Share with your network!

There are various industries and sectors out there where you can grow and enhance your career. Management, Accounting, Finance, Engineering, Healthcare, Retail and many more industries are great verticals to start your career. Among all the industries, Management and Accounting roles are most sought after ones in recent trends. To start your career in such fields, you should pursue some specific course, certification or higher education.
In case if you are looking for an accounting course then CMA is one of the best; it improves your accounting as well as management skills and provides ample career opportunities.
CMA certification or MBA – which one is suited best for you? The CMA is a recognized professional designation, while the MBA is an academic degree. Though both get top priority for being most desired career goals in the accounts field, the CMA is focused on management accounting while the MBA in Finance covers a much broader scope of finance units.

Accreditation bodies- CMA vs MBA


The CMA is globally recognized, advanced-level credential appropriate for accountants and financial professionals in business. Achieving the CMA demonstrates your professional expertise in financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics – skills that are in demand by organizations around the world.


The MBA degree originated in the early 20th century when the people from the industries and companies understood its value and were seeking a scientific approach to management. The curriculum in an MBA program cover various areas of business such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, and operations in a manner most relevant to management analysis and strategy.

Eligibility Criteria- CMA vs MBA

To become a CMA there is certain eligibility criteria:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university
  • Two continuous years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management
  • Completion of Part 1 and Part 2 of the US CMA exam
  • Membership in IMA

To become MBA, there is some certain eligibility criteria:

  • The minimum eligibility criterion for admission is at least a 3-year bachelor’s degree with at least 50 % marks
  • To get admission in the top MBA colleges in India, you have to clear the CAT (Common Admission Test) or equivalent type of exam
  • Based on the score you will get in the examination, you will be able to apply in the college for group discussion and personal interview
  • After clearing the group discussion and personal interview you will get the seat in the college

 Note: MBA is such a program that you get more value if you complete it from a reputed University or institute.

Duration of the Program- CMA vs MBA

To become a CMA (Certified Management Accountant),

  • You can enroll for CMA course from an authorized training provider of CMA. Average time period of completing the CMA course is almost half a year.
  • You should join the CMA program only when you are ready to take the exam.
  • Once you enroll in the program and pay the entrance fee, you must Start taking the CMA exam within 12 months and complete the CMA program within 3 years

MBA is a broader concept as compared to CMA. There are generally different types of MBA programs.

  • The standard MBA program takes four semesters of full time coursework to complete
  • Part time MBA programs takes more than 3 years to complete their program. Classes are organized either at night or on the weekends
  • If you want to be specialized in Finance, then the duration of course is two years

Syllabus of the Program- CMA vs MBA

The CMA course syllabus includes Economics, Business Finance, Situational analysis and decision making with a strong emphasis on ethics. It is combined with relevant rule-based subject matter to provide you a sound critical thinking and decision making skill.

Based on the CMA Exam, the CMA syllabus have been divided into two parts

CMA Part 1CMA Part 2

CMA Syllabus
  • External Financial Reporting
    Decisions (15%)
  • Planning, Budgeting
    and Forecasting (30%)
  • Performance Management (20%)
  • Cost Management (20%)
  • Internal Controls (15%)
  • Financial Statement Analysis (25%)
  • Corporate Finance (20%)
  • Decision Analysis (20%)
  • Risk Management (10%)
  • Investment Decisions (15%)
  • Professional Ethics (10%)

Whether it is Harvard Business School or Stanford University in USA or IIM in India, the basic concepts of business and major MBA subjects covered in MBA classes do not change. Core subjects of MBA are covered in the 1st year (in a 2-year MBA). Main topics of MBA in Finance are discussed in the 2nd year.

MBA Syllabus
MBA 1st year MBA 2nd year
  • Finance,
  • Marketing,
  • Operations Management,
  • Economics,
  • Human resource management
  • Strategy forming
  • Statistics
  • Leadership etc.
  • Financial Management
    and Planning
  • Balance Sheets
  • Profit and Loss
  • Cash Flow Management
  • Capital Structure, Budgeting,
    Rationing and Management
  • Leverage
  • Dividend Decisions etc.

