When you start thinking about a financial course or career choice, you consider several factors like job opportunities, required skills and education, salary, career outlook, etc. Another meaningful factor which can influence your selection, in most certainty, is the cost of pursuing the financial courses. In India, we have an option to pursue courses before, alongside or after graduation depending on the eligibility and scope of each one of them. Chartered Accountancy (CA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) are generally the most preferred financial courses in India, so to say the “Top 4”.


Let us quickly have a look at each one of them in more detail:

Chartered Accountancy (CA)

Institute: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

Skills Acquired: Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, Finance, Company Law, etc.

Time Period: 4.5 – 5 Years

Investment: 3.5 – 4 Lakhs

Start Level:  After 12th

No. of Attempts/Year: 2


One of the highly rewarding career options in India is Chartered Accountancy. One would take typically 4.5-5 years to graduate as a CA after clearing their 3 levels of assessments. The challenge here, however, is that you have to try to complete all the levels in your first attempt because each unsuccessful attempt increases your journey to CA by minimum of six months.


Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Institute: Respective Universities

Skills Acquired: Effective communication skills, problem-solving skills, Strategic research and analysis, Networking know-how, etc.

Time Period: 2 Years

Investment: 10-15* Lakhs (Depending on the quality and size of B-School you choose)

Start Level:   After Graduation


MBA is a post-graduate degree that is created to develop business and management skills amongst future business leaders and entrepreneurs. As compared to other financial courses, MBA is the most expensive course and its fees depend on which school it is pursued.


Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Institute: CFA Institute

Skills Acquired: Financial Reporting and Analysis, Analytical Skills, Corporate Finance, etc.

Time Period: 2 Years

Investment: 3.5 – 4 Lakhs

Start Level:  After Graduation

No. of Attempts/Year: 2 (Level 1) / 1 (Level 2 & 3)


CFA is gaining a lot of popularity among students in India recently because of its acceptance in the industry. This course is covered across three levels – Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. The candidate must have completed their Bachelor’s degree or should be pursuing their final year while seeking admission as a prerequisite criterion for admission to this course.


Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Institute: Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Skills Acquired: Global Accounting, Global Laws, Taxes, Finance Costing & Audit.

Time Period: 3 Years

Investment: 4.5-5 Lakhs

Start Level:  After 12th

No. of Attempts/Year: 4


ACCA stands for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant, world’s most forward-thinking professional accountancy body based in the UK with 110+ years of experience. Thousands of commerce students in India pursue ACCA alongside B. Com to become the most sought-after business management & finance professionals in 3 years, at an age of 20.

There are a number of other professional courses to choose from. Making a career choice is a tough decision and it can get confusing. So, list down your goals and aspirations, follow areas and subjects which interest you, talk to people in your circle who are working in those areas to get a feel of a day in their life, in short dig deep into your passions and make a choice.