Which Is a Better Option in India – CA or CFA?

After choosing between the desired stream in class 11, students have to make a tough decision regarding their career path. Almost every commerce student wonders whether they’d be better suited for the Chartered Accountancy (CA) course or the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) one. 

Choosing between these career options can be very tricky. Both are high-paying jobs, provide great perks, and are one of the most demanding and fascinating careers in the corporate world. Therefore, it is best to understand both courses before making any decision. 

CA vs CFA: Which is better?

Choosing between good and bad is easy, but selecting between good and good is extremely difficult. The latter applies to this choice. The CA course requires a five-year commitment and includes three levels, namely foundation, intermediate and final. You can enrol for the CA course immediately after clearing class 12 or after graduation. Chartered Accountancy provides flexible job opportunities for students in India. 

The CFA course on the other hand is a four-year commitment, including relevant work experience. Aspirants have to clear a six-hour examination to be able to get a certificate from the CFA Institute. Once the exams are cleared, students can apply for a CFA membership and get registered with their local CFA society. This article covers all the aspects that you need to consider before making any decision. But first, it is important to understand each profession separately. 

Chartered Accountancy (CA)

The Chartered Accountancy course is conducted, managed, and organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). CA is a professional accountant working with diverse companies and firms. They can work in all fields of finance and business, such as taxation, auditing, consultancy services, and financial management, to mention a few. 

Skilled CAs are always in demand in the financial and manufacturing industries. Many commerce students consider this as a feasible career option. Being a CA allows you to work as an accountant, tax consultant, auditor, or analyst in a company. CAs can even form their private firm, offer financial and taxation services to individuals, private or public organizations. The average income of a CA fresher is up to Rs. 6-8 lakhs. This gradually increases with experience. 

Job responsibility:

  • Prepare monthly financial reports
  • Look after the financial process
  • Prepare budgets
  • Oversee the duties of the accounting department
  • Audit the financial statements
  • Oversee and comply with the tax provisions
  • Coordinate income statements

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) 

This is an accounting profession, overseen by an international organization called the CFA Institute. CFAs mainly focus on investment management. Since it is a globally certified course, it deals in global investment management. According to the CFA Institute, only those individuals can use the CFA designation who (a) complete the three graduate-level examinations with six months of preparation for each exam; (b) have four years of work experience. CFA is a more challenging course when compared to CA. 

You can study to become a CFA only after completing your graduation. CFA mainly focuses on finance and is completely based on concepts. Moreover, complementary standards and codes (like the Global Investment Performance Standards and Asset Manager Code) enhance the profession’s distinctiveness. Individuals with a CFA certification are immediately hired by the big four—Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG. A fresh CFA graduate can expect an average income of up to Rs. 4 lakhs. 

Job responsibility: 

  • Keep track of the financial position of a company
  • Research and analyze risk
  • Come up with investment-related strategies
  • Manage the portfolio of the company
  • Investment banking

The difference between CA and CFA:

Basis  CA CFA 
Core area CA is an expert in accounting, taxation, law, finance, and audit CFA focuses on finance 
Course duration  Divided into three levels, CA requires practical training of three years. Divided into three levels, CFA requires practical training of four years. 
Exam-type  Subjective  Objective 
Minimum qualification required  Class 12 Graduation 
Organization  The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India  Chartered Financial Analyst Institute 
Average income Freshers can earn between Rs. 6-8 lakhs, which increases with experience.  Freshers can earn up to Rs. 4 lakhs. 
Demand  CAs are in high demand as they are the only ones who can authorize the financial statements of a company CFAs are demanded by MNCs looking for candidates who are experts in finance

If you’re still not sure whether a CA course is better or a CFA course, analyze the data presented above. Chartered Accountancy is better for students who want to become experts in the fields of accounting, auditing, taxation, and business laws. On the other hand, a Chartered Financial Analyst course is generally preferred by those who want to learn the insights of finance and portfolio management. Both courses are equally reputed and high in demand. CFA is demanded globally as a profession, and CA is the most popular career option in India. 

Pursuing CA and CFA together 

You can also opt for both CA and CFA. In such a case, you are advised to pursue the CFA course after completing CA. This will give you an edge over the others. A CA + CFA combination will help you understand the auditing and financing field better and open new gateways for your career. Blending the two sectors will result in your personal growth and also show your dedication and commitment to the job. 

Both professions require patience, hard work, and sincerity, and they’re both important jobs in their own right. Being at the top of your game in either field will bring you a lot of respect in society. All you need to do is consider your skill set, level of dedication, and future goals to make an informed decision. 


The Chartered Financial Analyst is a globally recognised qualification in the field of finance and investment. If you have recently completed your graduation or are appearing for your final semester, you may be eligible to become a CFA. Interested? We highly recommend checking out our Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course. To advance your portfolio and build professional skills, try Zell Education’s interactive courses that offer flexible training timings. Get in touch at +91 7208885600 or email us at reachus@zelleducation.com.

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