Core Areas of CMA

An accountant’s career requires many accreditations and university programs to enhance their skills and turn their career future-proof. Many find themselves deciding between becoming a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) or getting a Master of Business Administration – also known as an MBA.

We will discuss the core areas of CMA and MBA

The CMA is an industry recognized professional designation while the MBA is an academic degree. Though both get high praise for being top notch career goals in the finance field, the CMA is focused on management accounting while the MBA covers a much broader scope of finance units. Salary is an important thing to consider when choosing which career path to go down. According to, the average MBA in accounting and business earned $102,665 in 2015. Those holding an Executive MBA in finance earned on average, $150,000. As for CMA’s, depending on your position within a company you could earn anywhere between $39,974 to $215,561.

Both the CMA and MBA are post-graduate options. The MBA requires an additional one to two years of schooling to complete after receiving a bachelor’s degree, whereas the CMA designation can be earned in six months after preparing and passing the CMA exam. After spending upwards of four years working on that well-deserved bachelor’s degree, two more years can seem like an eternity, especially when you can meet the CMA requirements in a short duration comparatively. You may also consider that being accepted into an MBA program is highly competitive and the school you choose can really influence your future employer’s impression of you.

There have been so many studies done on MBA programs and their return on investment (ROI). If you plan to work for an investment bank or insecurities, an MBA will get your foot in the door. On the other hand, if you plan to work elsewhere, CMA is recommended. Unlike the MBA where employers may judge the university reputation of where you studied, the CMA exam is an industry designated exam it is only issued through one institution. In other words, it is the same across the board so potential employers cannot harbor the same bias.

The CMA is also self-taught so candidates can learn and prepare at their own pace using review courses like Wiley, Gleim, Hock, CMA Exam Academy or several others. They can also be working in the industry at the same time which is certainly a win-win situation.

Not to discourage anyone who is set on completing their MBA, but if you are an accountant looking to advance your career then the CMA will provide more opportunities. This is because the CMA is geared towards accounting and finance professionals, and it incorporates various business acumen courses. Industry professionals say that the CMA designation will immediately improve your career whereas an MBA isn’t likely to open any more doors until 5-10 years down the road. Whether you go down the road of becoming a CMA or working towards your MBA, you will be able to look forward to a successful career in the management accounting field. It’s clear there is plenty of earning potential with both designations but the duration and the High ROI brings the difference and makes CMA a right choice for candidates anxious to get into the career, that too with a good start.

You can visit to know more about CMA USA.

We always need to decide based on our priorities and hope this article will help you take the best and right decision.


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