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ACCA vs MBA: Is there a choice here?

If you are confused with ACCA Vs MBA, then chances are that ACCA came into your purview of confusion, from hearsay. However, at the same time, MBA can’t be a clear choice either, because even that has lot of confusion in itself.

ACCA Vs MBA: By the Numbers

If talk purely, on numbers then ACCA candidates in India approximately every year is around 15000, compared to on average 4 Lac students enrolling for MBA programs in India. However, MBA is a degree course which also includes sub standard  Tier 2 and Tier 3 colleges.

The increase in numbers of MBA, is for two reasons;

  1. Existing colleges have been receiving permission to increase their intake
  2. Also, the introduction of online MBA Programs may have also contributed for the same.

Top 10 MBA College Seats: The Real Legitimate MBA Candidates

Most of the MBA colleges in India, don’t serve their purpose because there is no restriction on any one to start an MBA college itself. However, if we talk about credible MBA colleges, from where students actually get placed then below is the number;

Total Seats in IIM’s is 5000, even if I consider other good colleges then the number would come to around 1896. Which means approximately, around 8000 usefull seats in MBA.

ACCA Actual Pass rate

So if we actually compare numbers then looks like ACCA is more popular with 15000 candidates. However, we don’t want to jump into the conclusion so easily. That too, because not all 15000 candidates entered ACCA with the guarantee of finishing. Let’s take some data from the ACCA pass results data itself; So considering this data, the ACCA vs MBA question should not be confused because even the pass rate of ACCA is not low.

LevelCandidates PassPass rate
Candidates Enter15000 
Applied Knowledge1040069%
Applied Skills549553%
Strategic Professional – Essentials220740%
Overall Pass Rate 15%

Data source: ACCA Pass data

So effectively, now it means that 2207 ACCA candidates versus around 8000 MBA candidates who actually end up using the qualification. The only reason why even this comparison of ACCA vs MBA is posted is because, ACCA is projected to be an easier solution which it is not.

ACCA Vs MBA:Total ACCA Pass rate

ACCA Vs MBA Jobs: Data

So, apart from the heavily exaggerated numbers given by various education institutes propagating lets look at salary data of ACCA from two sources. Similar conclusions can be made here, ACCA salaries don’t match the kind of effort it requires. So in terms of salary, ACCA vs MBA, the latter is a straightforward choice.

ACCA Vs MBA: Salary

ACCA Vs MBA :Volume of Jobs

However, we also should look at the volume of opportunities that an ACCA candidate gets after putting these kinds of efforts to clear the exam. So, it is pretty clear that in the volume of opportunities as well ACCA is far behind. With CA being the most preferred qualification in accounting. In fact, also in terms of salary the qualification doesn’t add much value as per the data presented. Now, again the same conclusion on volume of jobs realted to ACCA Vs MBA, very few jobs.

ACCA Vs MBA: Volume of Jobs

ACCA’s Career Page: Insights

On further investigating the jobs provided by ACCA itself, on their website with the relevant filters of experience and location. But, the results aren’t encouraging. Here are the findings;

  • Most of the jobs for freshers are not jobs but internships
  • The jobs themselves don’t require ACCA itself.
ACCA Vs MBA: Is it a job requirement?

In fact in one of the jobs, which is mentioned as an ACCA approved employer, the requirement is actually of a chartered accountant and not ACCA. So even the ACCA career page itself concludes the ACCA Vs MBA question.

ACCA Job Demand

ACCA Reviews by Members

Now, obviolsy when you type this keyword on google “ Is ACCA worth it?”, you are sure to get a lot of definitive answers. However, most of those answers are either intended to market their own courses, or just may be an ego massage.

However, when you look at some anonymus answers, you find some insights like these below.

What Should You Do? MBA or ACCA

Well, now that I have presented you the data on both the qualifications, there is conclusion to be made. Furthermore, I don’t teach ACCA, neither am I an MBA so this opinion is purely for the benefit of the students.

  • Firstly,If you are seriously not sure on your exact career path, whether it is accounting or finance then I would suggest to stay away from ACCA. In my opinion ACCA can be a supplemental qualification, if the need arise however cannot be the primary background for a career in accounting and finance.
  • Secondly, MBA needs to be done from top 15-20 colleges only, else it as good as ACCA because neither will give you any advantage in the industry either from a salary angle or opportunity.
  • On the contrary, if you are just thinking about MBA because after completing UG, you need to do PG then that’s a wrong move again. As per the structural shifts in every industry, those notions no more hold true.
  • Finally, if you are serious about accounting then hands down the choice has to be ICAI’s Chartered accountant qualification. While, it is hard and torturous, but that’s the only thing that actually works.
  • Infact, CA- inters have more jobs than ACCA qualified candidates, majorly because of the credibility of its slog process it makes its candidates go throught.