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Nov 28, 2023 18:19PM IST

Company Secretary (CS) Overview

A Company Secretary (CS) course is a professional program designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage the administrative and legal aspects of a company. Company Secretary or CS course duration is 3 years and 11 months (including the latest training structure). The duration of the Company Secretary (CS) Executive course is 9 months and the CS Professional course spans 15 months excluding the training period.

The CS Syllabus is vast, especially the Executive and Professional courses’ syllabi, and candidates must be immensely dedicated to the study of the course to pass each level and get successfully certified by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). 

Company Secretary Foundation course covers a range of subjects, including business environment, entrepreneurship, management, communication, ethics, economics, and accounting. Recently, authorities have introduced a new syllabus for the ICSI CS in 2022. This updated curriculum will be applicable to candidates registering from the 2023 session onward.

The Company Secretary Executive syllabus includes company law, commercial law, tax law, general law, securities law, and accounts & audit practice. Lastly, in the Company Secretary Final course, candidates receive instruction in secretarial practices as well as financial and treasury management.

To get CS admission after 10+2, candidates have to pass CSEET exam to become eligible for CS Executive course. Aspirants who are graduates and postgraduates, can directly opt for CS Executive course without going through CSEET exam.

CS Jobs are eclectic ranging from giant corporations to startups. You can be the one to make a difference in how a company operates and thrives. CS Salary for freshers is also lucrative and it could range from Rs. 4,00,000 to Rs. 7,00,000.

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CS Course Latest Updates

  • CS Executive December 2023 exams will be conducted from December 21 to 29, 2023, from 2 pm to 5:15 pm. The admit cards for the same will be tentatively available by December 10, 2023. 
  • CS Final December 2023 session exams will be conducted from December 21 to 30, 2023, from 2 pm to 5:15 pm. 
  • CSEET November 2023 session exam was held on November 4, 2023.
  • CSEET admit card was released on October 27, 2023.
  • For CSEET November 2023 exam, CSEET mock tests were conducted on November 1 and 2 through online remote proctored mode.
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Company Secretary Course Highlights

The CS course highlights section entails an overview of the CS course encompassing crucial deets on admission process, course fees, and course duration, among other cardinal points.

Course NameCompany Secretary or CS Course
Admission ProcessThrough CSEET exam
Course feesCSEET Exam Fee: INR 1000
  • Executive Programme Fee: INR 10,600 (for commerce and non-commerce graduates); INR 15,600 (for ICAI CMA foundation passed/ ICAI CPT passed candidates)
  • Additional exam fee of INR 1200 per module is also applicable for the executive course level.
  • Professional Programme Fee: INR 12,000
  • Additional exam fee of INR 1200 per module is also applicable for the professional course level.
Qualification RequiredCandidates must have passed their class 12th from a recognized school board in India
Eligibility CriteriaCSEET Exam Eligibility: Passed class 12th or equivalent exam from a recognized school board
CS Executive Eligibility: CSEET or Graduation/ Postgraduation/ Passed CS Foundation programme/ Passed CA Final or ICMAI Final
CS Professional Eligibility: Cleared CS Executive programme
Entrance ExamCompany Secretary Executive Entrance Test (CSEET)
Entrance Exam ModeOnline (Computer-Based Test)
Salary (Annual)INR 3,00,000 - INR 15,00,000
Skills RequiredStrong Communication Skills, Time Management & Multi-Tasking, Expertise in Finance Law and Company Law, Analytical Skills, Eye To Detail, Corporate Compliance Procedure Knowledge, Attention to Detail, etc.
Job ProfilesAdministrative Secretary, Corporate Planner, Corporate Policymaker, Chief Administrative Officer, Managing Director, Business Consultant, Member of Board of Directors, Legal Advisor, etc.
Top Recruiting FirmsDell Technologies, TVS, Tata Steel, Aditya Birla Group, People Combine, Croma, Indian Railway Finance Corporation Limited, ACB Group of Companies, etc.
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Why Choose Company Secretary (CS) Course?

A Company Secretary is like the guardian angel of a company. They protect it from legal troubles, guide it through rough waters, and ensure it operates ethically. So, if you're interested in law, business, and being a part of a company's success story, the Company Secretary course might just be your ticket to a rewarding career.

There are several strong reasons to study the Company Secretary (CS) Course, including:

  • In-demand profession: CS professionals are highly sought after by businesses, making it a rewarding career option with ample job opportunities.
  • Vital corporate role: Company Secretaries are essential for ensuring legal compliance, sound corporate governance, and efficient business operations.
  • Diverse career paths: CS graduates can work in various sectors, including private companies, public organizations, and even as independent consultants.
  • Prestigious designation: Attaining the CS designation adds credibility and prestige to one's professional profile.
  • Career progression: CS qualifications open doors to higher managerial positions and board-level roles.
  • Broad skill development: The course imparts skills in law, finance, management, and communication, making CS professionals versatile and adaptable.
  • Contributing to success: Company Secretaries contribute significantly to a company's growth, stability, and success.
  • Global recognition: CS qualifications are recognized internationally, expanding career opportunities beyond borders.
  • Job security: As companies prioritize compliance and governance, the demand for qualified CS professionals remains stable.
  • Personal growth: The CS Course fosters continuous learning, enhancing personal and professional development throughout one's career.
Why Study Company Secretary Course?

