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Report Thread starter 6 months ago
Hi everyone, I received 2 offers, one from Exeter, one from Bath. Now I applied for the MSc in Finance at Bath but I was rejected, and they offered me to apply for their MSc Management with Finance or MSc Accounting and Finance.

- Exeter link:
- Bath:

I'm an international student and I would pay £25000 for these Masters so I should choose the one which gives me the best chances of getting a good job in the UK. I'm more interested in the finance field but perhaps Bath is a more semi-target school compared to Exeter. Furthermore, I'm quite shy/introvert so accounting might be a better fit for me.

What would you advise me to do? It's such a hard choice!
Badges: 20
Report 6 months ago
I don't know how to break it to you, being someone who intended to work in finance and accounting, as well as someone who did a master's in a finance related subject.

1) You don't really need a master's in finance or accounting to get into finance or accounting in the UK.
For accounting, you will typically be studying for a professional qualification as opposed to a degree. The professional qualification will tend to be cheaper than the master's and more credible to employers. You will need to check which accounting qualification though, and what are your plans in terms of work, as different qualifications are credible in various parts of the world.
For finance, they often require you a Level 3 or 4 qualification ( a degree is Level 5, and a master's is a Level 6) for most UK brokerage or advisory roles. These can be done in 6 months - 1 year, and won't cost more than £1000 for most of them. You will need to be careful about selecting your job though, and that these qualifications are often only valid in the UK.
If you want to become an investment analyst or a fund manager, the typical qualification people will want is the CFA, which is more valued than a master's (as well as being a lot harder). It's also internationally recognised, so you can pretty much work in the finance sector anywhere in the world.
Most finance qualifications won't require you to have any prior qualifications. For accounting, I only know of ACA requiring a prior qualification before you can study it (ACCA and CIMA don't have any requirements I think). (I don't know about other accounting qualifications though.)

2) Your personality will be the bigger determinant in getting a job than the degree
Yes, high grades on a challenging degree is expected, but if you already have that in your first degree then they will judge you based on your aptitude for the job. I'd focus on skills and experience here.

3) If you want to work in finance related research, either of the master's is suitable
Master's are great for getting jobs as lecturers or moving into academic research. The problem is, the jobs are competitive.

4) If you want to become an economist, then the MBF degree would be more suitable
However, becoming an economist is difficult and you will have a lot of competition, since it's a high paying job

5) I think your main problem is getting the work visa more than the degree

6) Employers will very likely look at the grades from your first degree than anything else, especially if you're going for an entry level job

7) Networking with people will more likely help you secure a role than a degree can in finance
A large number of people who work in accounting and finance tend not to have studied an accounting or finance degree. If you look at the careers prospectuses of major finance companies and look at the backgrounds of a number of their graduates, you can see you have people from a variety of backgrounds e.g. classics, English literature, history, maths. What a lot of them do have is a strong network with people who already work in the industry. They also have a strong personality that is suited to the role they work in.

8) MSc Management degrees
I have my issues with management degrees (partly because I have one myself). However, those who do get business degrees tend to be for senior roles and they tend to be MBAs from top business schools in the world (not country). Often MBAs are very pricey (especially from a high end university) and they tend to do little more than help you with reptuation (arguably, the information isn't that advanced, but are most useful if you have never looked into business before). Most again will rather know you have the experience and work results than the qualification.
MSc in Management can be useful if you have never studied business before, but I haven't seen them being quoted by people who work in finance or accounting. I see them more useful in leadership roles or if you start your own business outside of finance or accounting. They are definitely cheaper than most MBAs though. MBAs can also help you learn the business principles to start a business, but I think there are cheaper means of learning it.
I wouldn't really look into MBAs unless you have at least secure a role in finance and have spent a few years on the job. The prospects of getting promoted are limited, and competition is fierce. In other words, you could be spending 5-6 figures on an MBA and still not get a job.
Also, most MBAs offer very limited help in getting an accounting qualification. You're better off getting into accounting by studying the professional qialification directly.

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