Success Stories: Professionals Who Quit CA to Pursue CMA


The Chartered Accountant (CA) and US Certified Management Accountant (CMA) are the two most well-respected certifications in finance and accounting. These qualifications can help you open the doors to numerous high-paying job opportunities worldwide. Once you complete the CMA USA course and the CA course, you should have no difficulty finding a job at MNCs and other giants in India. Although both these qualifications deal with finance and accounting, they are quite different certification courses.
Both certifications have unique merits and demerits; thus, it is not rare for individuals to consider switching between these qualifications. In recent times, we have witnessed a growing trend of individuals quitting their CA course to pursue the CMA USA course. In this article, we will take a quick look at these qualifications (CA and CMA USA course) and whether you should consider transitioning from CA to CMA USA course. 
We will also explore the success stories of Professionals who quit the CA course to pursue CMA USA certifications and the benefits they reaped from this decision.

What are the CA course and CMA USA course?

Let's start by understanding these two qualifications. 
Chartered Accountant or CA course is a highly respected and well-recognized qualification in India and the entire world, offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). It is one of the popular choices to pursue a career in accounting and finance. As a CA professional, you can work in all aspects of finance and accounting in India. There is no shortage of CA jobs in India. 
However, clearing the CA course can be a daunting task. There are 20 papers that you need to pass to become a CA with three years of Articleship (training or internships), which may not be feasible for everyone. Moreover, around 10% of candidates pass the CA course every year. Thus, many individuals who initially joined the CA course end up transitioning to other programs. 
The recent rise in popularity of other professional accounting qualifications like CMA and ACCA also leads to many students transitioning to these qualifications from the CA course.

US CMA Course Details

Offered by the official CMA Institute - Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the CMA full form is Certified Management Accountant, and this course is one of the top Management Accounting Certifications across the globe. Similar to the CA course, you can apply for this qualification right after your 12th standard exams. The CMA USA course also covers most of the CA syllabus but mostly emphasizes Strategic Management Accounting. As a US CMA professional, you can work in management accounting, cost accounting, financial analysis, and financial planning.

Why do candidates leave the CA course to join the CMA USA course?

Here are a few reasons why many candidates leave the CA course for the CMA USA course -
  1. CA is hard to complete and demotivates the students - 
Some reports say less than 1% of the candidates pass the CA exams on their first attempts. Many candidates fail 4-5 times in their endeavor to pass these CA certification exams. It is natural to feel demotivated after the first few attempts. On the other hand, the CMA USA course is a tad bit easier than the CA course, attracting many CA candidates to switch to the CMA USA route to become accounting professionals.
  1. Longer duration of CA - 
The CMA USA course duration is shorter than the CA. CA requires at least three years to complete, and it also requires three years of mandatory Articleship. While on the other hand, the CMA course can be completed in under a year and only requires two years of full-time work experience. Thus, many students lean towards the CMA course.
  1. International opportunity 
CMA demand in India is comparatively lower than that of CA. However, CMA USA opens the gates to the international market. As an experienced US CMA, you can get a job outside India and at the top MNCs. The CMA USA course is a much better career path if you want to make a career abroad. So, naturally, individuals who want to work overseas leave the CA course to join the CMA USA course.

Success Stories: Professionals Who Quit the CA to Pursue CMA

Over the past few years, many candidates have left the CA course in pursuit of the CMA USA course. Most of them are now successful in their careers and have no regrets. Some of these stories are-
  • Siddharth Aggarwal - 
Siddharth failed in his 3rd attempt at the intermediate level of the CA course in the year 2014. It was at that moment someone suggested he pursue CMA. Frustrated with his failure in the CA exams, he joined the CMA USA course at the NorthStar Academy. He easily completed the CMA certification exam in 18 months and started a well-paying job in an MNC.
Now, he is working for a huge asset management company as a CMA, earning 20 LPA as his salary, and has no regrets about leaving the CA course. Even if his family and friends initially complained about him leaving the CA exams midway, no one cares now as he is quite successful with his job.
  • Radhika Jain - 
Radhika didn't have that many issues with her initial exams, but then she joined the Articleship. What she got in the name of Articleship was a full-flagged job for which she was paid nothing. Preparing for the upcoming exams is one thing, but the 3-year mandatory Articleship is quite a struggle for most students. She was not able to cope with the stress of these two. At that point, she also lost her interest in the CA course. 
Eventually, she failed her CA inter-level exam. The same year, she quit the CA course and joined the CMA USA course at NSA. She completed her CMA course in under a year and started working full-time with a management accounting firm in Bangalore. She is quite happy with her job position now and has no regrets.
There are many examples of individual testimonies of students leaving the CA to pursue the CMA course. If you head to online websites, you will find many more such success stories of candidates who left the CA course to pursue other qualifications and are quite successful in their life and career.


1. Is it worth Quitting CA to pursue CMA?

It is completely okay to quit sometimes. If you cannot complete the CA course for any reason, then the CMA USA course represents a great opportunity for you to establish a successful career in the field of finance and accounting. If you are looking to work abroad or if you want to build a career in management accounting and financial analysis, then It is well worth the effort to quit CA to pursue the CMA USA course.

2. Can I switch from CA to CMA?

Yes, you can surely switch from CA to CMA. Both the CA and CMA USA courses have somewhat the same syllabus. You will have no issues quitting the CA course to join the CMA USA course. The CMA course is also considered a little easier than the CA exams, and CMA only takes up to 1.5 years to complete, making the transitions much easier. If you encounter any issues in your transition, contact us at NorthStar Academy.

3. Who is in more demand, CA or CMA?

In India, CA professionals are in quite high demand. CMA demand in India is at a comparatively lower level than the CA. However, on an international stage, CMA professionals are in higher demand than CAs. CMA is the best if you want to work for international firms or outside India.

4. Is CMA easy for the average student?

Even though the CMA USA course is considered one of the toughest Management Accounting Certifications, It is relatively easier to complete than other accounting qualifications like the CA course. We believe any average student will have no difficulty completing the CMA USA course. However, you still have to put in a lot of dedication and hard work to get it through, as only 40% of the candidates can pass the CMA exams.

5. What is the CMA vs. CA salary in India?

The demand for a CA is tremendous in India. Even as a fresher, you can easily get over five lakhs per annum as your salary, which grows with your experience and skills. As an experienced CA, you can get up to 9.5 lakhs per annum working in India. On the other hand, CMA demand in India is not as high as that of a CA. The salary range for CMA in India varies from ?0.7 Lakhs to ?22.0 Lakhs, with an average annual salary of ?6.0 Lakhs. These figures are based on an analysis of 101 recent salary reports submitted by CMAs.


Whether it is because you are finding it hard to clear the CA course than the CMA course, or you want to work abroad for which the CMA course is better, or you do not want to spend 5+ years on completing your CA course, or you just lost your will to become a CA halfway, whatever the reason it is completely fine to do so. Many individuals did exactly the same and are still quite successful in life. It is not the end of the world if you cannot complete the CA course. You can always go for the highly organized CMA USA course from NorthStar Academy to bag international career opportunities. Our CMA USA certification course is curated with all the expertise and research from top mentors like M. Irfat Sir, who has helped thousands of students pass the CMA USA exams.
Please contact us if you want help transitioning from CA to the CMA USA course. We at the NorthStar Academy are determined to help every student reach their ultimate career goals.