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Considered amongst the top-level business management courses, both the Master of Business Administration [MBA] and Chartered Accountancy [CA Course] offer candidates the opportunity to venture into senior-level roles in the corporate sector. While the MBA qualification provides diverse specialisation tracks such as marketing, finance, international business and so forth, pursuing the CA qualification focuses single-dimensionally on the specifics of accountancy and relevant topics. The MBA vs CA dilemma is an emerging one when taken alongside MBA vs MS and MBA vs MIM especially since the popularity of CA growing every year. This blog aims to bring you a feature-wise breakdown of important aspects of both qualifications.

Quick Read: Everything You Need To Know About MBA Specializations


MBA courses are post-graduate degree programs which prepare students in both overall managerial acumen as well as in particular tracks. On the other hand, the CA Course in India is a professional qualification consisting of three levels, namely, CPT, CA Foundation [IPCC] and CA Final. It is offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India [ICAI] and only a handful of candidates each year after passing all three levels are successfully granted the title of ‘Chartered Accountant’. The following table makes things clearer about the MBA vs CA dilemma.


Note: International CA-granting associations like ACCA have not been taken into consideration here.

What is CA?

Chartered Accountancy is an international and professionally recognized course. In India, the CA course is conducted by ICAI i.e Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. A person who qualifies Chartered Accountancy is known as CA. To be recognized as CA, candidates need to appear for CPT (Common Proficiency Test) after clearing 10 + 2. 

What is an MBA? 

Master’s in Business Administration commonly called an MBA is a postgraduate degree that is widely recognized all over the world. Candidates having an MBA degree are open to vast opportunities. Bachelor’s degree from any background like Science/Humanities/Commerce etc is acceptable to pursue an MBA course. 

MBA vs CA: Difficulty Level

As there are multiple MBA colleges around the globe, individuals have innumerable options to explore. Further, other than the scoring high on the entrance examinations, passing the course examinations are fairly less demanding. In this MBA vs CA dilemma, it is important to take a note for the exams for both these. CA exams are conducted by a single nation-wide authority and scores of applicants appear for it every year. Additionally, its three levels are incrementally tougher and demand a lot from candidates. All in all, it can be safely said that CA’s difficulty level is higher than MBA exams which are mainly conducted for the admission process while the latter one is for the certification.

Related Article: How to Become a Chartered Accountant?

MBA vs CA: Eligibility

To begin with the MBA vs CA showdown, the eligibility criteria points out key differences. As for eligibility for MBA, holding a bachelor’s degree in any discipline along with a few years of industry experience, as applicable, is required. Similarly, CA exams can be undertaken by candidates hailing from all disciplines, however, commerce students are granted some relaxation on minimum percentage of marks. Furthermore, a mandatory article ship of 3 years is required before one can sit for the CA Final examination.

Also Read: CA After Graduation

MBA vs CA: Course Structure

A pivotal feature of discussion under the differences between MBA vs CA lies in the course structure. While an MBA follows the structure of a general postgraduate degree program, CA spans across different levels beginning with CA Foundation, CA IPCC and CA Final. The curriculum of MBA focuses on more different aspects of management and its related specializations while the CA course focuses on imparting a student with the knowledge of account-keeping as well as advanced expertise of laws and accounting practices. The CA syllabus can be considered as vast and extensive than an MBA and this is why its duration is around 3-5 years while a Master of Business Administration mainly encompasses of 1-2 years.

MBA vs CA: Syllabus

An aspiring CA candidate has to study – 

  • Financial Reporting
  • Financial Account Management
  • Accounting 
  • Economics
  • Mercantile Law
  • Business Law and Ethics
  • Taxation
  • Tax Laws
  • Auditing

On the other hand, the syllabus of an MBA degree covers – 

  • Theoretical and Practical Aspects of the business 
  • Financial Planning 
  • Financial Management
  • Risk Analysis
  • Operations Management
  • Human Resource Planning
  • Marketing Research

MBA vs CA: Knowledge Acquisition

Adding to the MBA vs CA debate, a crucial point of discussion is assessing the difference of knowledge one gains through an MBA degree when compared to Chartered Accountancy. While one can always opt for a similar specialisation like an MBA in Finance or Accounting, CA course definitely imparts students with an expertise into financial accounting, finance ethics and regulations, audit, cost accounting, taxation etc. while an MBA inclines more towards grooming students for professional environments. With an extensive expertise in Accounting, a CA professional can begin their own practice after gaining this qualification when compared to MBA graduates usually explore varied profiles in corporate sector though the chance of opening up one’s own consultancy is always there.

