Join the IMA to Get Hired as a Management Accountant


Join the IMA
The most influential and most prominent organization for management accountants is the US-based Institute of Management Accountants or IMA. The IMA has more than 140,000 global members who work in accounting and finance.

The IMA is a fantastic resource for anything related to skills development, leadership opportunities, networking, mentorship, professional development, and industry news and publications.

With a membership, the organization offers regular online courses, local, regional, and national networking events, and various opportunities to get involved and develop leadership.

I've been a member my entire career, and nearly all cost accountants I've known have been involved.

While there are many benefits and reasons for joining, the most important to me has been that the organization strives to ensure that professionals are in tune with best practices, modern technologies, and career development.

There is so much to learn as you progress through your career and the IMA is the best organization to support your growth.

The IMA also sponsors the world-renown CMA certification, which is the gold standard in management accounting.

As a student, there are additional benefits to becoming involved with the IMA early on.

For one, as an IMA Student member, you can learn about the role of accountants and financial managers in business and explore your career options.

The IMA offers student members access to many of the benefits of regular Professional membership at a significantly reduced rate. To qualify for this membership type, you must be enrolled in 6 or more credit hours at a college or university.

Even better, students who register and are in the know can apply for CMA scholarships while still in school. It costs nothing to apply and provides an outstanding value. As you send out your resume during the hiring process, seeing that you are currently studying for or have passed the CMA exam will indicate your high potential.

Student CMA Scholarships
• High-achieving students (undergrad through Ph.D.)

• Students who attend an accredited college or university in the U.S. or around the world

• 10 students per school per academic year can be nominated for a scholarship

• All students who a professor nominates will earn the scholarship

• Entrance fee to the CMA program

• Exam support package with retired exam questions and a glossary of terms

• Registration fees covering both parts of the exam (additional fees will apply for retakes)

• Choice of course provider review material (All regions except China)

• Three years of IMA membership while pursuing the certification

Why should you take the CMA exam while still in school?
Many students find it valuable and efficient to take the CMA exam while still in school for various reasons. Generally, students start early because they are already in study mode and exam material is top of mind. They can take both exam parts now and submit their work experience later, allowing more time for their career after college.

Before graduating, candidates who pass the CMA Exam (or one of its parts) have a valuable resume addition while applying for entry-level accounting jobs. You may have an advantage over job candidates who have not started to study for the CMA Exam already.

Much of the exam content is taught in higher-level accounting classes - if you start sooner, the content will be fresh in your mind.

Let's assume that you take the exam a year after completing your undergraduate cost accounting course. As you study for the CMA Exam, the cost accounting topics will be familiar, and your CMA Exam prep may be a more straightforward process than if you'd waited until years after taking the course.

Once you start your career, you may not handle cost accounting transactions, and CMA Exam prep may be more challenging.

If you graduate having already passed the CMA Exam, you won't stress exam preparation after you're done with school. When CMA Exam prep is behind you, you'll have more time to focus on your career.

The online Career Driver Assessment is another excellent tool available to all IMA members and is especially valuable to students. This tool allows you to answer questions to honestly and accurately assess your skills, identify the best career path for you based on your interests and personality, and learn what a long-term career path will look like.

The tool is free to use and explore. Highly recommended.
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