Please note that this article is written from Indian Perspective
Gone are the days when career choices were limited to Science, Arts and Commerce. Students now have a plethora of options to choose from. Apart from the conservative engineering, medicine and accountant, students can now look up to a vast majority of diverse fields to make a mark in. And no more worrying about what the others might be thinking and how much will you earn.
Societal pressure is a norm, ruining your life by choosing a career which will never give you the satisfaction of achieving a milestone is of no use. Everyday has to be a thrilling experience and for that to happen choosing something you like is very important. How much will you earn? There is ample of money in the world and your confidence mixed with your ability is a deadly combination which is sure to make you the next Mark Zuckerberg in the world.
So, if commerce is your calling don’t buck under the societal pressure and the traditions, get a grip, look out for your passion and do something which beckons you. Commerce is definitely more than B.com and this is what you need to learn. Read this article and you will see life is full of plenty of choices even in your career.
#1 – Bachelor in Commerce
First and foremost we need to know the options available if you are just a holder of a bachelorette in commerce. B.com is often considered to be the easiest option to attain a degree and most students pursue it after schooling, hoping to enjoy the best of both the worlds to the fullest. This should not however be taken as an undermining of the study program as India is a witness to some of the top CEOs and CFOs who are a bachelor of commerce degree holder. Also, look at Careers after B.com
B.Com is a three years course at the end of which a student is eligible for job opportunities in both public as well as the private sector. Finance and Business is the major sub categories where these professionals are employed, with majority opting out for options in banking, company secretary ship, chartered accountancy, cost and works accountancy jobs, etc. Public services is a very lucrative career in the sub-continent and commerce students are definitely eligible for UPSC, state public services, Indian Statistical Services and Indian Economic service. Teaching is a career always open provided students are willing to go the long way of spending two years doing their post-graduation and sit for the various eligibility tests to qualify as a professor. A thriving opportunity for the commerce students today is in the form of e-commerce business where money is a galore and success easy provided the right risks are taken at the right time.
#2 – Chartered Accountant
One of the brightest future options that every student wishes for is to become a CA. or a Chartered Accountant. A CA overlooks the financial affairs of businesses and companies ensuring they are abiding to the laws of the Government. Tax affairs, financial transactions, auditing, and reports according to it are prepared by them. Attaining this designation requires dedication and hard work to crack the CPT (Common Proficiency Test) exams and becoming a member of ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India).
Clearing CPT is the first hurdle; the next level is to appear for the C.A. Inter course. After completing the C.A. Inter exam one is required to do an Information Technology Training Course and finally appear for C.A. Final exam. Positions are open in the Finance department of Private companies as well as Government Enterprises. Initially it is advisable to gain some experience before deciding to work independently or go for consultation services. Private auditor ship is an ideal situation where you are hired by companies and businesses
#3 – Bachelor of Business Administration
B.B.A. stands for Bachelor of Business Administration which is three year degree course. Ideally most students prefer to do an MBA (Master of Business Administration) after their graduation to boost career prospects. B.B.A graduates are expected to competently handle finance and management related scenarios in businesses. A student is required to study Financial Management, Marketing, Economics, Human Resource Management, Accounting, Statistics, Business Communications and Entrepreneurship skills. MNCs prefer to tap this young talent especially if this course is attained from a respected institute.
#4 – Bachelor of Economics
Bachelor of Economics is extremely an interesting area of specialization and it opens a great many doors of opportunities for many. Finance is the major criteria to study and if you love it and are good at it, nothing can stop you from attaining your goals. The education imparted in this program enriches one’s understanding of business and government, the highly symbiotic relationship of the two and its technicalities with respect to both as an analysis of the economic and social data and events. The course equips people with the key capabilities to develop economic and social policy for financial markets, business, banking, and consulting in both the private and public sectors.
#5 – Company Secretary
A Company Secretary (CS) is an important accounting designation in a company. A CS in a company is the mediator between the board of directors, shareholders, government and other agencies. The CS has the required expertise in legal matters, securities law, capital market and corporate governance to regulate a company according to the compliance charted out.
A candidate requires to successfully clear 18 papers divided into three programs to attain the CS designation. The Foundation Program has four papers and the Executive Program has six, while the Professional Program comprises of ten papers. In addition to this a student is required to undergo 15 months of training after passing the executive or professional program.
#6 – Master of Business Administration
A master’s degree is tiring yet fruitful in the long run of your career. It prepares you for business administration especially pertaining to marketing and general management. The two year’s course offered in business schools is not only rigorous but painstaking. However, in overall the certificate not only instills in you the quality of hard work but also equips you for management analysis and strategy with a thorough knowledge on accounting, finance, marketing and human resources.
The MBA course is available in full time, part time and distance learning processes and this degree definitely enhances your value in the eyes of your employer allowing you to excel in the managerial roles. the MBA study program respects minute details and therefore touches upon all topics ensuring a vast diversification of knowledge so as to stand out always in the current market scenario.
#7 – Chartered Financial Analyst
CFA is the professional certification program conducted by the American based CFA Institute (formerly the Association for Investment Management and Research, or AIMR) for investment and financial professionals. The program module is structured in a format that it meets the demand of the global investment industry. The course keeps on evolving and adds on to the new practices of the industry, however it definitely covers the broad topics relating to investment management, financial analysis, stocks, bonds and derivatives, and provides a generalist knowledge of other areas of finance.
