*I would first like to note that i have recently read through a thread posted in this section concerning this topic but I decided to make a new one given the fact that the first one took place in mid 2004. Considering recent history and my own personal situation, I would like to get some added information if anyone would like to be a help. Thank you.* ***If short on time, feel free to skip the back story by going to the paragraph marked (***). I am an undergrad at Jacksonville State University in Alabama majoring in Finance. I understand that my school is not very well known and is inexpensive, but at the same time it also has received higher accreditation than many more expensive schools within the state. i will be graduating after this fall semester and had up until recently been dead set on getting my MBA at a relatively near by school while employed. i have since researched the CFA program and am know leaning toward it instead. As a career focus, I am open to many different areas of finance including portfolio management, asset management, ibanking... the point being that while my focus isn't exactly narrow, my every inclination has been that i definitely want to stay in finance. ***My question is, given my situation and the current/near future status of the financial markets, should I, upon graduation, immediately begin studying for my first cfa exam or seek out the best quality MBA program in my area? Another reason why i created this new thread was because i wanted a more realistic answer personally. i am anticipating my graduating GPA to be in the 3.4 neighborhood. i don't believe i'll have access to a top-tier mba program (maybe not even second tier) so i tend to think that the CFA would be more beneficial. the median (not average) salary data on CFAs are as follows: less than five years experience w/ cfa- $119,000 5-10- 190,000 10+- 250,000 one of my teachers says he doesn't know anybody with a CFA who isn't making six figures. this is a lot of money to me. Again, any consideration at all would be greatly appreciated.