People who truly know what they want in life often have the good fortune to never second guess or agonize over major academic and career decisions. They’re blessed with a surety and confidence to pursue their goals without lingering notions of better routes, and they rarely stall their forward momentum with thoughts of greener pastures.
If you’re a recent business graduate or a professional thinking of advancing your career, you might be wracked with indecision due to too many choices. Do you pursue an MBA and absorb the fundamentals, or do you earn a Masters of Finance degree and narrow your focus? With so many great options at your fingertips, how do you know what’s the best use of your time, dedication, hard work, and money?
The MBA (or Masters of Business Administration) is commonly known as a generalist degree. Although it can be exceedingly rigorous, and it can equip students with leadership and management skills they might never have the chance to cultivate elsewhere in such a short compass, it’s not a truly specialist program. Indeed, part of the draw of the best MBA programs is their ability to cover a diverse array of business fundamentals, making well-rounded graduates with a better grasp of the ‘big picture’ of the world of business. In essence, an MBA graduate often emerges with a more holistic understanding of domestic and international business models based on interdisciplinary studies, hands-on activities, and leadership workshops. Of course, excellent schools also allow studies a chance to focus on an area of interest—such as strategic management, human resources, operations management, marketing, and so forth—much like a thesis or final project.
The Masters of Finance program—or MFin—is a more technical degree for a specific industry, with an in-depth focus on macroeconomics, advanced accounting, financial analysis, reporting, and forecasting, fixed income, asset management, and analyses of various markets. Some prior experience in the world of finance is often expected of incoming students. A prospective MFin graduate takes courses and learns applicable skills to pass—and achieve great results on—the often-difficult CFA Exams, which are organized into three levels. While you’ll find a true diversity of colleagues in an MBA environment, taking a Masters of Finance means you’ll be surrounded by people who also share a real passion for financial systems. You’ll also probably find more peers who haven’t been in school for quite some time when compared with the typical MBA.
Both programs provide students with the skills and experiences sought by major corporations and not-for-profits, and as such, one of the most significant problems is how to choose between the two.However, there is a third way, and one that’s gaining more popularity with every semester.
Today, excellent universities have responded to this desire to earn both degrees by providing a combined program. The combined MBA and CFA experience is often pursued in the most business-centric spot in the country. That means you can get a Master of Finance in downtown Toronto while simultaneously earning your MBA— a choice that will put you head and shoulders above other professionals and hasten your advancement with any company.
Importantly, such a dual accreditation alleviates the worry that you’ve made the wrong choice or invested far too much time into your education. It’s a time-saver and multi-tasker’s dream, and is creating some of the most versatile (and expert!) graduates the business world has ever seen. Take the time now to learn about more part-time programs that combine all your interests and passions into one amazing experience, and never feel a sense of doubt about your career again.