When to pursue Company Secretary (CS) Course?

You can pursue the Company Secretary (CS) Course at different stages of your educational journey and career.

  • After 10+2: You can enroll for the CS Foundation program after completing your 10+2 education. This allows you to start your CS journey early and gives you an advantage in building your career from a young age.
  • After Graduation: Many students choose to pursue the CS Course after completing their graduation. Whether you have a Bachelor's degree in Commerce, Arts, Science, or any other field, you can join the CS Executive program directly.
  • After Post-Graduation: If you have completed your post-graduation, you can still opt for the CS Course to enhance your qualifications and career prospects.
  • Mid-Career Switch: Even if you are already working in a different profession, you can make a mid-career switch to become a CS professional. The course provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to transition successfully.
  • Professional Development: Some professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, or finance executives, may choose to pursue the CS Course to complement their existing qualifications and expand their expertise.

Ultimately, the best time to pursue the CS Course depends on your personal circumstances, educational background, and career goals. It is essential to assess your interests and aspirations to make an informed decision about when to embark on this rewarding professional journey.

Who should study Company Secretary Course?

The Company Secretary (CS) Course is suitable for individuals who possess the following qualities and interests:

  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Those interested in corporate law, legal compliance, and company regulations will find the CS Course relevant as it focuses on these areas extensively.
  • Corporate Governance: If you have an inclination towards promoting transparency, accountability, and ethical practices in corporate entities, the CS Course aligns with these values.
  • Organized and Detail-Oriented: Individuals who are methodical, detail-oriented, and can manage multiple tasks efficiently will excel in the role of a Company Secretary.
  • Strong Communication Skills: Effective communication, both written and verbal, is crucial for CS professionals as they interact with company stakeholders, board members, and regulatory authorities.
  • Analytical and Problem-Solving Abilities: CS professionals need to analyze complex legal and financial issues and find practical solutions to ensure compliance and smooth functioning of the company.
  • Management Aspirations: If you aspire to hold key management positions in companies, a CS qualification can enhance your eligibility for such roles.
  • Career in Finance and Corporate Affairs: For individuals seeking a career in finance, company administration, or corporate affairs, the CS Course provides a strong foundation.
  • Desire for Continuous Learning: The CS Course demands continuous learning and staying updated with changing legal and regulatory landscapes, making it suitable for those who embrace lifelong learning.
  • Business and Corporate Interests: If you have a keen interest in how businesses operate, grow, and thrive, studying Company Secretaryship will give you insights into the inner workings of organizations.
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CS Executive Entrance Exam (CSEET)

The CS Executive Entrance Exam or CSEET is the required entrance exam for enrollment in the Company Secretary Executive programme. The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) holds the exam to gauge candidates' readiness for the position of Company Secretary. Students who have completed their 12th grade in any stream are eligible to take the exam. The CSEET exam is compulsory for all students who want to apply to the Company Secretary Executive programme.

With the implementation of the exam beginning on February 3, 2020, new registration to the Foundation Programme has been discontinued. As of that date, CSEET is the only entrance test required for enrollment in the CS Executive Program. The CS Executive Entrance Exam will be held on a single day and candidates must be aware of the following key points related to the exam:

The exam will consist of the following 4 parts as mentioned below:

  • Business Communication
  • Legal Aptitude & Logical Reasoning
  • Economic and Business Environment
  • Current Affairs

The exam will also entail a viva-voce of 15 minutes to test the candidate's Presentation and Communication Skills.

CSEET Eligibility Criteria 

All those candidates who have completed or are appearing for their 10+2 exams are eligible to apply and register themselves for the CSEET examination. The minimum age to appear for the CS Executive Entrance Test is 17 years.

CSEET Duration 

The duration of the ICSI CSEET exam will be 2 hours.

CSEET Registration Fee 

The registration fee for the CSEET exam is Rs. 1,000 and ICSI also provides concession to candidates from categories as mentioned in the table below:

CategoryFee Exemption
ICLS Officers/ Officers & Staff of MCA and affiliated offices (NCLT, SFIO and CCI)100%
ICSI Staff and Wards / Spouse of ICSI Staff75%
Physically Handicapped50%
SC/ ST50%
Serving / Retired Personnel of Defence Services and Paramilitary Forces50%
Students from North Eastern States, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep & Himachal Pradesh50%
Students from the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh100%
Wards and Widows of Martyrs and Defence Service Personnel with Permanent Disability100%

CSEET Syllabus & Subjects

The CSEET syllabus includes four subjects that are listed below:

Business CommunicationLegal Aptitude and Logical Reasoning
Current Affairs Economic and Business Environment
Presentation and Communication Skills Viva-Voce-

CSEET Exam Date

The CSEET exam dates are mentioned in the table below:

Exam LevelRegistration DateExam DateResult Date
CSEETOctober 19, 2023 - December 15, 2023January 6, 2024To Be Announced
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CS Executive Course

CS Executive course covers a variety of topics, primarily those related to law. This includes corporate law, general legal principles, tax law, accounting and auditing procedures, and securities law. The Company Secretary Executive course entails two modules with a total of 8 papers. Candidates can join the CS Executive course right after completing their class 12th and passing the CSEET entrance test OR candidates who have completed their graduation/ postgraduation/ Passed ICAI or ICMAI final level can also directly join the course without having to take the CSEET exam. However, such candidates will have to pay the exam exemption fee of INR 5,000.

