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How Does the CFA® Charter Compare to the MBA?

Both the CFA Charter and an MBA Program Offer Benefits That Can Advance Your Career

Consider your career goals as you review how these programs differ.

CFA Program Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management
  • 300–900 hours of self study
  • 18 volumes of curriculum across 10 topic areas
  • 4 years of qualified work experience
USD 2,400–4,590 depending on fee deadline
  • Benchmarking by NARIC, which equates CFA charter to Master's Degree
  • Waivers from licensing exams in 27 countries
Deep knowledge of investment analysis, management, and ethics Low barrier for entry, High attrition rate Charter: professional designation 140,000+ CFA Institute members
MBA

Business Management

  • 2–4 years depending on program
  • Class attendance and participation
  • No practice requirements
USD 80,000–125,000 depending on program Accredited MBA programs are widely recognized by employers Broad knowledge of core business concepts with some opportunity to specialize High barrier for entry, Low attrition rate Degree certificate Depends on specific MBA program

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