CFA is a global brand and its educational program and module helps a candidate to develop his aptitude according to the current practice of the industry. Achieving the certificate requires rigorous studying and hard work and therefore a chance to standout in the eyes of your employer. Your practical skills would be an asset and provide you with a competitive edge and also boost the chance of a hike in the future. Unlike other international certifications, CFA is cheaper and gives you a good grounding base about the financial markets and improves your expertise and knowledge on the same.
#8 – Cost and Work Accountant
These professionals are mostly involved in the auditing of the companies and are required to maintain cost accounting records, certify import and export documents under the Exim Policy, serve as executor, administrator, receiver and valuer. They are integral to any business house’s working with respect to the strategic decisions that they help in facilitating, in respect of diverse economic activities of the organization.
#9 – Cost & Management Accountants
This course is a result of the Cost and Works Accountants Act, 1959 which regulates the profession of cost and management accountancy. A Cost and Management Accountant (CMAI) is responsible for enlisting the cost of manufacturing and keeping a book of accounting on it. He is involved in the pricing of the goods and services produced, verification or certification of taxation, especially with respect to indirect taxation.
This career is not a hot selling cake but the position is very essential to the marketing department. The main job of cost and management accountant is to prepare quotations for tender responses; the production department requires the person involved to make sound decisions profitable product mix. The purchase department is always at a loss without the cost accountants advice for making any decisions regarding buying. They play a crucial role in identifying business risks and their mitigation.
#10 – Actuary
Actuaries are involved in the assessment of the financial impact of risk and uncertainty. They assess the financial security systems, and regularly monitor their complexity, the mathematics involved in the same and their mechanisms. An actuary in other words is the caretaker and onlooker of the company ensuring no mishaps or risks arrive jeopardizing the harmony of the current working conditions in the company. They use mathematics to evaluate the probability of events in order to ensure stability and minimization of financial losses associated with an event that is not only uncertain but is undesirable. Events such as death and accidents are unpredictable and risks involved in such cases are immense yet the less possible impact on the balance sheet of the company needs to be ensured and this is primarily the job of an actuary.
The pre-requisite qualities to become an actuary are asset management, liability management, and valuation skills. Analytical skills, business knowledge and understanding of human behavior are necessary to design and manage programs to assess and control risk.
#11 – Certified Financial Planner
CFP or Certified Financial Planner is a certificate course for financial planners who are looking to specialize in the strategic financial planning or advisory role in the financial services industry. The certificate is conferred upon by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) in the United States and by its affiliated body FPBS in India. CFP is a mark of excellence, recognized and respected worldwide by the financial professionals. A career in wealth management is an ideal situation for a CFP. The course trains a professional in the various aspects of personal finance like tax planning, insurance planning, estate planning. A CFP finds employment opportunities in banks, wealth management companies, insurance companies, mutual fund and other financial intermediaries. CFPs are in demand in India as we need to meet at least 50,000 financial planners, and not even 10% has been met.
#12 – Financial Modeling and Investment Banking Programs
An investment banker is highly appreciated and there is a tremendous amount of credibility associated with it. This is a must program for those who want to embark on a career in equity research and investment banking. For those interested in making a career in hardcore finance it is advisable to go for the kill from the very beginning. You can look at professional courses on Investment Banking
Other Commerce Career Opportunities
The many doors of opportunities open for a commerce graduate are:
- Higher education: there is no end to seeking knowledge and therefore educating yourself can never stop. Pursuing higher education to facilitate an academic career is a great choice. Our country is devoid of great teachers and your endeavor in that step is highly appreciated.
- Banking: Amazing salaries, job security and high social acceptance often drives the conventional choice but jobs are secured and with the spate of new local/national/foreign banks job market is booming for the commerce students.
- Investments: Positions for equity research analyst, investment banker, mutual fund executive, capital market manager, asset manager, venture capitalist and real estate are always open and traded by many.
- Insurance: A sector which has shown an exponential growth due to the liberalization policy in India. There are enormous opportunities to be exploited to make a great career.
- Capital market: A Liberalized Indian economy has been welcomed by capitalists with great deal of investment and superb projects. This has definitely brought about a spurt of opportunities.
- Management: No need to say anything for MBAs and their management skills will always remain in demand.
- Accounting: Skilled accountants are greeted warmly with open arms in both the domestic as well as international job market.
- KPO and BPO: the sector is growing and India can meet the demand of talent.
- Taxation: Opportunities in this field will never diminish so be thoroughly prepared.
Benefits of Careers in Commerce
Now let’s come to the part of logistics and which interests any student the most. The remuneration package! It is sad but true that today a career option is no more chosen on the basis on one’s passion and liking but on the basis of the future income that the prospects hold. Income is important and often can be frustrating to be stuck with a meager salary but the passion to drive ahead in your work is through your enjoyment and job satisfaction and if this is lacking, nothing can satisfy you. Let’s be optimistic and take a look at the remuneration available for commerce students.
Remuneration packages vary on many factors but at the basic onset of a fresher’s career, the sole driving point is his academic qualification, training, experience, location, responsibility and employer. Private sector offers lucrative opportunities and a great start, with MNCs willing to pay ludicrous amount to attract talented young professionals. MBAs, CAs and CFAs command high packages due to their expertise in their subject matter and experience. Foreign banks and insurance companies also offer a great deal of good packages.
There are ample number of professional courses and opportunities to choose from. You need to be wise and explore them one by one before coming to any conclusion. Don’t be guided by the pettiness of peer pressure, salary, lack of knowledge. Be driven by passion for what you are doing and you sure to find success in your future endeavor always.