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According to a salary survey report by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), published in 2017, a professional with an advanced qualification earns 37 per cent higher average median compensation in comparison to someone with a bachelor's degree. 

Here are the most in-demand qualifications for prospective employees in the finance and accounting industry according to Robert Half, a globally acclaimed staffing and recruitment firm.

8. CPP or Certified Payroll Professional

Employee costs from payroll and other benefits are among the largest costs in any company other than cost of goods sold, rent and depreciation. The CPP designation is granted by the American Payroll Association (APA) to those who successfully complete the Certified Payroll Professional.

7. CMA or Certified Management Accountant

A great qualification for finance executives who want to learn in tandem with their work, a qualified CMA gets 78 per cent higher median compensation salary than someone without the qualification. Indians who write and pass the CMA exam from UAE or any country outside India, can get a honourary ICWA (Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India) title. 

6. CISA or Certified Information Systems Auditor

Since 1978, CISA by ISACA (formerly known as Information Systems Audit and Control Association) is a globally recognized certification for information systems audit control, assurance and security professionals.

Also, read our story on the 5 top accounting qualifications for UAE here

Being CISA certified demonstrates your ability to assess vulnerabilities in information security, report on compliance and institute controls within the enterprise. Information security being paramount in any medium to large enterprise today, this is a highly lucrative field to be in.

5. CIA or Certified Internal Auditor

This auditing qualification by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is known to be the only globally accepted one for internal auditors. An internal auditor's job includes assessing governance, risk metrics and management flaws of a company by analysing all financial and other data available.

4. CGMA or Chartered Global Management Accountant

In 2011, the UK based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants joined hands with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to create this new qualification offering the best resources from both. While CMA is more popular here in the UAE, CGMA is more popular on a global scale. 

3. CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst

The CFA program is a tough nut to crack, but getting it done can boost your career exponentially in investment and analyst profiles across the globe. 

2. MBA or Masters in Business Administration 

One of the most common post-graduate degrees taken up by students worldwide, the major you take and the institute you get it from are quite important for getting a good job. 

1. CPA or Certified Public Accountant

In the United States, a qualified CPA can provide accounting services directly to the public, and in other countries, it a hot qualification for various roles such as auditors, chief accountants, financial advisors, business evaluator, income-tax planner, high-level management positions and others.