As a financial professional, you want to make sure the position you get provides you with a variety of career advancement and growth opportunities. Let’s face it, we all want careers that are going to be engaging, not only in the beginning but over the entire course of our 40 plus year work life. Engaging careers with opportunity are not only great for your earning potential, but they’re also great for your happiness and personal well being. If you have at least a Bachelor’s degree and you’re ready to advance your career, consider the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification. The CMA provides a multitude of opportunities for career advancement; check out these 7 areas of opportunity below to learn more about becoming a CMA.
Growing Your Career: 7 Areas of Opportunity for the CMA
Not only do CMAs often have a higher starting salary than their peers, but they have a higher earning potential over the course of their careers. According to the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), CMAs between the ages of 20 and 29 can earn 70% more in total compensation and, over the course of their careers, CMAs can earn 55% more in median compensation compared to non-CMAs in similar positions.
The skills CMAs bring to an organization make them a valuable member, and that value is compensated accordingly. The opportunity for growth and career advancement means the CMA salary and benefits will likely increase over the course of a career, providing a higher incentive for growth.
The CMA Exam and experience requirements encompass a variety of skills integral to the business and financial environment. As the use of technology increases in the business environment, the skills a CMA can bring to the table will help entities navigate and survive a constantly changing industry landscape. Skills a CMA can expect to learn via the exam and certification include:
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Internal control analysis
- Risk anaylysis
- Investment analysis and decision making
- Financial reporting
- Performance analysis
In a rapidly changing business environment, these skills are highly sought and a CMA can expect to learn and grow within each of these areas throughout the course of her career.
Variety of Positions
The CMA certification is beneficial to any business professional at any point in their career because it provides the skills and knowledge base needed for a variety of positions. While some accounting designations, such as the CPA credential, are highly specialized for a specific career, the CMA certification can launch you into a variety of career paths.
There is no set track for a CMA, and CMAs can pursue careers as financial analysts, operations managers, accountants, controllers, vice presidents, and c-suite executives. They can also work in a variety of business areas such as management accounting, finance, operations, sustainability or technology. The CMA offers candidates the ability to build their own careers, move into management positions, and try out different areas within the business environment. This flexibility offers not only career advancement but a higher chance of career satisfaction. The sky is the limit!
The CMA is a globally recognized certification, meaning your expertise will be recognized whether you’re working in Europe, Australia or the United States. Having the certification also proves you have the background necessary to make strategic decisions and advance within accounting and finance roles. CMA candidates also bring skills to the table that thrive in the face of Artificial Intelligence and other technology advancements, giving CMAs credibility and security in an ever-changing business environment.
CMAs can work in a variety of businesses, from small, regional businesses to multinational companies. As mentioned, the CMA is a globally recognized certification. So whether you dream of working for a startup in San Francisco or a Fortune 500 company in Beijing, you’ll be confident the CMA certification will provide you with the skills you need to do your job well and continue to advance throughout your career.
CMAs can also provide value within any industry since all industries need finance and accounting functions. You can find careers in booming industries such as healthcare, alternative energy, and transportation, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to grow within these industries.
Also, as technology and AI become more integrated, and more integral, within the business environment, CMAs can provide the support and skill necessary to manage this growth across all industries. The opportunities for career advancement are endless with the variety of industries a CMA can work in.
The last and potentially most important career advancement opportunity the CMA provides is access to a network of individuals across the globe with the same certification. Becoming a CMA also requires membership in the IMA, which provides not only connections, but a variety of member benefits meant to help you build your personal and professional networks, both globally and locally. Through these connections, you can develop different skills or work in different industries with constant opportunity for growth and advancement.
Ready to take the next step to become a CMA? Check out all the information available on the Institute of Management Accountants website, and see how Surgent can help you earn your certification. Once you pass the exam and obtain the necessary work experience, you’ll be ready to advance your career with the CMA certification.
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Megan Bierwirth graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting and passed the CPA Exam within 6 months of graduation. She worked in both public accounting and industry while becoming a CPA and now runs a virtual bookkeeping company focused on preventive, integrative and complementary medicine professionals.