MBA or MFin? Counting on our record of excellence from our cutting-edge Master’s programs, the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is a key destination for ambitious working professionals looking to advance in their careers. Given the choice of top Master’s programs, the question often then comes down to: which program should I choose?
If you work in finance, you may be wondering whether the Rotman Morning & Evening MBA or the Master of Finance (MFin) program is right for you. We spoke to Emily Mancuso, our Assistant Director of Recruitment for the respective programs, to put together key tips and considerations that will help you choose the program that is most appropriate for your career goals.
Consider your background. Have you worked in finance for some time? Or, did you major in finance in your undergrad? The Rotman MFin program requires a strong foundation in finance. In fact, over 60% of students have already passed the CFA I, II or III examinations by the time they are admitted into the program.
On the other hand, if you are interested in working in finance but your educational background does not have a strong foundation in this field or you need to gain more work experience in the sector, an MBA may be a better option. In fact, completing the Morning & Evening MBA and majoring in Finance would be a great choice for someone looking to transition into finance from a different functional area.
What kind of leader do you want to be? If you’re considering both programs, then, it’s likely you already have a strong finance background. In this case, you’ll need to ask yourself whether the skills that you need to do your job better include gaining in-depth finance expertise or whether it may be skills associated with general management.
The MFin focuses on further developing the technical know-how and strategic thinking that is needed to become a leading finance practitioner; even people with a CFA will feel challenged in this program.
On the other hand, the Morning & Evening MBA is about broadening your perspective. It has classes in Innovation & entrepreneurship, business design, consulting & strategic management. Our grad Ciara Wakita makes reference to this in her interview with us. People whose immediate or mid-career goals include attaining a senior leadership role within their organization, therefore, might find this program a better fit.
Consider whether you are looking for breadth or depth. While in the Morning & Evening MBA you can choose from various majors and have the chance to pick from over 115 elective courses, the MFin program is designed to provide you with in-depth finance knowledge. Most courses in the MFin are finance specific. This means that you, your peers and your professors can expect a certain level of foundational knowledge and skills from the class and can move faster through the course. This also means you’ll be learning from a richer depth of material.
Think of the network you’d like to build. Given that the MFin is planned as one cohort of 35 to 50 students all the way through the program, you’ll be able to tap into a strong tight-knit network of finance professionals. The expertise that comes with such a group will certainly impact class discussions as it will be centered around finance and will be guided by the perspective of finance practitioners.
In the Morning & Evening MBA program, your peers might come with a different background, influencing a multi-faceted perspective and network. Think of it like this: if your career goals include staying in finance but moving companies, the MFin could help you meet the right people to connect you with these kinds of opportunities; instead, if you were hoping to explore positions in other functions, you might want to consider the MBA, where you’ll meet people from all backgrounds and function areas.
Ultimately you’ll have to ask yourself, what are your career goals for the next 5-10 years? We recommend that you do your research to understand positions you’d like to aspire to and what people in these roles have done to get there. Consider, speaking to your HR department to learn about the future of your industry and what qualifications may become necessary or give you an advantage in the job market.