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CFA vs CA: Which Is the Better Option in India?

CFA vs CA: Which Is the Better Option in India?


Most commerce students find themselves standing at a crossroads for choosing between two promising career options- CFA vs CA. The decision gets tougher as both Chartered Accountancy (CA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) offer high-paying jobs, exclusive perks, and highly rewarding careers in the corporate world. Therefore, let’s break it down and weigh both courses as per eligibility, career options, and scope to help you make an informed career decision. Dive right in!

What is CFA?

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a prestigious qualification in the field of finance, which equips learners with expert knowledge in investment and financial management. It is a globally recognized exam administered by the CFA Institute. Altogether, it is a highly sought-after career option in both India and abroad.

What is CA?

Chartered Accountancy is an esteemed course equipping learners with expertise in accounting, auditing, taxation, and general management. Administered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), it is a popular career option in India. Chartered Accountants can work in varied sectors and are the only professionals authorized to audit financial statements.

CFA vs CA: Highlights

Parameters CA CFA
Duration CA course duration is 4.5 years, including 3 years of training. CFA course duration is 3-4 years to pass all 3 exams.
Fees 1-2 lakhs 2-2.5 lakhs
Focus accounting, taxation, law, audit, and finance finance
Exam Details CA Exam includes 3 levels- CPT, IPCC, and CA Final CFA Exam includes 3 levels- Level I, Level II, and Level III
Exam Pattern Subjective-type Objective-type
Career Options Students can opt for career choices like Internal Auditing, Taxation, Auditing, Accounting and Finance, Taxation Advisory, Statutory Audit, Bookkeeping, Finance Controller etc. Students can work as Portfolio Manager, Research Analyst, Consultation, Risk Manager, Chief Investment Officer, Asset Management, Private Wealth Management, Investment Banking, etc.
Average Salary INR 7-15 LPA INR 9.8-44 LPA

CFA Course Duration, Exam, and Scope

The CFA Exam is categorized into three levels, namely Level I, Level II, and Level III. The minimum eligibility criteria require students to have a bachelor's degree or 4000+ hours of work experience. The CFA course duration is 3-4 years to clear all the exams. However, it is not mandated to complete all the exams in one go. Talking about scope, CFA professionals are in high demand, especially in investment sectors.

CA Course Duration, Exam, and Scope

CA course is divided into three levels, namely the Common Proficiency Test (CPT), Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC), and CA Final. Students must have completed 10+2 with a minimum of 50% marks from a recognized board to be eligible for the CA exam. CA course duration spans over 4.5 years, including 3 years of practical training. As far as scope is concerned, there is a rising demand for CA professionals in finance, manufacturing, and other sectors in pan-India.

CFA vs CA: Which is a better career option in India?

Choosing a better option between two reputed qualifications like CFA vs CA is a tricky decision. Both CA as well as CFA are highly rewarding career options with lucrative salaries, growth opportunities, and high demand in the corporate world. It depends on your interest areas and passion to find the more suitable option for yourself. If you are passionate about finance, then CFA is your go-to choice. But, if accounts and taxation drive your interests, then you must opt for CA.

Generally speaking, CA is a popular choice among professionals wanting to work in India, whereas CFA is a more prominent option for professionals wanting work opportunities across the globe. At the same time, witnessing a surge in MNCs and startups in India, opportunities for CFA professionals are also soaring. So, both CA and CFA are in high demand in India. It’s up to you to decide which field you want to work in.

Related Blog: A PGDM or an MBA with CFA Certification Spells Career Success for Finance Professionals

Clubbing CA and CFA

If you still can’t decide, you can pursue both CA and CFA courses. Moreover, it gives you an edge over other students as you are proficient in both finance and accounting skills. However, combining both courses requires more dedication and perseverance. So, opt for both courses together only if you can manage both courses properly.


Both CA and CFA are esteemed qualifications with distinct focuses and benefits. While CA is a perfect fit for those interested in accounting and auditing in India, CFA is meant for finance enthusiasts with a global perspective. Remember, whichever course you choose between CFA vs. CA, it should align with your career goals, aspirations, and interest areas for long-term professional success.

At PIBM we provide you with free CFA training along with your PGDM or MBA in Finance. So if you dream of becoming a CFA charter holder and want to launch a global career, enroll now in PIBM’s PGDM or MBA course.


CFAs are offered better salary packages for freshers as compared to CA professionals.

Yes, you can enroll for a CFA course, while pursuing CA. However, ensure you can balance and manage both courses together.

The CFA exam is a prestigious exam to test students’ expertise in finance and portfolio management. Administered by the CFA Institute, it is a recognized qualification across 165 nations including the USA, UK, UAE, Hong Kong, India, and other south-Asian countries.

Both CA and CFA are challenging yet rewarding credentials that offer great career progress. Being an elite accounting qualification, CA is a better option for students wanting to build a career in accounting and taxation. For students interested in finance, CFA is a better choice.

Yes, there is a significant demand for CFA in both India and abroad due to the wide array of career prospects it offers. It enables individuals to not only expand their knowledge and skills but also grow in their careers.