Masters in Finance and the CFA: What’s right for me?

by Lucky Singh, MiF Recruitment Manager

As Student Recruitment Manager for the Masters in Finance (MiF), I talk to many finance professionals who are debating if the MiF is the right fit for them. From these conversations through to meeting the finalised MiF class when they join us on campus, I see a huge range of financial work experience and qualifications, with the most common qualification being the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) across levels 1-3. 

Which should I do, the MiF or the CFA?  

The answer is that both are beneficial in helping you gain core financial knowledge and skills and accelerating your career. We see the CFA qualification as being a solid indication of your commitment to finance, and evidence that you have thorough knowledge and understanding of the key principles.   

As a result, we offer GMAT waivers to prospective students who have passed Level 2 of the CFA as we know it’s a rigorous test that proves strong quantitative skills and ability.  

How similar is the MiF and the CFA?  

The answer is that the MiF and the CFA complement each other. There are of course topics that you would have covered through the CFA that you will encounter on the MiF but this will give you an advantage compared to your peers. 

However, where the MiF goes above and beyond is in putting these concepts you have learnt into practice. Whilst working on assignments with your study group, you’ll get to explore each other’s different ideas and arguments based on your past experiences during your time working in finance and explore the real-world application of these concepts. You’ll also be attending lectures from our excellent faculty, who will help to bring these concepts and ideas you have learned to life through drawing on their extensive research and insight.   

I would like to highlight that many of our current MiF full-time and part-time students are CFA Charterholders, or have passed levels of the CFA.  

Andrew Yeo, MiF part-time 2021, was also a CFA Charterholder when he started the MiF.   

We asked Andrew why he decided to do the MiF after the CFA and his experience of doing both:  

I see having a background in Finance from my CFA journey to be a foundation for me to be an active member of the LBS community. In terms of reputation and prestige, the LBS MiF team does a great job in marketing to employers globally. I know that MiF applicants go through a highly selective admissions process, on the other hand, anybody can enroll for the CFA programme and take the exams. The rigorous admissions process is what attracts employers to conduct on-campus targeted recruitment. The opportunity to go through structured recruiting is also an attractive upside to enrolling in the MiFprogramme. 

As well as this, being part of the LBS network provided mentorship opportunities and connectivity with alumni across the globe in senior positions. I am able to allocate time to embrace other exciting aspects of school life, such as playing squash for LBS, being in student leadership positions, joining the Ex-Co of Professional Student Clubs, travelling to Dubai, Frankfurt, and Paris for electives, and attending countless networking events. There are boundless opportunities for us to grow professionally as an individual through the solid career workshops organised by the MiF Careers Centre, Financial Modelling and Python Coding workshops. This also helps me to be better with time management. Having completed just one Term at LBS, the growth, valuable network and self-discovery is something which is already priceless! 

To learn more about the Masters in Finance programme, and receive guidance about doing the MiF as well as the CFA and understanding the differences between the two, please get in touch with the recruitment team 

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