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CPA vs. MBA: Which One’s for You?

Posted on August 31, 2015 12:51 pm;

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Hesitating between an academic degree and a professional qualification? Unsure which one is right for you?

Don't worry, Morgan can help you make the right choice. 

We've worked out a comprehensive guide to take you through the differences and similarities between the CPA credential and Masters' Degree, so you're equipped with all the information you need to make the right decision in your career.

Here's are 10 things you need to know:

#1: Educational experience 

To take either a CPA or an MBA you will need a bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement. But this is pretty much where the similarity ends. Read on to discover which one is more suitable for who you are now and where you want your career to take you.

#2: Professional experience

To take a CPA or MBA you will need two years of professional experience. However, the CPA lets you complete these after your exams, whereas the EMBA for example requires them before you start the course.

#3: Accounting credits

The CPA requires you to have 150 credits on average, depending on the jurisdiction you are applying to, whereas the MBA has no requirements for credits.

#4: Cost

The CPA costs on average start from $3,000 for live class, whereas the MBA generally costs anything from $10,000 to $70,000 per year.

#5: Time factor

The CPA can be completed in a minimum of five months, whereas the MBA generally takes two years.

#6: Specialization

The CPA provides you with very specialized knowledge applicable in the fields of audit, accountancy and finance, whereas the MBA offers a more broad range of business topics.

#7: Relevancy

The CPA is based on the most up-to-date business standards, regulations and trends, giving you skills that are instantly applicable and valued in the workplace. The MBA is more academic in nature and therefore requires professional experience on top to give your CV relevancy to your career.

#8: Return on investment

The fact that a CPA usually earns 10-15% more than their non CPA peers means that your return on investment begins to show itself immediately. The return on investment for a MBA usually requires more patience.

#9: Post-exam

Once you have your CPA designation, you will need to maintain your license, which entails earning CPE credits. Once you have your MBA, no maintenance is required.

#10: Ambitions

While the MBA is usually seen as the qualification that prepares its holder for leadership in the business world, the CPA is also a valuable tool for the ambitious. Many chief financial officers and chief executive officers began as CPAs.

Still unsure which path is right for you? Why not meet with a Morgan to discuss your career opportunities and find your fit! Schedule your free consultation today

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