Archive for April, 2010

MBA vs. Master of Finance degree vs. CPA vs. CFA — what’s best?

Career, MBA topics

I often get questions from readers like the following one, which ask me about whether to choose an MBA vs. another degree like a Master of Finance, or even between an certification like a or a :

    Example 1: I recently came across your blog when I was trying to learn how to use Vlookup and Pivot table, and wanted to thank you for making it so simple to understand. I also began reading some of your other posts and see that you have a lot of knowledge about business education and the corporate world. I’m currently a senior in economics at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and I will be graduating this June. I want to become a financial analyst, but I haven’t been able to find a job. So I’m considering applying for a Masters in Finance at University of San Francisco. What is your opinion about such a program? To me the upside of the program is that it’s only a year long and it takes recent graduates with no significant work experience. However, University of San Francisco is not a very prestigious school and I’m not sure how much a Masters in Finance will improve my chances of finding a job. The program is very expensive ($40,000) and I don’t want to spend that kind of money if employers wont consider it to be important. Thank you once again for your blog and I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Example 2: I’m a MBA finance option student in Alabama, US. First I would like to thank you for all materials that you post on your web-site. They are very helpful. Sometimes if I don’t understand anything from my textbooks i go to They are easy to understand.

    I have noticed that in US if you want to be employed every employer requires you a certification like CPA, CFO even if you want to train somebody in the gym you really need to be certified. I would like to know what kind of certification exist for financiers?! I don’t have any working experience in finance field. But I have a 5 years IT manager experience. And I don’t think that it will be useful to be financially certified. I would really appreciate your help !!

Although the reason readers are asking about the value of an MBA or similar degree or certification differ, the examples above are pretty representative of the reasons that people decide to enroll in these programs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Highly recommended Spanish books for infants or toddlers (6-21 months old)


Since we’re raising our son in to be , we’ve spent a ton of time trying to find multimedia to supplement his speaking. This spans the gamut from enrolling him in Spanish-speaking playgroups and trying to find Spanish speaking-preschools to finding YouTube videos and, of course, books where possible. When we visited Spain in the past, we always loaded up on Spanish books and lugged our heavy suitcases back to the States.

In case you’re reading this post looking for recommended multimedia to help raise a bilingual child, here are a few that have been our son’s favorites for Spanish. I thought it might help other parents given how much time we’ve spent looking for and even dollar-wise on books:

Our son really loves any of the Señor Coc series (Spanish version of Mr. Croc) by Jo Lodge. These books are pop-ups and the stories all end roughly the same way, with the main character jumping out and trying to “eat” the reader, but surprisingly, our son always found this an amusing rather than a scary surprise. Might depend on the toddler. The first book we bought was (theme of the book is about how to tell time), but have since supplemented it with (about getting dressed to go out) and Imita al Señor Coc (moving body parts like nodding, waving, etc.) and (a larger, 11″x11″ lift-the-flap book to find Mr. Croc’s friends).

, the Spanish version of “The Way I Love You” by David Bedford, is a sweet picture book about a girl and her dog. The Spanish version rhymes whereas the English version does not.

(Spanish version of “Goodnight Gorilla”) by Peggy Rathman. We have the board book version. I admit when I first picked up this book off the shelf, I was put off by the colors, but I thought the drawings were well done. It’s one of those books your infant can grow into as a toddler too. It’s a simple story, but pay attention to the details in the drawings. Our son enjoys finding the moon and the balloon (the latter is at least partly visible on every page), and it’s a fun book for adults too if you’re one of those people who like noticing differences between before-and-after and those newspaper puzzles that quizzed you on differences between picture A and picture B.

, published by Dorling Kindersley. It’s small enough to be transportable and a key favorite at mealtimes. After learning the names of all the objects, you can ask your child “¿Dónde está el teléfono?” (“Where’s the telephone?”) and he’ll happily flip through the book to hunt for it.

There you have it, just a few examples of different books we’ve found that have worked so far with our son, who’s now 21 months of age. Do you have books that you’d recommend? Feel free to include them in the comments below!