CA vs CMA: Which One is the Better Career Option?


Choosing the right career path is a crucial decision, especially for commerce students facing the dilemma of whether to pursue Chartered Accountancy (CA) or Cost and Management Accountancy (CMA). This blog aims to provide a comprehensive comparison of CA and CMA, covering various aspects such as course structure, duration, fees, pass percentage, salary, job opportunities, and scope. By the end, readers should have a clearer understanding to make an informed decision.

1. Overview of the CA Course

The CA course is globally recognized and offers a demanding yet rewarding profession with extensive job prospects in finance, accounting, taxation, auditing, and more. Let’s delve into the key details:

2. The Steps To Become CA

  • Finish your 10+2 education with at least 50% marks.
  • Enroll and successfully pass the CA Foundation Exam.
  • Enroll and successfully pass the CA Intermediate  Exam.
  • Successfully completed three years of practical training for CA.
  • Successfully appear for and clear both groups of the CA Final exam.
  • Fulfill all course requirements and obtain CA certification and membership.

3. Overview of the CMA Course

The CMA course, focusing on cost and management accountancy, is suitable for those interested in management accounting and cost accounting careers. Here are the key details:

4. The Steps To Become A CMA

  • Enroll  for the CMA Foundation course and clear the examination.
  • Enroll for the CMA Intermediate course and clear the examination.
  • Complete the required practical training.
  • Enroll for the CMA Final course and clear the examination.
  • Obtain membership of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI).

5. Difference Between CA vs CMA

Let’s compare CA and CMA on various criteria:

Criteria CA CMA
Admission 10+2 with 50% marks in commerce or graduate 10+2 with 50% marks in any stream or graduate
Course Structure Three levels: Foundation, Intermediate, Final Three levels: Foundation, Intermediate, Final
Duration 4.5 to 5 years 3 years
Fees Approx. INR 2,00,000 to INR 3,50,000 Approx. INR 1,00,000
Pass Percentage Approx. 5-10% at each level Approx. 15-20% at each level
Salary Rs. 10-12 lakh per annum Rs. 7-8 lakh per annum
Job Options Auditing, taxation, accounting, finance Financial analysis, cost accounting, etc.
Scope/Demand High demand in big four firms, MNCs, etc. High demand in manufacturing, finance, etc.

6. Career Opportunities CA vs CMA

Career Opportunities After CA Course:

  1. Audit & Assurance
  2. Taxation
  3. Finance and Accounting
  4. Risk Management
  5. Investment Banking
  6. Chief Financial Officer

Career Opportunities After CMA Course:

  1. Cost Accountant
  2. Financial Analyst
  3. Management Accountant
  4. Financial Manager
  5. Chief Accountants
  6. Internal Auditor

7. Which is Better?

The decision between CA and CMA depends on individual interests, skills, and professional goals. CA offers a broader range of employment prospects with global recognition, while CMA focuses on cost and management accounting.


Both CA and CMA have unique advantages, and students should choose based on their career goals and interests. It’s essential to explore the curricula, job prospects, and required skills of both courses to align them with individual objectives. Ultimately, the decision should reflect a thoughtful consideration of personal aspirations and the potential each career path holds.