From Classroom to Boardroom – Jumpstart your career!

February 17, 2020 | Rouba Zeidan

When contemplating the endless hours spent researching, reading, studying and preparing to earn the chosen degree that will set your accounting career in motion, a moment of reflection: are you arming yourself with the right tools to hit the ground running?


Not a very farfetched deliberation when considering that, in the 21st century, hard skills can merely carry you through one year, five at most. The World Economic Forum raised major concerns around the relevance of the existing educational systems around the world, stating that 65 percent of today’s students will most likely complete their education into professions that will not exist in the coming years. (1) Technically, we don’t even know what the professions of the future are going to be. Concerned yet?

Fortunately, along with digital transformation also comes to the means for professional empowerment. For those entering the finance sector, management accounting to be specific, the certification has proven to aid candidates in gaining an edge over others. If it says anything about the person being certified, it is that they possess the basic competencies and skills needed to hit the ground running. This “plug-and-play” effect is very desirable to employers who are keen to minimize the development period before starting to harness the full abilities of their newly employed team members.

Programs such as the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant), which are updated periodically to ensure relevance to the profession in an ever-fluctuating global marketplace, provide real-time information that is crucial to enabling career-oriented professionals to optimize their chances of progressing in their chosen occupation, from day one. By deepening their knowledge of both finance and business concepts, many have been able to not only position themselves as the most qualified entry-level candidates but also successfully embark on their path to leadership.

Having a CMA has, in fact, helped 83% of the professionals surveyed by IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) open doors as well as enhance career opportunities. The survey also noted that 81% said it strengthened their job security amid the rise of automation, which according to McKinsey & Company, will force some 375 million employees to change occupations as the world embraces the new status-quo of co-existence with the machine. (2)

But this looming fate may be adroitly managed when the right skills are acquired and then maintained over time through a philosophy of lifetime learning. Possessing the main hard skills will always remain fundamental. However, gaining insight into the macro functional aspects of the profession, through specialized reskilling programs such as the CMA, is key to maximizing your potential career launchpad.

Your impact within a firm is founded on your ability to help formulate, analyze and execute strategies that enable long-term value creation. Your ultimate goal is to set yourself on the path of becoming a business partner who is passionate about driving organizational value in the firm you end up working for, by being motivated, driven, but mostly, informed.

Oh, and there is yet another plus side to this plus side! CMAs actually earn more than non-certified professionals. Close to 150% more in fact. (3) Trust us, we have done the research!

1. World Economic Forum. The Future of Jobs Report. s.l. : World Economic Forum, 2016.
2. Manyika, James, et al. JOBS LOST, JOBS GAINED: WORKFORCE TRANSITIONS IN A TIME OF AUTOMATION. s.l. : Mckinsey Global Institute, 2017.
3. Charles, Shannon. IMA’s 2019 Middle East / Africa Salary Survey. s.l. : IMA (Institute of Management Accountants), 2019.