Students often find the CS Executive course a bit tougher than the Company Secretary Professional programme because the Executive course focuses exclusively on laws such as company law, the contract act, and the negotiable instrument act, whereas the professional course focuses more on due diligence, the responsibilities of a Company Secretary, and case studies.

CS Executive Eligibility Criteria 

On its website, icsi.edu, ICSI formally establishes the Company Secretary Executive level eligibility criteria 2023. Before submitting an application for the CS Executive course, candidates must review the following eligibility requirements mentioned below:

  • Candidates must be older than 17 years to register for the CS Executive course.
  • Applicants must have passed either the ICSI conducted CSEET or the CS Foundation level.
  • Candidates who have completed their graduation/ postgraduation are eligible to apply for the programme without having to take the CSEET exam. Similarly, applicants who have successfully completed ICMAI or ICAI's final level are also eligible to apply for the course after paying an exemption fee of INR 5,000.

CS Executive Duration 

The CS Executive course lasts for around 9 months. The registration for the ICSI CS Executive exam, which is offered in June and December each year, is open all year long.

CS Executive Fee Structure 

The detailed course fee structure for the CS Executive programme is mentioned in the table below:

ParticularsFee payable by the candidates who have passed:
CS Executive Entrance Test (CSEET)ICAI Final LevelICMAI Final Level 
Registration feeINR 2,000INR 2,000INR 2,000
Education FeeINR 6,500INR 6,500INR 6,500
CSEET Exemption FeeNilINR 5,000INR 5,000
Pre-Exam Test FeeINR 1,000INR 1,000INR 1,000
One Day Orientation ProgramINR 600INR 600INR 600
Chartered Secretary Journal Subscription for one year (Optional)INR 500INR 500INR 500
Total FeesINR 10,600INR 15,600INR 15,600

CS Executive Syllabus and Subjects 

The syllabus for Company Secretary Executive course consists of a total of eight papers divided into 2 modules where each module consists of four papers. The CS Executive subjects in each module is as follows:

ModulesSyllabus and Subjects
Module IJurisprudence, Interpretation & General Laws
Company Law
Setting up of Business Entities and Closure
Tax Laws
Module IICorporate & Management Accounting
Securities Laws & Capital Markets
Economic, Business, and Commercial Laws
Financial and Strategic Management

CS Executive Exam Dates 

The CS Executive exam dates are mentioned in the table below:

Exam LevelRegistration DateExam DateResult Date
CS ExecutiveAugust 26, 2023 - October 10, 2023 (September 26, 2023 till October 10, 2023 with late fee)December 21 - 29, 2023To Be Announced 
CS Executive June 2024 Registrations (Single Module)December 1, 2023 till January 31, 2024To Be Announced To Be Announced 
CS Executive June 2024 Registrations (Both Modules)August 1, 2023 till November 30, 2023To Be Announced To Be Announced 
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CS Professional Course

CS Professional course is the final level of the Company Secretaryship programme. The duration of CS Professional is 15 months and after the completion of the course, candidates are required to undergo a Corporate Leadership Development Programme (CLDP) for a minimum of 30 days and not more than sixty days. Candidates can take admission to the course only if they have successfully passed the CS Executive programme. It is only after the completion of the Company Secretary Professional course that a candidate gets certified by the ICSI to become a bonafide Company Secretary.

CS Professional Eligibility Criteria

Candidates should consult the ICSI's official eligibility requirements before applying for the Company Secretary Professional course. The sole and fundamental requirement for the Professional programme eligibility is passing the CS Executive exam (both modules) with the minimum mark required by the ICSI. Currently, students must earn a minimum of 40% in each subject and a total of 50% to pass the CS Executive exam. Candidates must provide their Company Secretary Executive course level mark sheets or statements of marks for both modules and must also submit proof regarding passing of the examination.

CS Professional Duration 

The duration of CS Professional course is around 15 months. It is the last level of the Company Secretary programme after which a candidate can become a certified CS upon successful completion of the level.

CS Professional Fee Structure 

Candidates who successfully clear the CS Executive course will have to pay the Company Secretary Professional programme fee as mentioned in the table below

Education FeeINR 12,000
Pre - Exam Test FeeINR 1,000
Total FeesINR 13,000

CS Professional Syllabus and Subjects 

Three modules make up the Corporate Secretary Professional course syllabus, and each module consists of three papers. Thus, the CS Professional course has a total of 9 papers. The following is a list of the subjects for each module:

ModuleSyllabus and Subjects
Module IGovernance, Risk Management, Compliances, and Ethics
Advanced Tax laws
Drafting, Pleadings, and Appearances
Module IISecretarial Audit, Compliance Management, and Due Diligence
Corporate Reconstructing, Insolvency, Liquidation, and Winding-up
Resolution of Corporate Disputes, Non- Compliances, and Remedies
Module IIICorporate Funding and Listing in Stock Exchanges
Multidisciplinary Case Studies
Electives (1 out of below 8 subjects)Banking- Law, and Practice
Insurance- Law and Practice
Intellectual Property Rights - Laws and Practice
Forensic Audit
Direct Tax Laws and Practice
Labour Laws and Practice
Valuations and Business Modelling
Insolvency - Law, and Practice

