Third Career Path ***

Vishal is a commerce graduate. He finished his college education about two years back and then decided to pursue a career in accountancy. “Enough of studies,” he said to himself “it’s high time to work and build a career.” He appeared for an interview in the accounts department of a leading company and was selected after an extensive screening of 400 fresh graduates. For two years, Vishal became the envy of his batchmates who either chose to study MBA or M Com, as he was financial self-reliant while his friends were still studying in the college. But the situation changed thereafter. While some of Vishal’s friends struggled to stand apart in the crowd of job-seekers, a few of his friends landed in MNCs and reputed Indian companies. One of Vishal’s friends who finished his MBA became the Finance Officer in the very company he was serving as an accountant. This led to a situation where Vishal was peeved and felt terribly down as his own friend became his superior.

Vishal was now compelled to think of how to come out of this messy situation. The desire to excel made him to think what to do – should he take up MBA or M Com? He discussed his problem with a career consultant. Here he came to about the study avenues after graduation:

  • M Com / MBA
  • CA / CWA
  • CPA / CMA

The career consultant explained to Vishal that though M Com is a natural progression for a commerce graduate, over the years, many students have shifted their interest to MBA. But since the number of MBAs graduating every year is very high, these postgraduates face cut-throat competition in the job market. The second option Vishal came across was taking up either the Chartered Accountant (CA) offered by Institute of Chartered Analysts of India (ICAI) consisting of 16 papers.or Cost and Works Accountant (CWA) course consisting of 20 papers.

A third career option for Vishal was to pursue the CPA / CMA course. CPA (Certified Practising Accountant) is the US equivalent of CA and CMA (Certified Management Accountant) is the US equivalent of CWA.

Vishal analysed the advantages of CPA course has just 4 exam papers, computerized exams with multiple-choice questions / simulations, simpler exam preparation and examination and the course could be completed in a period of one year if prepared in a systematic manner. He was also informed that the CMA course which consisted of just two papers and six months duration could be completed easily, if prepared in a systematic manner.

Vishal made an in-depth analysis the factors – time, effort and expected outcomes. Taking up MBA or M Com required rigorous preparation for two long years, he would still have to struggle a lot to stand apart in the queue of job-seekers. The other options before him, CA and CWA, also unfolded career opportunities and career choices, but they still required a lot of effort and time. He realized that both CPA and CMA qualifications where preferred by MNCs, had fewer papers for preparation and costed within his affordable range. He chose the CPA as it offered more and better career options with just one year effort. Thus, the accounting professionals require smarter planning, preparation and a systematic approach in order to have rewarding careers.

*** Suggested Titles:

  • New Vistas in Accounting Career
  • Reorienting Your Accounting Career
  • Accounting Careers and the MNC Requirements
  • Innovative Avenues in Accounting Careers

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