In today’s world filled with plenty of career options and educational certificates & degrees, it can get challenging for students to choose the right career path for themselves. If you’re confused about choosing CIMA or MBA, you’re not alone. While CIMA proves to be a great certification for getting equipped with business knowledge and skills, MBA is a globally renowned qualification. 


In this blog, we’re going to provide details on both CIMA & MBA, compare the two thoroughly, and explain why you should choose either of the two. We will also discuss the best course you can take up to build your career as a CIMA professional. Let’s start. 

What is CIMA?

Founded in 1919, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK has been creating CIMA professionals for over 100 years and the institution is determined to offer excellence and value to its students. 


CIMA is a thorough course that requires utmost dedication, determination, and hard work. You will have to put in a lot of effort to complete this qualification and become a part of the global community of qualified CIMA professionals.

CIMA is a professional qualification that requires candidates to begin with completing their operational and management level and then heading towards the strategic level. 


This qualification’s curriculum revolves around the emphasis on business and accounting while also helping the students understand the mitigation and strategy of the risks involved in the business. 

The Best Course to Pursue CIMA

As mentioned above, CIMA is a global professional qualification for candidates who want to pursue a career in the business & finance industry. IMS Proschool is CIMA India’s official learning partner and it offers: 

  • CIMA Strategic Level
  • Managerial Level
  • Operational Level
  • CBA Level classroom training courses in all the major cities of India


IMS Proschool’s CIMA qualification syllabus is designed in such a way that it meets the industry standards of India. 


For Undergraduates

  • BA 1 – Fundamentals of Business Economics
  • BA 2 – Fundamentals of Management Accounting
  • BA 3 – Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
  • BA 4 – Fundamentals of Ethics


After the successful completion of this course, you will get the CIMA Certificate in business accounting. 


For Graduates

  • E1: Organizational Management
  • P1: Management Accounting
  • F1: Financial Reporting and Taxation
  • Exam: 3 Objective type Exams and 1 Case study Exam

After the successful completion of this course, you will get the CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting (CIMA dip MA). 

What is an MBA?

MBA is known to be the most popular course and a valuable degree for those in the field of accounting and finance. Most top-notch universities across the globe offer MBA and the degree holds value if you pursue it from a globally recognized and renowned business school.

As a degree, MBA proves to be beneficial and fruitful if you give it your all and manage to develop the required skills. This degree will allow you to pick a specialization, which will further create the direction of your career path. The best thing about pursuing an MBA is that it gives you the flexibility to pick your specialization. 


In this section, we’re going to compare both CIMA & MBA on the basis of the following: 



Organizing Body

The organizing body that manages as well as controls everything related to CIMA is The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK. 


The pattern of CIMA is that this professional qualification is divided into 4 levels: 

  1. Operational Level
  2. Management Level
  3. Strategic Level
  4. Certificate Level 

Course Duration 

Ideally, it may take you about a year to clear each level of CIMA, hence, it can take 3 to 4 years to successfully complete CIMA and become a qualified professional. 


The syllabus of CIMA includes various subjects including: 

  • Finance Management
  • Management Accounting
  • Information Management 
  • Strategic Marketing Management 
  • Business Accounting 


The most common job profiles of a CIMA professional include: 

  • Management Accountant
  • Finance Controller
  • Forensic Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager

Difficulty level

Talking about the difficulty level of CIMA examinations is moderate. 



Organizing Body

For an MBA, the management & control of the examinations are done by individual universities and institutions. 


Every institute follows a different pattern for the MBA course. While some institutes divide the curriculum into semesters, others divide it into a trimester. 

Course duration

Depending on the type of program you choose and the institution you pick, it may take 1-2 years for you to complete your MBA


The major subjects included in MBA’s syllabus are: 

  • Financial & Marketing Management 
  • Accounting 
  • Operations Research 
  • Business Statistics
  • Managerial Economics
  • Human Resource Management 
  • Business Ethics


The most common job profiles of an MBA professional include: 

  • Marketing Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Advisor
  • Operations Manager
  • Human Resource Manager

Difficulty level

The difficulty level of an MBA is fairly reasonable as the passing rate of this degree is mostly 100%. 

Why should you pursue CIMA? 

Following are the reasons why you should pursue CIMA:

  • CIMA offers long-term fruitful benefits for your career and it won’t put your money invested into the certification at risk. The fees of this comprehensive course are affordable and the curriculum covers significant and relevant topics. 
  • After the successful completion of CIMA, you can land jobs with lucrative salary packages, making it worth the time, energy, and money you will put into it. 
  • CIMA is not too difficult and you won’t have to study over 20 subjects to become a CIMA professional. 

Why Should you pursue an MBA?

  • MBA is a little expensive, but it is a residential program and as an MBA student you will get to make various connections throughout your journey. 
  • MBA offers great placement opportunities, it is a globally recognized program, and it allows you to build a good career with decent salary packages. 
  • Pursuing an MBA will ensure that you get equipped with the necessary skill set required to run a successful business. 

Why Should you pick CIMA over MBA? 

As per our suggestion after thorough research on the subjects, we believe that a candidate should pick to pursue CIMA over MBA considering it acts as a bridge between a professional certified qualification in finance or accounting and an MBA


CIMA is a globally recognised and uniform qualification that is unique in its own sense and opens doors to various lucrative career opportunities for an individual. 


If you choose to pursue an MBA, it will prepare you to work in the country you pursue it in or run a business in that country. However, after pursuing CIMA, you’ll be able to work anywhere across the globe. 


In this blog, we have discussed both MBA & CIMA in detail to help you understand both the qualifications and decide which one you want to pursue. We hope this blog has helped you find answers to all your questions and allows you to make the right decision for yourself. Pursuing both MBA and CIMA is also a great option for those who want to build a solid career in the field of accounting and finance. 


If you choose to pursue CIMA and are looking for a course to start your journey, taking up the CIMA course offered by IMS Proschool will be the best way to go. Their thorough curriculum and skilled mentors will ensure that you flourish in your chosen field and build a solid career for yourself. 


Which is better: CIMA or MBA?

CIMA is a perfect professional qualification for individuals who are interested in management accountancy. MBA is the right path for those who don’t have budget constraints and want to build a career in the finance industry, without knowing the exact field they want to pursue. 

Is it possible to pursue CIMA after an MBA?

A candidate who has successfully completed an MBA in accounting can choose to pursue CIMA through their accelerated Master’s Gateway route. In this case, you won’t have to go through any other levels of CIMA and you’ll become a qualified CIMA professional after passing the three-hour exam. 

What is the average salary of CIMA in India?

The average salary of CIMA qualified professionals is Rs. 26,00,000 in India. The salary may be less for those who have just started and more for highly experienced CIMA professionals.