Why is ICAI’s CA Losing Its Sheen?


The CA of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has been considered one of the most challenging professional courses in the country for decades now. However, in recent times, there has been a decline in the popularity of this course’s prospects to such a level that many are tempted to wonder why is the CA course losing its gloss.

Reasons Behind the Declining Popularity of CA Course

1. Lengthy CA Course Duration

One of the primary reasons for the waning interest in the CA course is its duration. The CA course duration is exceptionally long, spanning over four to five years, including the articles period. This extended time commitment can be a significant deterrent for many aspiring students who may prefer faster and more condensed professional courses.

2. Rigorous Examination Pattern

Many students especially those who want to pursue CA courses are very conversant with the examinations being the most serious and strenuous tests conducted at different levels. Students fear that they are going to spend sleepless nights and work with pressure to pass these exams resulting in some thinking of dropping the CA course.

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3. Professional Learning in an Era of Intensified Competition and Insecure Employment

Since then, there has been significant growth in the number of those opting to go for the CA profession hence making it very competitive for the few opportunities that exist. The problem of over-qualification is applied to many qualified CAs who are still unable to get job vacancies or those who are forced to abandon their careers and take up shift jobs or study further in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. This lack of job security and significant career opportunities is one factor why the CA course has been lost of late.

4. Recent Growth in Alternative Professional Courses

This also includes the increase of alternative professional courses like the MBA course, the CFA course, the CS course, and so on that also the cause of the reduction in the popularity of the CA course. These courses are in the form of vocational courses that are much shorter and require skills that can be mainly used to get proper employment or set up a business thus becoming alternatives for students seeking diversified careers.

5.  Changing Societal Perceptions

Pressure has also been felt on society to change how they view the CA course. In the past and even in the present CA profession was perceived as a favorable profession due to the demographic recognition such profession deserved and therefore people perceived it as a profession that promised them recognition and a respectable profession.

Addressing the Challenges

This paper will however lean towards providing some of the possible ways through which ICAI and all the other actors in the accounting profession can attempt to revive the glitter of the CA course. Here are some potential solutions: The following are some of how this problem can be addressed.

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1.  Recommended Course Revision

ICAI can decide to cut short the duration of a course so that they may be performed with as little waste of time as possible and not with loss of quality. This can involve such measures as curriculum compacting, incorporating more diverse and innovative teaching strategies, technological innovations to enhance learning and similar methods.

2.  Transforming the Assessment Paradigm by Abolishing the ‘Modality’ of an Assessment

This is because the examination pattern can be reviewed to reduce the level of pressure that is exerted on the learners. This may be achieved by increasing the number of assignments that deal with solutions for problems in reality; by reducing the number of theory tests; or by giving more psychological assistance to students.

3.  Facilitating Better Employment Opportunities as well as Occupational Career

ICAIs hope that there may be an effective synergy between its endeavor to improve the employability of qualified CAs and their further use by the industry group concerned. This may include encouraging more collaboration between the CAs and the industries and the encouragement of CA jobs in various industries in addition to the training of CA professionals.

4.  A New Job and the Entry Price to CA Professorship

It would be inaccurate to assert that the CA profession has no value to the modern world of business because there should be an attempt to achieve this goal. Publicity can involve broadcasting the role of CAs in advocating for accountancy that entails accurate and accountable financial reporting alongside good corporate governance practices and also the role of CAs in driving the country’s economic growth and development agenda.

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5. Embracing Technological Advancements

ICAI needs to build upon technological improvements and adopt them in the CA syllabus. This could include adding modules such as data analytics AI knowledge and digital accounting for CAs to develop the skills they need in the future business environment.

Is the CA course still of use in the job market of today and tomorrow?

The CA course still holds its value and appeal as an economic asset for potential workers. Production is a systematic process that involves the use of resources and is practiced in finance, accounting, taxation, auditing, and corporate governance sectors that have Chartered Accountants. It is however important to point out that to stay competitive in the digital world the course content needs to cater to changes in both the marketplace and technology.

What can I do to endure the fast-paced online CA course?

The issue of lengthy course duration is rather tricky, as it is necessary to plan the work, have good time-management skills, and involve loved ones and friends to help. Training techniques include organizing a schedule, asking for assistance from someone else or fellow students, and practicing short-term scheduling to avoid overloading up.

Is It Worth Wasting Time and Effort to Pursue the CA Course?

The question of whether it is worth the effort to opt for the CA course or not depends on several factors viz-a-viz individual case scenario, job preference, and personal objectives. It is a very robust and demanding course but one ends up with a valuable qualification that is recognised and respected and therefore gives one entry into lifelong careers in the finance and accounting professions.


The cause of the CA course by ICAI becoming less popular is a multi-dimensional problem and only through combined efforts, we can get to its solution. The CA course can regain its lost glory and allure to future candidates by addressing the following issues, Schedule changes, changing the duration of the course Periodic reviews, changing the examination pattern Employment opportunities, and improving the employability of CAs Value of the CA profession, redefining the importance of the profession Technology, its advent and the need to embrace it.

But the major important fact for the stakeholders is that the existing situation with the employment market is changing and it is possible to avoid the decline in the popularity of the CA profession, only if the stakeholders acknowledge these changes and account for this in their business strategies.