I want to start with emphasizing that both the CPA and CMA are quality credentials. Both credentials will be beneficial for anyone who obtains them. If you have to pursue one credential first, I would pursue the CPA. This is because the CPA is transferable. If you take my career for example- I have been a Public Accountant, an Internal Auditor, and a Controller. The diversity of the CPA was valuable to me, as I did not have to obtain a new credential each time I transitioned into a new role. On the job postings for each of these roles a CPA was listed as a plus. This was not true for the other credentials (the CMA was listed as a plus for a Controller, but not an Auditor). The path to Controller is not always straight. No matter what positions you have to take to get to Controller, having the CPA in your toolkit will help you out on your journey.