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CFA Vs MBA: How CFA Will Help Your MBA Application

While the CFA and MBA are often cast as rivals, they offer different things. In fact, being a CFA-holder makes you more attractive when applying to business schools

By  Seb Murray

Wed Sep 11 2019

The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) qualification is often billed as a rival to the MBA degree, since its low pass rates and the sheer complexity of the syllabus give it premium status in the investment world. 

Yet CFA designation (passing all three levels of the CFA exams) can make someone more attractive as an MBA applicant. 


According to Imran Kanga, admissions director at Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, CFA holders demonstrate that they can manage the academic rigour of the MBA, that their quantitative skills are strong, and they are highly employable in finance. 

A Rotman MBA applicant who passed CFA Levels I, II and III can bypass the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the widely used business school admissions exam that requires much swotting. 

“There is an admission advantage for CFA charter holders,” says Imran, explaining that the charter proves strong quant and finance skills, negating the...

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