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6 Benefits of MBA abroad after CA

At MBA Crystal Ball, our business school admissions consultants have worked with many chartered accountants (CA) who applied to (and got into) the top business schools in India and abroad. You’ll find some of their success stories towards the end of this post.

But we never got down to write the response to a common question that many CAs ask us.

What are the benefits of an MBA after CA?

After completing what’s considered to be the toughest qualification in the world, why do so many CAs go back for another degree?

6 Benefits of MBA abroad after CA

We’ve collated the top reasons that we’ve heard from CAs who work with us who wish to pursue an MBA. The top benefits of getting an MBA after CA are as follows:

  1. No pecking order within the CA community
  2. Offers a time-tested platform for career change
  3. Provides ample networking opportunities
  4. Opens up international relocation possibilities
  5. Helps in moving up to the C-suite
  6. Lays a good foundation for entrepreneurship

Let’s see what each of these mean.

1. No pecking order within the CA community

Sure, clearing the CA in the first attempt does bring in the respect. But beyond that, all CAs are the same in terms of market perception – making it tougher to stand out.

That makes it difficult for recruiters to segregate CAs purely on the qualification. So they have to move to the next level of filtering, using their work experience.

In contrast, there is a definite hierarchy in the MBA world. Getting an elite MBA puts you head and shoulders above the other MBA grads from mediocre colleges.

This allows you to make a big first impression even before the recruiter has had a chance to review the rest of the resume.

In an age where the resume gets just a few seconds of attention, you’ll have a big advantage when competing with thousands of other MBA grads for the same position.

2. Offers a time-tested platform for career change

It’s great if you’ve committed your life to the finance, accounting and tax industry.

What if you get bored and want to check out jobs in other exciting areas – such as business management, strategy, operations, HR, marketing or even entrepreneurship?

An MBA would equip with the knowledge and skill-sets required for your career transition, be it change of role, function or both.

An MBA program would cover a broad range of topics. The electives and concentrations give you a chance to delve deeper into a particular area that you’re fascinated about.

The case studies, simulations, company projects, group discussions, guest lectures in an MBA program are great ways to gain insights and practical know-how on various topics.

A lot of learning also happens from your peers’ diverse work experience and their contribution in the class. This aspect is missing when you’re preparing for the CA all by yourself.

An MBA can help CAs explore careers outside their traditional boundaries.

3. Provides ample networking opportunities

The top MBA programs have a low acceptance rate, which means that you get to spend your MBA journey with a highly selective cohort.

You can also connect with alumni through the college alumni network as well as the various events and networking opportunities.

You can also tap into the university’s career resources and strong industry connections to get a foot in the door into a new industry or role.

These aspects are baked into the MBA experience, while the CA journey doesn’t have them.

4. Opens up international relocation possibilities

The CA qualification has a domestic flavour.

Again, pretty good to go with this if you aren’t looking for jobs abroad.

But for those who aspire to earn in dollars (or pounds), an MBA from abroad can provide CA professionals a global degree and the wings to pursue their international career dreams.

The MBA internship opportunities are a great means to test the waters in a new role in a new location. You’d also get familiar with the work culture of that region.

5. Helps in moving up to the C-suite

Businesses don’t operate in silos. There’s plenty of interplay between departments. If finance skills are all you have, it can get difficult to see the bigger picture.

An MBA curriculum is designed to hone your analytical and problem-solving skills, decision-making ability and strategic thinking.

You’ll develop a better understand of various industries and the latest industry trends.

The varied perspectives of your peers coming from diverse backgrounds from across the world would be an enriching experience.

In addition to business acumen, you’ll get ample opportunities to build on your leadership and collaborative skills.

Your MBA experience would better equip you in moving up the corporate ladder and being considered for C-level jobs.

6. Lays a good foundation for entrepreneurship

While some might argue that an MBA is not needed to be an entrepreneur.

A CA is well-versed with auditing, taxation, accounting and finance fields. There’s also the comfort that other professionals in the company will take care of operations / SCM, human resources, strategy, marketing and all the other functions that are so important for a business to stay on the rails.

In contrast, an extremely constrained view (on a limited number of business verticals) can result in many blind spots too that can limit the professional’s ability to launch and run an independent business.

There are various other areas including advertising, marketing, logistics, operations and an overall understanding of how businesses function that an entrepreneur needs to be aware of while making strategic business decisions.

Re-visiting an earlier point, an MBA from a reputed bschool would also help you build a solid network that’s not limited to professionals from finance.

You’d get a chance to connect with high potential individuals who you might want to partner with, for your new venture. The trust that comes along with professionals you already knew, is an added bonus.

Learn more:
– Chartered Accountant (CA) vs MBA: Differences & career prospects

CA qualification receives recognition as a post-graduate qualification

CAs in India now have a good reason to rejoice. In a major development, in 2021, the UGC (University Grants Commission) announced that the CA qualification would be considered equivalent to PG (Post-graduate) degree.

The fact that the CA qualification was considered a certificate course would have been really disappointing after all the sweat and toil CAs put in including three years of articleship. This news is reason to celebrate especially for those planning to apply for higher education.

Also read:
MBA after CA: From IIM, ISB or abroad after 8 years of work experience
Does Chartered Accountant (CA) articleship count as experience?

MBA after CA salary


CA + MBA salary in the USA

The average base salary in the US in finance jobs after an MBA is $102,000 per year. (USD)

  Job position Average salary (USD)
1. Finance manager $107,214
2. Senior Financial Analyst $87,963
3. Senior Finance Manager $129,858
4. Vice President (VP), Finance $151,460
5. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) $168,075
6. Director, Financial Planning & Analysis $134,323
7. Finance Director $138,969
8. Financial Controller $102,055
9. Senior Associate – Investment Banking $116,218
10. Vice President (VP), Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) $170,816

Source: Payscale

CA plus MBA salary in India

In India, the mean salary in for those completing one year MBA after CA from IIMA (MBA-PGPX) in 2021 and taking up finance jobs was INR 28,87,642 (fixed yearly component) and INR 2,50,000 (one-time cash component).

The average CTC at ISB for those taking up jobs in banks/financial institutions/financial services for 2021 was INR 25,45,504.
If you are a CA looking for help with international MBA admissions, send us some details about yourself and the help you need: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

Also read:
– Chartered Accountant gets into ISB with full scholarship (100% tuition waiver)
– How this chartered accountant got into ISB with a low GMAT score of 600
– MBA in Germany for Indian Chartered Accountant after 30 and Company Secretary and CA with 580 GMAT gets scholarship from 3 top MBA programs

References: 1, 2, 3, 4

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About Swati
After working for over a decade in technical and managerial roles in the corporate world, Swati now works as a freelancer and writes on a variety of topics including education, career guidance and self-improvement.

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