Check Out: Scope of MBA in Finance

MBA vs CA: Skill Set Required

An MBA graduate is expected to possess the following skillset: 

  • Adept Knowledge
  • Pressure Handling
  • Strategic Decision Making
  • Leadership Qualities
  • Time Management
  • Uplifted work values
  • Contemporary Vision

The skills required to become a Chartered Accountant are: 

  • The lucid approach of accounting and auditing
  • Excellent communication
  • Knowledge of socioeconomic conditions 

MBA vs CA: Career Scope

An MBA degree equips candidates with the necessary tools and techniques on the mechanics of successful running of a business concern. Related industries include banking and wealth management, stock markets, insurance, consulting, healthcare management, media, sustainability, supply chain and logistics, amongst others. Whereas, a Chartered Accountant can work for multinational companies and firms across sectors and can even start his own firm. If you find yourself stuck between the choice of MBA vs CA, you can opt for an MBA in Accounting is also becoming a staple part of course offerings. Salary brackets in senior executive roles tend to be similar for both qualifications.

MBA vs CA: Fees

The expensive tuition fees charged by business schools worldwide is no secret. This can go even exorbitantly high to INR 50,00,000 to INR 70,00,000 per annum for some of the first-rate business programs in management-related fields. In addition to the pointer of MBA vs CA dilemma, the costs of studying abroad are also quite high. Distinctively, pursuing the CA course in the country is fairly cheaper hovering on overall fees of INR 60,000 to 70,000.

Also Read: MBA Admission

MBA vs CA: Jobs

Here are the job options you can consider after an MBA:

  • Marketing Manager / Consultant
  • Financial Advisor
  • Human Resource Manager
  • IT/ Operations Manager
  • Analyst 
  • Administrative Manager 
  • Investment Banking 

Here are the job opportunities you can consider after pursuing a CA Course:

  • Audition Firms, Taxation
  • Management Consultancy Services
  • Practicing Individually 
  • Corporate Law

MBA vs CA: Salary

While the remuneration for MBA vs CA professionals will vary depending upon a wide range of factors, these two courses offer some of the top high salary jobs for commerce students. Calculating on an average, a Chartered Accountant can expect around 7-10 lakh package while an MBA graduate from a renowned and leading business school can aim for 18-22 LPA though the packages will highly differ as per the employer.

Note: The salary and package of both MBA and CA professionals are only for indicative purposes and can vary as per the profile, employer and other parameters.

MBA vs CA – Which is better?

To decide – which is a better option? CA or MBA, we need to understand that both of these courses can lead you to a successful career in their unique ways. While it might be easier to get an MBA from Tier II or Tier III institute, but to get an MBA from Ivy League college is difficult as a CA certification. The best of either of these professionals courses is one of the highest-paid professionals in the country. So, the right question is, “Which is better” whichever suits your career aspirations. 


What is the eligibility criteria for MBA?

You must hold a bachelor’s degree in any discipline along with a few years of industry experience, as applicable, is required.

What is the cost of studying for CA course in India?

CA course has an overall fees of INR 60,000 to 70,000.

What is the syllabus for MBA?

Theoretical and Practical Aspects of the business
Financial Planning
Financial Management
Risk Analysis
Operations Management
Human Resource Planning
Marketing Research

There is no doubt that a considerable number of students enrol for such programs without giving proper consideration to how it matches with their interests and abilities. If you are stuck in the MBA vs CA dilemma too, take the assistance of the AI tool at Leverage Edu which narrows down choicest courses and universities based on an algorithmic analysis of your skills and make an informed decision towards a rewarding fulfilling career.

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