Is it really worth doing an MBA after completing CA?

After so much sweat and blood devoted for CA, why do you want to study further? You will definitely land a job that will pay you decently.

Do you really need to go further to pursue an extra degree?

May be not immediately, but those of you who are happily working and looking for an appraisal, do you want to do something productive that can boost your career?

You have a plethora of options in front of you.

How about an MBA?

Is it really worth doing an MBA post CA?

Any CA looking for options to take a step further in the professional world might have found themselves at this juncture.

Before we look at the very many advantages offered, have a look at the whole scenario objectively. A CA is a CA whether he/she clears the exam in the first attempt or after few more of them. Similarly, an MBA is an MBA whenever you do it. Or, is it not so?

When should one pursue the course to be done is a matter of choices made wisely. Here are the three most important questions that should be addressed properly.

When to do it?

As a freshly qualified CA, you have the option of taking up an MBA course which would be right in the early stages of your career. This has the advantage of adding a valuable degree to your kit so you can explore the versatile career options available at later in point of time. You have time on your side. By the time many of your counterparts are planning for a career change, you would have added the feather in your cap.

On the flip side, most universities and B-schools require applicants with minimum work experience along with good scores. In such a situation we have to admit that CA’s with a few years of experience behind them have a wider scope to choose and enter the college of their choice. If you opt for MBA soon after CA, you definitely take away the learning but to reap the benefits of an MBA program, work experience plays a major role. As you spend time at the workplace for few years, you tend to be more clear and specific about your career goals. This helps you define your path and apply for the program that is suitable for your needs. The quality and amount of work experience can sometimes supersede a lower GMAT score too.

Choosing the university / B School:

What value does one hold for being the number one at university level when compared to the one who is ranked ten at international level. Well, one should not go by the numbers here but should look deep into the degree of expertise gained and the level of competition sustained and surpassed.

Same applies when one chooses a university for admission. So, the whole idea is about doing MBA from an institution that would help you stand out of the crowd. Pursuing an MBA just for the sake of it should be a big NO! So, do not go for just any college. Aim for the ones that would help you claim the necessary value addition to your profile. Consider the following colleges for reference:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
  3. London School of Business
  4. MIT Sloan
  5. Wharton,University of Pennsylvania
  6. Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
  7. Kellogg, Northwestern University
  9. Stern, NYU

If you are considering for an MBA abroad, it is necessary to keep in mind the following aspects:

  • International MBAs are expensive and unlike Masters’ programmes, scholarships and fee waivers for MBA programmes are far and few between
  • You are going to be competing with an international pool of students
  • You can potentially end up with a job abroad

You can also go for the top MBA colleges in India as well. But it is important to note that none of the Indian schools come in the list of Ivy League business schools of the world, no matter how tough the competition is or how smart the students are. Some of the reputed MBA programs in India a CA could consider are provided below:

  1. IIM Ahmedabad
  2. IIM Bangalore
  3. IIM Kolkata
  4. IIM Lucknow
  5. IIM Kozhikode
  6. IIM Indore
  7. ISB Hyderabad
  8. XLRI Jamshedpur
  9. SPJIMR, Mumbai
  10. NMIMS
  11. FMS Delhi
  12. JBIMS

A one-year vis-a- vis a two-year MBA program:

How does one address this concern? Well some research should go into this for sure. When either of these is offering the same degree at the end of their respective terms in what contexts are they different? Well, what one is expected to learn from both is fairly similar. However, the major difference lies in the fact that a one year MBA course is a tightly packed one while the two-year MBA course lets you breathe through during intervals.

A one year MBA program often looks for students with sufficient work experience, because this is an accelerated version, pre MBA experience is given a lot of weight. A fresher with zero experience is usually never welcomed into a one year MBA program. There are many corporates that actually sponsor its employees to go for these one-year MBA courses.

An advantage that two-year MBA offers is that it gives time for you to take up internships which is otherwise quite remote an opportunity in case of a one-year MBA program. If time is on your side, go for the two year MBA program to expand your horizon.

Let’s now look at the reasons that would urge you to do an MBA:

Enhance your career:

A CA is equipped with knowledge about taxation, auditing, accounts and finance related fields during his curriculum. Now when a CA  gets into an MBA, marketing skills add up to the of knowledge that he already possesses. So, he learns to market himself and present himself better which many a times CAs lack. Thus, you can gain technical specialization.  As a CA is already considered as one of high repute, he has the advantage of getting preference to clinch a position in premier institutes to pursue MBA. This combination helps boost your profile.

Solid overall knowledge:

Accounts, finance, law, taxation, audit and costing are the various topics one learns as a student of Chartered Accountancy. You are looked upon as someone with comprehensive knowledge of these subjects. An MBA degree exposes you to newer perspective all together. You realize that other disciplines and functions like  marketing, HR, operations etc which usually are just some line items in financial statements (at early phases of your career) are more often than not more important for the success of an organization, than Accounting.

To assess the impact on overall business:

The Chartered Accountancy course lets you have some in depth knowledge of the numbers and how they have been derived. You know how to walk through the various accounts and would be familiar with the number crunching. You learn to assess the impact of an amount or a transaction on all other accounts and the financial statements. Here, what you miss to understand is the impact that these numbers have on the overall business performance. Exposure to other disciplines helps you know what influence these numbers have on other functions and dynamics of a business. When decisions concerning the organization are to be taken, one has to go beyond the mere reporting of financials. An MBA broadens your thinking process and gives you that perspective of divergent thinking.

Become an entrepreneur:

The one possession of an MBA which is the most useful for him to become an entrepreneur is the network he/she has with other talented people. Especially in case of top tier MBA programs, the network of people that one builds might outbalance what one could build on his own. It is not just about money. It is all about what you have to do to stand out there tall and strong in the midst of great competition. An MBA is the best platform for a CA to break through many limitations.

Moving up the management chain:

It is easier to get a job post CA. However, to move into a senior management positions like CEO / or  Business head you need to have an understanding of other areas like marketing, HR and more importantly team and people management. An MBA from a reputed university / college can help you build that perspective. The solid knowledge of a CA combined with the smartness of an MBA can help one become a chief financial officer (CFO) or a chief executive officer (CEO) few years down the line.

The much needed exposure:

CA is a very complex degree of the many commerce courses owing to the depth of knowledge it offers and tests and also the pattern of exams conducted. While CA increases knowledge and makes your basics and foundations strong, MBA helps shape your personality. CA is all about having a disciplined mind and determination. MBA teaches you to be a team player. You work in groups, talk to different people from various backgrounds as a part of your curriculum itself. Thus, you shape your personality the right way. You learn how to tackle stress and it makes you a better communicator. Thus, the exposure that is missing in the CA curriculum is all imbibed through the MBA course.

Improves confidence:

Recruiters look for your prior education and very importantly they look at how well you fit the role in the organization. An MBA helps you prove your worth to the recruiter by being good at expressing your strengths and weaknesses. You get time to spend with like-minded people which puts us in the right atmosphere. One would wonder looking at the right level of confidence that develops in an environment filled with healthy competition as in the case of an MBA college.

College life is one of the perks that you enjoy when you choose MBA! It is not what you study but also where you study that has a huge impact on how you shape up. Choosing the right college helps you gain a lot in life that will transform you into a new individual as you come across people from various streams of life.

So, people set your priorities and plan for this dual degree so you can reach great heights. All the Best!

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