CS Professional Exam Dates 

The CS Professional exam dates are mentioned in the table below:

Exam LevelRegistration DateExam DateResult Date
CS ProfessionalAugust 26, 2023 - October 10, 2023 (September 26, 2023 till October 10, 2023 with late fee)December 21 - 30, 2023To Be Announced 
CS Professional June 2024 Registrations (Single Module)December 1, 2023 till January 31, 2024To Be Announced To Be Announced 
CS Professional June 2024 Registrations (Both Modules)August 1, 2023 till November 30, 2023To Be Announced To Be Announced 
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Company Secretary (CS) Admission Process

The key points related to the admission process of the Company Secretaryship course are as follows:

  • Candidates who have passed class 12th must mandatorily register themselves for the CSEET exam at The Institute of Company Secretaries of India’s (ICSI) official website.
  • They have to visit the official website at icsi.edu and choose "Register for CSEET" by clicking the link for online services.
  • Applicants must keep all the required documents ready before starting the online application process.
  • After clicking on "Register for CSEET", candidates must now fill out the online application form and upload all the prescribed documents.
  • After completing the entire application form, it is essential to cross-check if they have filled out each detail accurately or not.
  • Once they have verified the entries in the form, candidates need to click on submit that will redirect them to the payment page.
  • The CSEET application fee of INR 1000 has to be paid via online mode.
  • Candidates can use a credit card, debit card, or net banking to pay the application fee.
  • They will receive an acknowledgement email along with the fee payment confirmation and receipt which they can download for their records.
  • Applicants who are already graduates/ postgraduates need not take the CSEET exam and they can directly enroll for the CS Executive level.
  • Those who pass the CSEET will be eligible for taking admission to the CS Executive course.
  • Candidates who successfully clear the Company Secretary Executive course will be eligible for the final level of the CS which is the Professional programme.
  • For the CS Executive and Professional course levels, students must note that they need to score 40% marks in each subject and an aggregate of 50% marks including all the subjects to clear the aforementioned levels of the Company Secretary programme.
  • Once a candidate successfully clears the CS Professional level, they become eligible to get certified by the ICSI and practice as a certified Company Secretary in India.
Company Secretary (CS) Admission Process
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Skills Required to Become CS

To become a Company Secretary (CS), you'll need a combination of skills and attributes to excel in this profession. The following are some essential abilities and traits needed:

Legal Knowledge: As a CS, you must have a strong understanding of corporate and business laws. You need to stay updated on legal regulations and be able to interpret and apply them effectively.

Ethical and Professional Integrity: Upholding high ethical standards and maintaining professional integrity is crucial. CS professionals often deal with sensitive company information and must handle it with discretion and honesty.

Attention to Detail: The role involves a significant amount of documentation and compliance work. Being meticulous and paying attention to even the smallest details is essential to avoid errors and legal issues.

Analytical Skills: You'll need to analyze complex legal and financial documents, as well as interpret regulations. Strong analytical skills are essential for problem-solving and decision-making.

Communication Skills: Effective communication is a must. You'll be interacting with various stakeholders, including company executives, shareholders, and government authorities. The ability to convey information clearly and concisely is vital.

Organizational Skills: CS professionals often manage a company's records and compliance documents. Good organizational skills help you keep these records in order and easily accessible.

Time Management: Juggling multiple tasks and deadlines is common in this profession. Being able to manage your time efficiently is essential to meet regulatory requirements and complete tasks promptly.

Negotiation Skills: In corporate governance and compliance, you may need to negotiate with various parties. Strong negotiation skills can help resolve disputes and reach mutually beneficial agreements.

Risk Management: A big part of the job is identifying and reducing risks. CS professionals need to assess potential legal and compliance risks and develop strategies to minimize them.

Business Acumen: Understanding the broader business environment and the company's goals and strategies is essential. CS professionals often provide advice to company boards on governance matters.

Adaptability: Laws and regulations can change, so you must adapt to new legal requirements and stay informed about the latest developments in the corporate world.

Research Skills: You may need to conduct research on legal matters, regulations, or industry trends. Strong research skills will help you stay well-informed.

Interpersonal Skills: Building relationships and working collaboratively with colleagues and stakeholders are important. Being approachable and a good team player can enhance your effectiveness.

Becoming a successful Company Secretary requires a combination of education, training, and the development of these skills. It's a profession that demands continuous learning and adaptability to meet the ever-evolving demands of the corporate world.

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Company Secretary Course Comparison

Students who are confused about whether CS is the correct choice for them can go through the course comparison of CS and other similar courses to find the ideal programme for themselves.

CS vs CA: Which is Better?

Company Secretary (CS) is responsible for providing legal and strategic advice to the corporation on a variety of fronts. The latter is a company law and corporate governance expert, and the former is an expert in accounting and finance. The main purpose of this section is to dispel any misconceptions between Chartered Accountancy and CS for anyone looking to determine which program is better for them.