Fees Required to Complete the Program- CMA vs MBA

The CMA Certification is offered by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) USA and the content is regularly reviewed by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA). CMA part 1 and part 2 exams are offered during the three testing windows in January/February,May/June, and September/October.

To become a CMA you have to pay the following fees

CMA Program Fees
Fees Type Fees (Rupees)
Course Fee 83,350
Exam Fee 40,000
Certification Exam Fee 12,000
IMA Membership 2,500
Total Cost 137,850

There is 20 IIMs all over the India, and all of them accepts CAT entrance exam score. IIM offers various management skills of MBA. We have mentioned here the course fees structure of IIM where you complete your program MBA in Finance.

MBA in Finance Course Fees
Fees Type Fees
Course Fee 2,114,500
Service tax 362,175
Refundable Caution 20,000
Total 2,496,675

So you can understand how costly the Management degree is, as compared to CMA. Pursuing MBA from a reputed institute is 1700% more costly than CMA.

Job roles and responsibilities- CMA vs MBA

CMA is a globally recognized certification in Management Accounting. With increasing globalization, FDIs, outsourcing, off-shoring, US financial service MNCs in India and Indian companies listed in the US, CMAs with an international perspective are in very high demand. Career opportunities for US CMAs can be in MNCs, financial services or consulting firms and US-based firms & organizations.

Syllabus of MBA in Finance Job Designation after completing CMA program are mentioned below.

  • Cost managers
  • Relationship managers
  • Finance managers
  • Analysts
  • Directors/Senior Director
  • HOD
  • Professors
  • Vice President

MBA in Finance will require you to deeply understand the annual reports of the companies and illustrate the same. Financial jobs can be divided into those that take place within a corporate organization or in a financial institution, such as with an investment bank. Some of the job opportunities that are available for you at the entry level are:

  • Credit Risk Management Analyst
  • Financial Research Analyst
  • Financial/Securities/Investments Analyst
  • Personal Financial Adviser
  • Portfolio Manager


*Globally, CMAs earn 59% more in average salary and 63% more in average total compensation than their non-CMA peers. Depending upon various factors like company size, your position in the company, experience level etc. Average salary of CMA in India is 7 lakhs per annum.

* refer from


After MBA in finance, private as well as government sector are opened for them to work. As compared to the public sector, the salary in the private sector is quite high. Still, the salary the candidates get will vary upon the designation as well as size of the organization that hires them. Average Salary of MBA Finance is approximately 6.5 lakhs per annum.

Comparison between CMA and MBA:

Parameters CMA MBA
Authorized Body Institute of Management Accountants Any Reputed Management University
Eligibility Bachelor’s degree with 2 years of professional work experience Bachelor’s degree with minimum 50% marks
Duration 1 Year ~ 3 Years 2 Years
  • Economics
  • Business Finance
  • Situational analysis
  • Decision making
  • Financial Management
  • Balance Sheets
  • Profit and Loss
  • Cash Flow Management
Fees 1.5 lakhs ~ 2 Lakhs 10 lakhs ~ 25 Lakhs
Job Responsibility
  • Cost managers
  • Relationship managers
  • Finance managers
  • Credit Risk Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Portfolio Manager
Salary (Average) 7 Lakhs per annum 6.5 Lakhs per annum

Although there is numerous Institutes and Universities available to start your MBA program as compare to CMA, but if you have a finance or accounting background in your past, then we will suggest you to go for CMA certification. It will advance your career and provide you more opportunities. CMA certification can be earned in a significantly shorter period as compared to MBA and it also far less expensive.

We hope you have made your choice, and if you looking for an authorized CMA course provider then you can talk to our CMA counselors they can guide you in proper structured CMA course training of EduPristine.