Students aspiring to excel in finance naturally choose commerce as a field of study during their graduation years. And more often than not, after graduation, they want to become Chartered Accountants.
Becoming a CA is one of the most logical choices for students pursuing commerce. However, the CA exam is highly competitive, and the course is an extremely rigorous one.
You can definitely clear the exam with your knowledge, hard work, and extensive practical experience gained from your articleship training. Once you clear the CA exam, only the sky’s the limit. You will soon be spoiled between choices of excellent job opportunities.
However, if a student fails to clear the exams or becomes disenchanted with getting a CA degree, there is no need to worry.
The question that arises is ‘What after CA dropout?’ Are there any educational degrees that can support a career in finance and accounting? Are there good opportunities for work that can provide you with success and a good salary?
If a student works hard and strives to get a proper education, there are many amazing career opportunities they can secure even without a CA degree.
Alternative Career Options and Job Opportunities:
- Company Secretary (CS)
Although the CS course is also tough, it is comparatively easier than the CA course. Like CA, CS also has 3 exams – Foundation, Executive, and Professional.
Candidates who have cleared their 10 + 2 exams can join foundation courses, and graduates can join the executive course. The professional course can be joined only by those who have cleared the executive level. All companies hire company secretaries to handle various legal matters. A CS ensures that the company abides by all legal and statutory compliance and is responsible for a secretarial audit.
- Chartered Financial Analyst
There are many overlapping subjects between the CA and CFA courses. This is why a CA student can find it easier to clear the CFA examinations instead. After finishing either their higher secondary or graduation, a student can join the CFA course. Even a person who has stopped pursuing CA can opt for a CFA degree. Unlike a CA degree, a CFA degree is recognized globally and provides more career opportunities. There are three levels of examination followed by four years of practical training. However, a CFA degree is more expensive than a CA degree.
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is a globally recognized UK-based course for certified accountants. Students who have cleared the CA examinations as well as ones who have dropped out from CA can pursue the ACCA course. Although the degree has 13 subjects that need to be cleared, it provides plenty of exemptions in its examinations depending on students’ existing educational qualifications. For example, if you hold a CA degree, you can get exempted from writing as many as 9 subjects.
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
Unlike a CA degree that covers the overall aspect of finance, including audit and taxes, the CMA degree focuses more on cost and management accounts. The CMA course is eligible for all students who have completed the 10+2 examinations. If a student is pursuing any other course besides CMA, there are exemptions available depending on the additional course undertaken.
The CMA course also includes practical training of 15 months that helps students understand the application of the course syllabus in real-time corporate situations.
- Certified Financial Planner
If you cannot finish your CA degree but still want to be certified in the financial domain, then a CFP is the perfect degree to pursue. Unlike a CA degree that includes accounting and taxation, a CFP degree mainly focuses on managing wealth, financial planning, and investments.
The basic eligibility for enrolling in the CFP course is to have cleared your 10+2 exams. The course can be pursued in addition to a regular graduate degree. If you already hold a chartered certificate like CA or ICWA, you only need to sit for the 5th paper.
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants is a globally recognized degree that can be sought by people pursuing graduation in any stream. A CIMA degree can be extremely helpful in getting jobs related to financial management in any company. CIMA can be an alternative course to study instead of CA. For example, a CIMA course allows a candidate to work as a business analyst or CFO in any organization.
A CIMA degree can be pursued after clearing the 10+2 examinations. The course can be joined in addition to regular graduation courses as well.
- Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)
If you have dropped out of the CA course but are still interested in pursuing a career in finance, then this course is one of the best. CAIA is a course that focuses on hedge funds and asset management.
Unlike other courses, there are no specific eligibility requirements. Any graduate from any professional background can take admission and sit for the CAIA examinations. Many top employers in the country and outside appreciate the CAIA qualification in resumes.
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
For CAs, another option after qualifying is to pursue the CPA degree. Even those who have dropped out of CA, or those students who have just completed their graduation, can consider enrolling in the CPA course. CPA is a globally recognized degree that provides the status of first-class accountants in any business.
Unlike the CA degree in India, CPA is comparatively more expensive to pursue. However, if students work part-time, they can easily cover the exam and other fees of the course.
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Masters of Business Administration is a postgraduate degree available for all students after graduation. The course is for 2 years and is available at many accredited universities.
The course allows students to understand how businesses are run and helps students get excellent job opportunities in major companies. In fact, in 2021, the percentages of companies that hired MBA graduates increased to 91% as compared to 80% in 2020.
MBA can be pursued by students who have cleared their CA examinations and those who are looking for alternate career options in finance.
- Master of Commerce (M.Com)
M.Com is a post-graduate degree of 2 years. Therefore, it is a viable education degree for students who are already enrolled in CA courses and those who want to pursue other higher finance degrees.
To be eligible for the M.Com degree, students need to have graduated with a bachelor’s. M.Com can help students get excellent opportunities as Forensic Accountants, Internal Auditors and serve as Chief Financial Officers in any company.
Having an M.Com degree also opens up careers as a teacher or professor in any private university where you can choose to work either full-time or part-time.
- Social Media Influencer
Social Media, in recent times, has fantastic job opportunities. Even if you have finished your CA or dropped out of the CA course, you can still have a fulfilling career with social media.
With social media, students can impart their knowledge or even teach potential students about what they know about. In addition, depending on their consistency and usefulness, students could potentially tie-up with companies and get sponsored for future content.
Freelancing opportunities are abundant not only for people who have cleared CA but also for those students who have dropped out but still want to have a career in finance.
Unlike earlier times, students can pursue further education and still earn through freelancing to have a continued income source. Depending on which company they choose to work with, they may even be absorbed into the company for full-time employment after their studies. As freelancers, students can also offer tutoring services based on their chosen study area.
Another popular career choice for students who have dropped out of CA is blogging. As bloggers, students can easily share any kind of knowledge with their subscribers.
If a student has chosen to discontinue pursuing CA, they can share their experiences on a blog which can be helpful to other students in choosing their education. Many students struggle to make sense of their chosen degree or career path. They would love to hear commiserating advice from someone.
Even successful CA students can start blogging to educate their readers about the course. They can also provide their subscribers with tips to study and clear their exams.
Teaching is another alternate career option for those who have completed their CA degree as well as those who have had to drop out. Ideally, you can teach only if you have a Bachelor’s in Education or in some cases, even a Master’s.
A qualified CA is eligible to teach in private colleges, schools, and even coaching centres without finishing their Master’s. However, if you want to teach in government colleges, a Master’s in education or in your chosen vocation is a must, along with a clearing certificate from NET or SET is compulsory.
For example, if you want to teach advanced accounts at a government university, you need to have a Master’s of Commerce degree in your hand. You would also need to hold a passing certificate from the National Eligibility Test or State Eligibility Test.
There is no age limit for appearing in NET or SET for the assistant professor role. If cleared, with experience, you can advance into being a full-time professor in any college.
The courses and opportunities mentioned are helpful even for those students who have cleared their CA exams as well as CA dropouts. Additionally, deciding to drop out of CA does not mean that your career is at a standstill. On the contrary, with alternate degrees and other educational qualifications, students can easily get fantastic working opportunities.
No matter which course you are enrolled in or which career path you are following, hard work, passion, and perseverance can help you achieve all your goals!
The US CPA qualification is recognised worldwide and can open doors to opportunities in Europe, Asia and North America. If you are an accounting professional looking to boost your career or just curious to learn about the course, we suggest you check out our Certified Public Accountant (CPA) course to learn more. 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 email@example.com.