Most individuals frequently conflate CA and CS despite the obvious differences in the career options of the two courses. Being one of the most sought-after professional programs following class 12th, it's critical to comprehend the distinction between the two. So that you can make an informed decision, this section will give you a thorough comparison of CA and CS as well as the major features of the two reputed job profiles.

Conducting BodyThe Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI)
Who should choose it?Applicants with a solid background in mathematics and logical reasoningCandidates with a preference for theory and the law

Foundation, Intermediate, and Final Course

Note: Candidates may also follow the direct entry route.

CSEET, Executive, and Professional Programme


Course Duration4.5 - 5 years3 - 4 years
Entrance ExamChartered Accountancy Common Proficiency TestCompany Secretary Executive Entrance Test
Eligibility Criteria

For CA Foundation Route:

  • To be eligible to take the Foundation examination, a candidate must have completed four months of required study time after registering as a CA and have passed the Class 12 exam.
  • The candidate must register with the Board of Studies and finish the required four months of education.

For CA Direct Entry Route:

  • Applicants who have an overall grade point average of 55% in the Commerce stream at any accredited university or open university are exempt from the CA Foundation exam.
  • Graduates and postgraduates from non-commerce fields must have obtained a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 60 per cent or its equivalent in the exam administered by any recognised university (including Open University).
  • Those who have passed the Intermediate level test offered by ICAI or ICSI are also eligible for direct entry.  
  • Candidates who have passed class 12th must mandatorily take the CSEET exam in order to enrol for the CS Executive course.
  • Candidates who have done graduation/ post graduation from any stream except Fine Arts are exempt from taking the CSEET exam and they can directly take admission to the CS Executive course.
  • For the CS Professional course, candidates must have passed the Executive level with 40% aggregate marks in each subject and 50% aggregate in all subjects combined.
Job Profiles
  • Auditor
  • Chartered Accountant
  • Research Analyst
  • Investment Advisor
  • Credit Analyst
  • Forensic Audit
  • Financial Analyst
  • Company Registrar
  • Corporate Planner 
  • Chief Administrative Officer
  • Associate Company Secretary
  • Legal Advisor
  • Corporate Policymaker
  • Principal Secretary
Annual SalaryRs. 5,00,000 - 20,00,000Rs. 3,00,000 - 15,00,000
Employment OpportunitiesTaxation, Auditing, Accounting, Independent professional practice, Consultancy companies, Large organizations, Consultancy companies, Large organizations,  Chartered Accountant firms, Capital market services, Financial companies, etc.Corporate Governance, Company Law Advisor, Public Relations, International Trade & WTO, etc. 
Official Websitehttps://www.icai.orghttps://www.icsi.edu/home

CS vs CMA: Which is Better?

CMA stands for Certified Management Accountant, and the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) is the proper sponsor and provider of this education. The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) offers the CS course, which stands for Company Secretary, which is focused on corporate law and regulations as opposed to the CMA course, which is focused on cost and management accounting.

Conducting BodyThe Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI)The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI)
Course Structure

CS course is structured in the following three levels:

  • CS Executive
  • CS Professional 

CMA course is structured in the following three levels:

  • CMA Foundation
  • CMA Intermediate
  • CMA Final along with 15 months to 3 years of Practical Training
Minimum Course Duration3 years 11 months (including training)3 years
Job Profile

Company Secretaries have the following job options:

  • Associate Company Secretary
  • Legal Advisor
  • Principal Secretary
  • Corporate Planner
  • Chief Administrative Officer

In both the public and commercial sectors, CMAs may hold important positions in top management, including those of finance director, financial controller, chairman and managing director, managing director, chief financial officer, cost controller, chief internal auditor, and marketing manager.


Demand in Market

The need for CS employment has increased along with the adoption of corporate work cultures in India and concurrent rise in compliances.

Today more than ever, companies are actively searching for qualified workers with CS skills to manage their operations, assist them in starting new businesses or growing current ones, and guarantee that they are in compliance with all laws and regulations that may apply.

Only the companies who have been warned are expected to keep cost records and have those records audited by a certified cost accountant; no company is required to have a cost audit performed.

Only businesses that operate on an extremely big scale are required to hire cost auditors. Hence, there are fewer possibilities available for CMAs than for Company Secretaries.


Annual SalaryINR 3,00,000 - INR 15,00,000INR 5,00,000 - INR 8,00,000

Company Secretary (CS) vs MBA

Here's a comparison between Company Secretary (CS) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) courses:

Particulars CSMBA
Full FormCompany SecretaryMaster of Business Administration
FocusLegal and regulatory compliance, corporate governanceBusiness management, leadership, and strategy
DurationTypically 3 levels (Foundation, Executive, and Professional) can take 3-4 yearsTypically 2 years, but there are also part-time and executive MBA programs with different durations
Eligibility10+2 for Foundation level, Graduation for Executive and Professional levelsBachelor's degree in any discipline
Professional BodyThe Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) administers the CS courseVarious universities and business schools worldwide offer MBA programs
Specialization OptionsCS offers specialized areas within corporate law and governanceMBA offers various specializations like finance, marketing, human resources, operations, etc.
Career OpportunitiesPrimarily focused on company secretarial and compliance roles, with opportunities in various industriesVersatile, providing access to a wide range of job roles in management and leadership across different sectors
Skill DevelopmentDevelops expertise in corporate laws, ethics, and regulatory complianceEnhances skills in strategic thinking, leadership, decision-making, and business management
Licensing/DesignationQualifies you as a Company Secretary (CS) upon completionProvides a general management education but doesn't confer a professional designation like CS
Job RolesCompany Secretary, Corporate Governance Officer, Legal Compliance OfficerManager, Consultant, Business Analyst, Marketing Executive, HR Manager, and various other roles depending on specialization
Salary RangeCS salaries vary by experience and industry but are generally competitiveMBA salaries vary widely based on specialization, location, and experience, but can be high, especially in top positions and sectors

CS is ideal for those interested in legal and regulatory aspects of corporate governance, while an MBA provides a broader business education that opens doors to various management roles.

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Career Options After CS

CS Jobs 

Similar to a Chartered Accountant, a Company Secretary is a crucial support structure for all types of businesses, whether they are large or small, public or private. A CS is necessary for managing standard tax, legal, and investment issues. Many organizations employ such individuals, however, some choose to use the services offered by Company Secretary agencies.

All industries, including financial institutions, banks, heavy industry, as well as governmental organizations, will hire a trained company secretary. A lucrative professional path, CS has a high degree of job satisfaction and is in high demand from both public and private institutions. The following are the employment profiles that graduates of the company secretary programme can pursue:

1. Chief Administrative Officer: They keep an eye on the company's general administrative activity and keep all legal and other classified documents protected.

2. Corporate Planner: They meticulously oversee and plan the firm's expansion potential as well as manage mergers, joint ventures, collaborations, and takeovers both within and beyond the company.

3. Legal Advisor: They represent the company in any legal problems and ensure that it follows all bureaucratic and legislative requirements, as well as securities and corporate regulations.

4. Business Consultant: Business consultants are in charge of marketing, management, finance, human resources, and accounting. They are in charge of improving a company's numerous operations. They evaluate a company's many flaws and recommend business remedies.

5. Corporate Policymaker: They create the organization's short- and long-term corporate policies. They also guide the organization during a review of current policies regularly.

6. Administrative Secretary: They assist executive, director, or department head-level employees with high-level clerical support by executing a variety of secretarial responsibilities and skilled activities, such as creating reports, conducting research, and collecting data.

7. Managing Director: They oversee and manage all of the company's business operations, personnel activities, and legal matters. They know how to get the most out of the organization. The director should have exceptional business acumen and be confident in the company's long-term growth.

8. Member of Board of Directors: They are in charge of providing secretarial and expert advice to one of the members of a company's board of directors.

CS Salary

In corporate organizations, company secretaries hold prestigious positions of authority. A certified CS has the potential to earn a substantial income based on their qualifications, skills, and experience. The table provided below displays the standard salary range for qualified individuals in the role of CS serving as a useful reference:

Job ProfilesAverage Annual Salary
Business ConsultantRs. 4,00,000 - Rs. 10,00,000
Company SecretaryRs. 3,00,000 - Rs.15,00,000
CS Legal AdvisorRs. 3,50,000 - Rs. 5,50,000
Chief Financial OfficerRs. 4,00,000 - Rs. 9,00,000
Chief Administrative OfficerRs. 5,00,000 - Rs. 8,00,000
Company RegistrarRs. 4,00,000 - Rs. 7,50,000

CS Employment Areas and Top Recruiters

Some of the employment areas for a CS are listed below:

  • Banks
  • Corporate Institutions
  • Tax Hubs
  • Financial Institutions
  • Sale & Excise Departments
  • Company Law Boards
  • Non-Banking Financial Institutions
  • Company Secretaryship Consulting Firms
  • Law Firms
  • Stock Exchanges
  • Government Ministries

A few of the top recruiters that hire CS are mentioned below:

  • KPMG
  • Deloitte
  • ONGC
  • HCL Technologies Ltd.
  • Jaypee Group
  • Punjab National Bank
  • DPNC Global LLP
  • Caddy Ventures LLP
  • JK Sarawgi & Company
  • PMS Consulting
  • Wipro
  • Accenture
  • Jaikumar Tejwani & Co.
  • ICICI Bank
  • Ministry of Commerce, Government of India
  • Air India
  • Amazon
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Courses After CS

After completing the Company Secretary (CS) course, you have various options to further your education and enhance your career prospects. Your choice of courses will depend on your career goals and areas of interest. Here are some courses you can consider after becoming a CS:

LLB (Bachelor of Laws): Many CS professionals choose to pursue a law degree (LLB) to deepen their legal knowledge and potentially become practising lawyers. This can open up opportunities in legal practice and advocacy.

MBA (Master of Business Administration): An MBA can be a valuable option, especially if you want to transition into broader management roles. It equips you with skills in leadership, strategy, finance, marketing, and more.

Post Graduate Diploma in Corporate Law (PGDCL): This specialized course focuses on corporate and business law, making it an excellent choice for CS professionals looking to deepen their legal expertise in corporate matters.

Chartered Accountancy (CA): If you're interested in finance and accounting, pursuing a CA qualification can complement your CS credentials and open up roles in auditing, taxation, and financial management.

