Which is the best option for your career? CA, CS or CMA

There comes a stage in life where all you need to figure out is the best career option. It is not easy to select from the various options available. Remember the time when we felt that selecting a course amongst science, humanitarian studies, and commerce, was going to be the biggest decision of our lives? Choosing a career option is even more confusing than that as it will make us the person we have had always wished to be.

Today, the students have a wide array of alternatives when it comes to selecting a career option. Recent years have witnessed a huge growth in the field of Chartered Accountancy (CA), Company Secretary (CS), and Cost and Management Accountancy (CMA). So what are these courses?

Chartered Accountant (CA)

Members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) are formally known as the chartered accountants. The procedure of becoming a member is a long and vigorous one. Interested candidates have to clear a 3-tier examination that is, CA foundation, CA intermediate and CA final to get through. Apart from that, 3 years of practical training is also essential to get the CA title prefixed in front of your name. 

For students in Standard 12th, Logic School of Management provides classes on the weekends and the subjects covered include Accounts, Mathematics, and Statistics which can be helpful for their 12th board examination.

The basic work profile of a CA includes financial auditing as well as advising the companies on financial matters. Companies Act-2013 specifically mentions that only a CA duly acknowledged by ICAI can become the statutory auditor of a company.

Some of the advantages of pursuing CA are:

  • The degree provided by the ICAI is recognized by many member countries. A better option however is qualifying the examinations held by Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Since ACCA is an international accountancy body, its qualification is accepted globally.
  • Since the person who cleared the CA examinations acquires an in-depth knowledge of each and every compulsory subject, he gains the advantage of moving upwards in the managerial hierarchy soon enough.
  • Not to forget, Chartered Accountants in India not only get a reputation in the society but also get paid well. The expenditure on studying for CA is not even half of it.

Now the question arises as to what are the available career options after a CA course? Well, the possibilities are several. Whether it be a corporate firm or a government enterprise, a bank or a university, CA is required everywhere. The choice is yours.

Company Secretary (CS)

Just like CA, even CS requires passing 3 examinations as prescribed by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), the statutory body regulating and maintaining the quality of company secretaries in India. The three stages are CS Foundation, CS Executive, and CS Professional examinations. The job of a CS is to ensure that all the employees of a company work within the limits of legal and statutory requirements. Also, maintenance of company records and continuing interactions with the upper management of the company are some of the other works handled by a CS.

There are various advantages attached to a CS course. Some of them are:

  • First of all, there is no age limit for applying to the CS examinations. Anyone can start pursuing CS at any age and at any stage of life making it a feasible career option.
  • You can pursue the course along with your graduation and receive a professional degree as soon as you pass all the examinations conducted by the ICSI.
  • Needless to say, the salary is good and the scope of getting a job is much higher than with other degrees.

After completion of the CS course, a stream of opportunities opens up. You can become a legal advisor of a company or chief advisor of the company on matters of corporate governance or a finance and accounting manager. 

Cost and Management Accountant (CMA)

Another emerging course of study is the Cost and Management Accountancy. If you wish to pursue CMA, you will have to pass in CMA Foundation, CMA Intermediate and CMA Final examinations. These examinations are designed by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI). 6 months of practical training is required to appear in CMA Final examinations. This practical training or articleship is an essential part of CMA. A total of 3 years of training is undertaken by those who want the degree by ICMAI. However, it can be skipped mid-way if you choose not to practice. 

CMAs deal with cost management, cost reduction and cost audit of a company or other organizations. In simple terms, CMAs can work for any business organization. 

Are you eager to know about the advantages of the course now? The points mentioned below might be of help.

  • Easy to guess, CMA is a highly paid job just like CA and CS.
  • Moreover, it is easier to get a job outside the country while studying for CMA. You can qualify CMA USA for the same.

A CMA can become a financial analyst or a finance director or a certified management accountant and later on climb the ladders of success to become a director or chief executive officer of a company.

The above-mentioned points might have helped you in understanding the basics of each course. So, which among the three is the best option for a student out there?

CS, CA or CMA can be pursued by both science and commerce stream students. CA is all about companies. Be it a company’s financing, auditing or compliance with Companies Act, a CA handles it all. Like, a CA will check whether a newly incorporated company has conducted its first board meeting in time. This is one of the many compliances required under the Companies Act. If you find such a job profile interesting, CA is for you.

CS can be opted by students who prefer theory and have a passion for law. But since it involves the application of Indian laws, its scope is limited to India itself. But if you are preparing for CA or CMA, you have plenty of opportunities in India. Pass the ACCA, CPA USA or CMA USA, to get a job in a foreign country.

It is a tough thing to suggest the best career option to a student after he obtains his 12th standard degree. Situations differ. Some students are smart enough to handle mathematics while some are great at economics. It can only be the decision of the student who can assess his capabilities, strength and weakness to come to a conclusion as to which course suits his interests and needs best. 

Thus, it is upon the student to weigh the pros and cons of each course and decide respectively.


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