These programs help students gain the CFA, or Chartered Financial Analyst, certification while earning an MBA degree. It’s a winning formula if you’re struggling to choose between a CFA vs MBA.
While you can land top finance jobs with the CFA qualification alone, the additional MBA element enables you to access senior managerial roles.
Here’s how an MBA in Investment Management can help grads when entering finance jobs.
You can leverage your knowledge across finance and business
Employers are always on the lookout for attractive talent with a broad understanding of the finance and business world.
The MBA in Investment Management at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, offered by the Goodman Institute of Investment Management, aims to help students develop their finance skills while becoming well versed in core business areas.
"The program imparts the holistic understanding of the CFA body of knowledge while earning an MBA degree," says Sarah Carey, manager at the Goodman Institute of Investment Management.
This is one of the reasons why Lebanese-born Wael Abou Ammar, a graduate of the program, decided to join the MBA in Investment Management.
As a former consultant at EY in Saudi Arabia, he wanted to switch careers into a finance-oriented role.
“The great thing about the program is that it makes you a well-rounded individual,” he says.
The MBA in Investment Management is a three-year program, but Wael chose an accelerated two-year version as he already had his CFA level one qualification.
The full three-year program prepares students to successfully pass their CFA exams by teaching content from the CFA curriculum.
Students combine these learnings with MBA content, such as organizational behavior, marketing, and strategic management.
While studying for an MBA in Investment Management, you can further your career
One of the highlights of the MBA in Investment Management programs at John Molson is that it is a full-time schedule on a part-time program.
This means that students can apply the learnings from their studies into their careers as they go.
“I learned the art of time managing from studying alongside my job,” Wael says.
During his studies in Montreal, he joined a small-cap investment management program at Concordia University as a research associate. In Canada, ‘small-cap’ refers to any company with a market value of below $5 billion.
“This really helped me gain hands-on experience while I studied the MBA in Investment Management,” he says.
In the first summer of the degree, he also completed an internship in impact investing—this is where he first discovered his passion for sustainability.
The John Molson CFA and MBA provides courses in topics such as Sustainable Finance and Sustainable Investment, which helped Wael delve deeper into his interests.
“The Sustainable Finance course discussed everything from why climate change is happening to different aspects of the sustainability field, emissions, and engagement with investors,” he says.
Wael (pictured) is excited about a career in sustainable finance or investment
There are opportunities to build valuable connections
Specialized MBA degrees, such as the MBA in Investment Management, are likely to attract a variety of people with one common goal: to understand the finance sphere from a business lens.
Across the past five years of the John Molson MBA in Investment Management, almost 60% of the study body has come from outside Canada. Many of these students bring along varied work experiences.
“So many students in the program are working in great jobs in finance so the program offers an opportunity to build an alumni network of helpful people.”
There are also opportunities to network with expert faculty in the program.
Wael’s connections with the director of the program even helped him land his first internship in Montreal.
An MBA in Investment Management can lead to a variety of finance jobs
Many students who join an MBA in Investment Management are likely to be interested in pursuing investment management jobs, but the program is far from limited to this career route.
Wael is using the learnings from his MBA in Investment Management to strengthen his career as a senior analyst at Fitch Ratings in Toronto.
As part of the Leveraged Finance team, he helps investors become more sustainable and channel money to more sustainable companies. He assesses the sustainability of companies from an Environment, Social, Governance (ESG) perspective.
While he’s postponed taking the CFA level two exam just yet, he explains that the MBA in Investment Management has prepared him well if he chooses to complete this qualification in the future.
There are also options to pursue sustainability within investment management, which he says is a potential avenue of interest.
“The main thing is that the program broadens your options as you’ve already studied the CFA material.”
He says he’s excited about his career in the sustainable finance sphere, adding that his learnings from his MBA in Investment Management have enabled him to launch an impactful and socially-conscious career in finance.