Certified Management Accountant (CMA): This is a globally recognized certification for management accountants. It's beneficial for CS professionals interested in financial planning, analysis, and decision support.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA): Similar to CMA, the CPA qualification is focused on accounting and finance. It's particularly valuable if you want to work in international financial roles.

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA): If you're interested in information technology and systems auditing, CISA can be a valuable certification that complements your CS qualifications.

Diploma or Certificate Courses: You can opt for shorter diploma or certificate courses in areas like arbitration, taxation, compliance management, or risk management to specialize in a particular field.

Executive Programs: Many universities and business schools offer executive education programs tailored for experienced professionals. These programs can help you refine your leadership and management skills.

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy): If you have a strong interest in research and academia, pursuing a PhD in law, business, or related fields can be an option to consider.

Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE): If you're interested in fraud detection and prevention, becoming a CFE can help you excel in forensic accounting and fraud investigation.

Certified Internal Auditor (CIA): This certification focuses on internal auditing and governance, making it a valuable choice for CS professionals looking to enhance their audit skills.

When choosing a course, consider your career goals, whether you want to specialize in a specific area, or if you're looking to broaden your skill set. Additionally, staying updated with industry trends and regulations is essential for a successful career as a Company Secretary.

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FAQs about CS

What is the CS course all about?

Company Secretary course (CS) is offered by the The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), which was established in accordance with the Company Secretaries Act, 1980, to regulate the profession of company secretaries in India. The CS Executive and Professional programmes are the two phases of the CS course. Candidates must pass the national Company Secretary Executive Entrance Test in order to be admitted to the first level i.e the CS Executive programme. 

For a few applicants like graduates/ postgraduates/ CA or CMA Final passed candidates, a direct admission option is also available where they can get direct admission to the Executive level by paying an exemption fee, however, they must then pass the CS professional course following that. To be qualified to work as a company secretary, candidates must successfully finish all the existing levels of the CS course.

What is the Company Secretary (CS) exam for?

The Company Secretary (CS) exams for all the levels of the programme are there for candidates to assess their knowledge, skills and ability to become a certified Company Secretary in India. A person must successfully finish professional training and pass examinations in order to practice company secretaryship in a professional capacity. The profession of company secretaries is governed and upheld by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI).

What is the CS eligibility criteria after graduation?

Candidates who have completed their graduation are eligible to directly take admission to the CS Executive programme after paying an exemption fee of INR 5000. Graduate candidates do not have to take the CSEET examination.

How can I become a Company Secretary (CS)?

Candidates who are interested in becoming a Company Secretary must visit the ICSI’s official website which is the conducting body of the CS course in India. If a candidate has passed class 12th then they must mandatorily apply for the CSEET exam and pass the same in order to get enrolled in the CS Executive programme. CSEET exam is conducted 4 times in a year in January, May, July, and November. Graduates/ postgraduates/ CA and CMA Final passed candidates are exempted from CSEET and they can directly take admission in the CS Executive course.

All candidates must pass the CS Executive and Professional levels with a minimum aggregate of 40% marks in each subject and achieve overall 50% marks in both the aforementioned courses in order to become a certified Company Secretary (CS).

What is the registration date for Executive and Professional programmes for the ICSI CS June 2023 exams?

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India started the online application process on February 26, 2023 for June 2023 exams for the CS Executive and Professional course. Interested candidates may visit the official website at icsi.edu to submit their application form. The online registration process for the ICSI CS Executive and Professional programmes for June 2023 exams will conclude on March 25, 2023, however, candidates can still apply for the same till April 9, 2023 with late fee. The late fee amount is INR 250 per module. 

What is the duration of a CS course?

The duration of the Company Secretary (CS) course is 3 years and 11 months including the new mandatory training period. 

Is CS difficult to pass?

Yes, the Company Secretary (CS) course, especially the CS Executive and Professional levels are not easy to pass. The CS Executive level is more focused on laws and regulations and the exam questions are tougher as compared to the Professional level. On the other hand, the CS Professional level’s syllabus is huge which makes it a bit tough but still easier than the Executive level. The starting stage of a Company Secretary programme i.e the CSEET is not very difficult to crack and entails syllabus of class 12th level.

Is CS a good career option in India?

Yes, a Company Secretary (CS) is an excellent career option in India. Company Secretaries attain executive level positions in firms and they are instrumental in making cardinal decisions for a company. A Company Secretary is in direct contact with the shareholders and investors of a firm to ensure their interests are met and the company is functioning well under all the compliances and statutory requirements. It is a very respectable job profile and Company Secretaries enjoy a good work-life balance along with a handsome salary.

How many papers are there in a CS programme?

The CS course is divided into three levels and each level of the course has different papers as mentioned below:

  • CSEET: The entry level exam to the CS course involves 4 subjects including a viva-voce on Communication skills and Presentation.
  • CS Executive: As per the new syllabus 2023, the CS Executive programme entails a total of 8 papers divided into two different modules.
  • CS Professional: As per the new syllabus 2023, the CS Professional programme encompasses 9 papers (including elective) divided into three different modules.

Is CS course easier than CA?

