5 Best Alternatives to MBA Finance

Post Graduate education has become a tad costlier in India. The recent news of IIMs hiking their fees by 5-17% has made MBA aspirants quite thoughtful.  Reasons for the fee hike may be many, such as inflation, autonomous administration, higher salaries for faculty etc. What’s more worrying is the possibility of other MBA institutes increasing their fees as well.

So if you are an MBA aspirant aiming at making it big in the world of finance, let the burden of high fees not hold you back. While MBA continues to be one of the most preferred qualifications in the finance and banking industry, you are indeed fortunate to live in a world where there are more options. Today there are highly recognized international qualifications which can be your gateway to a global career in finance, which are also lighter on the pocket as compared to regular MBA programs.

Here are some of the programs that you can consider:

1. Chartered Financial Analyst

Chartered Financial Analyst programme is one of the most sought after if you want to pursue a career in core Investment Banking or Equity Research. The duration spans around 2.5 years to 3 years depending on how quickly you clear the exams. There are three levels deeply focussed on Investment Analysis, Portfolio Management, Wealth Planning and Equity Research.  Recognized across the globe, this qualification should be your first preference if you want to strengthen your domain and make a breakthrough in the world of Investment and Finance.


This one is for those who wish to contribute to the strategic business planning for top organisations. The global institute for Management Accountants offers a curriculum which is a fine blend of management principles with core accounting and finance concepts. CIMA can be pursued alongside your job and takes roughly 3-3.5 years to complete. Today, CIMA graduates are working in leading companies in niche profiles such as Management Consultants, Forensic Accounting, Financial Controller, Business Analyst etc. –


For those who love core accounting, ACCA can get you to some of the top notch jobs in core finance profiles in India. This a no-frills attached course which focusses only on global accounting. Though the curriculum doesn’t really put attention on management perspective, the qualification is quite well recognized for higher degree profiles in finance. Apart from financial reporting, Business Valuation, Tax Consulting, Treasury Management are some of the areas which see ACCAs at the helm of the team.

4. MS in Finance

Many renowned institutions in India are offering the Msc in Finance course. Though quite popular in the West, this course is yet to find popularity among Indian students. This is quite a niche area of study with focus on scientific basis of models used in financial theories. The course also lays strong emphasis on Economics and Econometrics as a subject. Students of MSc in Finance are trained to work in specialized fields like International Finance, Monetary Issue advisory panel, Computational Finance, Options pricing etc.

5. Financial Risk Management

Just like CFA, Financial Risk Management (FRM) is a well-recognized qualification for those aspiring to specialise in financial risk management. The curriculum is a focussed one and covers risk management in great details. Econometrics, Financial engineering, statistics, derivatives etc. are the key topics taught in this certification. The level of difficulty is on the higher side and it takes about 3 years to complete the exams. The scope of FRM in terms of knowledge as well as employment prospects is huge in India as well as globally.

Choose Wisely

Listed above are few of the alternatives that can be considered in case you do not find pursuing MBA finance as a viable option. MBA finance will always considered to be a prestigious course but these days qualifications with focus on niche areas such as Investment Banking, Investment Management, Risk Management or Management Accounting are preferred more than generic curricula. Apart from this, if these global qualifications also help you to pursue your employment alongside studies, nothing like it.