial management concepts and teaches you how to put these concepts to use in the real world.

To learn more about the program and how it can put your goals within reach, call 855-275-1088 to speak with an admissions advisor.