Because CA is thought to be more difficult than CS, each of its course levels lasts longer than it does for the CS course. An aspirant typically needs 5 years, including the articles, to complete CA. CS, however, can be finished in just three to four years including the new training structure.

What is the age limit for a Company Secretary (CS) course?

When registering for the CS Executive course, candidates must be older than 17 years.  According to ICSI's eligibility requirements, there is no upper age limit set for applicants towards the Company Secretary programme.

Which is tougher MBA or CS?

Duration wise CS course is more gruelling as compared to MBA but both are two very different fields of study with their own unique challenges. However, it is worth noting that an MBA degree is broader in scope, while a CS programme is more specialized in corporate law and governance. The ultimate choice depends on a candidate’s interests and long term career goals.

Does CA gets paid more than CS?

A company secretary's starting compensation is between 3 and 4 lakh per year, compared to a CA's average starting income of 7 to 8 lakh per year with any major organisation. Therefore, a CA does get paid more than CS.

What is the starting CS salary in India?

In their first one to two years of employment, company secretaries make a minimum pay of INR 2,50,000 per year. While a seasoned company secretary professional has the ability to earn up to INR 17,00,000 annually. The average annual salary of a CS in India is INR 6,30,000.

Which is better to pursue CS or MBA?

Both the MBA and the CS are professional programmes with a wide range of prospects. You can choose CS if you wish to work as a specialized professional in the field of Commerce. You can just enrol in an MBA programme if you have the ability to manage both people and things, which is to say, if you are interested in management.

Can I become a Company Secretary (CS) after 12th?

Yes, after completing your class 12th, you can apply for the national level entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Company Secretaries (ICSI) which is CSEET or the Company Secretary Executive Entrance Test to admit successful candidates to the CS Executive programme.

Is there scope for CS in the future?

Company secretaries can work for public and commercial organisations, as well as for banks and financial institutions. The CS is vital in making sure businesses obey all rules and legislation that apply to their daily operations. They are in charge of keeping the company's statutory registers up to date, making sure regulatory bodies get filings on time, and offering advice on corporate governance issues.

Can I complete the CS course in 2 years?

Yes, candidates who are graduate/ postgraduate/ CMA or CA Final passed can complete the Company Secretary (CS) course in 2 years excluding the mandatory training period.

What is the passing percentage for the CS course?

Candidates must achieve 40% aggregate marks in each subject and 50% overall marks in CS Executive and Professional courses individually to successfully clear the CS Executive and Professional levels and become a certified Company Secretary in India.

Can I crack CS course without any coaching?

Yes, it is possible to crack the CS course without any coaching, but it requires dedication, discipline, and self-study. Many students have successfully cleared the CS exams through self-study and using online resources.


Is there any age limit to pursuing a Company Secretary course?

No, there’s no age limit to pursuing the Company Secretary course.

What is the first step to becoming a Company Secretary?

All the aspirants who have passed the 10+2 or equivalent examination from a recognized board can apply for the CSEET exam and pass the CSEET exam to take admission to the Company Secretary Executive program. With the implementation of CSEET on February 3, 2020, new Foundation Program registration is no longer possible.

What is the total duration of a company secretary course?

The duration of a company secretary course is for 3 years.

What is the expected average annual salary of a company secretary?

The average annual salary of a company secretary in India ranges from INR 5.5 lakh to INR 6.2 lakh per annum. With the highest salary going up to an impressive INR 10 lakh per annum.

Can I do a Company Secretary course along with B.Com/BBA?

Yes, B.Com as well as other graduate/postgraduates students(except fine arts) are eligible to apply for Company Secretary Executive program but would need to clear the CSEET examination first.

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Related Questions


riya, Student / Alumni

-Answered on July-27-2023
You can reach the university by the help of toll free number which will be there in the official website of the LPU and even you can fill the form online after registration the university will reach out to you anyway and the counsellors will let you know about the university the your interested program. Hope this information helps you in better way possible.

riya, Student / Alumni

-Answered on July-22-2023
CSE is one of the most sought-after programs these days. India being global hub of software and back-office industries, this field has immense job opportunities. You must know the parameters on which to compare. Some are mentioned as follows: Curriculum: The course curricula of any tech degree must be very unique and dynamic. It must be developed with extensive consultations with industry. Tech trainings: The must students undergo many training like cutting edge technologies of SAP, Workday, waterfall other MOOCs, Advance Excel and many more. These skills come in handy for the students not only at the time of interviews and tests but also throughout their careers. Soft skills: There must be a dedicated effort by college/university in continuous improvement of personality, soft skills, professional ethics, interview skills, public speaking, presentation style development etc in students. These are must for placements as well as performance in the jobs. Exposure: The students must be exposed to large number of guest lectures and talks by industry experts, large number of events in university to enhance their organizing and networking kills, large number of social work initiatives to develop the right orientation and many more.

Rahul Raj, Student / Alumni

-Answered on May-31-2021

Dear Student, 

To know complete information about Company secretary course, we suggest you go through the link mentioned below:-

All details about Company Secretary: Eligibility, Admission Process, Career Option

If you still have any questions about the Company secretary, please fill our common application form and avail experts assistance. You can also call our toll-free number 1800-572-9877 for FREE counselling.

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