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In this article, we will discuss the nitty-gritty of what you can do after B.Com. We will discuss the right time to think about your higher education, the career options you can choose and how you can take the first steps.
Hang tight. Here you will get the overview of everything that you need to think about after B.Com.
When is the right time to think about Career Scope After B.Com?
You may wonder that what would be the right time to think about B.Com. The right time is not after B.Com. Rather you need to ruminate about your higher education during the last year of your B.Com.
Most students make the mistakes of thinking about B.Com only when they are pursuing it. You need to think further. The way market is shifting, every 5 years there are thousand new jobs being invented. If you don’t know what to do after you are done with your B.Com, then you will be behind. Moreover when you will make decision in a haste, most of the time, you will make the wrong decisions.
So, before you give your final exam, sit with yourself. Do some research! Think about the possible career options you can choose and which go with your career goals. If you need guidance, talk to your parents and take the help of your teachers and professors. At this point, you don’t need to stick to one point. But you should at least give some thought to your career after B.Com.
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Choose few of them and set them aside and then concentrate on your B.Com (final year) studies. Rest you can think after you give your B.Com (final) exam.
Career After B.Com
In this section, first we will discuss the common career choices students make after B.Com pass. Then we will talk about something else as well which you may think about.
Let’s get started.
Common career choices after B.com Pass
These are common career choices or you can say going with the crowd. We strongly recommend that you give a due thought before enrolling into any of these courses. No, it’s not about money; rather it’s about your career and you should not squander the first few years of it by making poor choices.
This is the most popular and common Opportunities after B.Com pass. Rather many students pursue Chartered Accountancy along with their B.Com. But if you enrol yourself after completing B.Com, you don’t need to sit for the entry level exam i.e. CPT (Common Proficiency Test) subject to you have at least 55% in the B.Com. You can also enrol for CA after doing any graduation; but in that case you need to have 60% in the graduation. Before enrolling in this course, think through few things –
- First of all, this is not the course for faint hearted. Ask yourself- Am I ready to put in at least 5-6 hours a day, every day till I clear CA? If the answer is no, don’t enrol. You have other options as well. You know yourself better than anyone. Even if you feel pumped up, receive so many suggestions about doing CA from your professors and see that many of your friends are going for it, still ask yourself honestly and then decide.
- Check the statistics. It’s true that CA is the 2nd best course in the world. But only 2-3% of students clear CA (Final) in one go. If you know that you are committed and pull it through, go for it.
- You need to keep at least 3-5 years in hands as you need to complete a full-time article ship of 3 years, 100 hours of information technology course and clear total four groups in IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence course) and CA (final).
After thinking through all these, then decide whether CA is suitable for you or not.
Most students make the mistake that they perceive finance as similar as accounting. It’s not. Finance is vast and accounting is only one part of it. But still if you want to do MBA in Finance, there are many options you can choose. The best option is prepare for CAT, XAT and GMAT. These three will do. You should start your preparation during the final year of your B.Com. A year of preparation can do wonders for you. There are many B-Schools which are mushrooming everywhere. Do you think doing an MBA in Finance from any B-School will add value to you? Nope. You need to do it from top 10 B-School in India or top 30 B-Schools in the world (if you are going for foreign universities). If you want to pursue your MBA in India, CAT and XAT are your best bet. You need to score high, as high as 99.99 percentile if you are a General student. Or else, if you want to do something in foreign country like USA, you need to score at least 700 plus in your GMAT.
There are many people who go for M.Com after they do their B.Com. You can do the same. But M.Com is a master degree course. And you can choose many specializations Economics, Statistics, Finance, Business, Accounting etc. You won’t get much value out of it if you don’t take it further, meaning we’re talking about M.Phil. or PhD. You can take another approach as well. You can do your M.Com along with CA or any other courses. Only M.Com has little or no value. Of course, from the perspective of education, you will get a ton of knowledge; but here we are evaluating everything from the perspective of making a career and getting a decent placement.
Many students also go for ICWAI. It is the cost accounting course offered by Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India. This is a good course, but it’s not as valuable as CA. But many students go for it as there are good career opportunities after doing ICWAI. After doing ICWAI, you can go for M.Phil. or PhD or you can join as Financial Controller, Cost Controller, Chief Internal Auditor and Chief Accountant. The salary range would be around INR 4-6 lakhs per annum. You can join this course while doing your B.Com. There is foundation, intermediate and final courses you need to clear to be able to get the certification of ICWAI.
Many people go for CS after or during their B.Com. CS is completely a different course than CA or ICWAI. It’s more about legal aspect of business and qualitative analyses. You need to be prepared to suggest the paths to the board of directors of the company and often will join as an Executive Secretary to MD or CEO. In case of CS, you need to clear Foundation, Executive and Final Courses. But the opportunities for Company Secretary course has immense potential.
Not so common courses after B.Com
In the above section, we have discussed about the common choices students make to get going in their careers after their B.Com. But here’s the list of courses which a small percentage of students choose to do.
But they are beneficial too, if you take things into your stride and do them with utmost sincerity.
Let’s have a look at them.
This is one of most recognized international courses you can choose after you complete your B.Com. Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is offered by Institute of Certified Management Accountant. It’s more popular in US, but it has presence in over 100 countries in the world. Over the years ICMA has produced a lot of high calibre students. The proof is if you complete your CMA after B.Com, you will be able to earn at least 33.33% more than any non-certified accountants. CMA is much more comprehensive than any other courses you can pursue after B.Com (other than CA & CS). Curriculum of CS concentrates on both management accounting and financial accounting. ICMA has made it very easy for its students to pursue and clear CMA. There are over 100 examination centres in the world. And to clear the exam, you only need to sit for two exams. And each exam is of 4 hours duration. The exam will consist of 100 multiple choice questions and 2, 30 minute essay questions. But remember that it’s not easy to clear as it sounds. In June, 2015, the exam percentages for two exams are 14% (CMA Inter) and 17% (CMA Final) respectively.
After B.Com, you feel confused and don’t know exactly what will give your career a lift! If you feel like this and want to become an accounting professional here is ACCA for you. ACCA is accredited by Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. It has been educating its students for a very long time. More than 436,000 students have already passed out of this certification. And it has a tremendous global repute; it’s in more than 180 countries in the world. Like CMA, ACCA is also very comprehensive course. Other than teaching you the technical part of accounting, it also teaches technical and management aspect as well. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. You need to put in a bit more effort than normal. Of course, you want a great career and for that you need to clear four levels and 14 subjects in total. The fees for ACCA though are very reasonable. It’s around INR 50,000. Even the passing rate is around 50% if you take the average all levels and all papers together. If you want a global course under a small budget and want to have a great career in audit, tax or practice.
This is one of the best international courses you can do after your B.Com. This is as good as a CA course. People who want to pursue a career in public enterprises must go for CPA. CPA is organized by American Institute of CPA (AICPA). According to AICPA, there is a difference in salary when you do CPA. You would get at least 15% more salary than non-certified accountants. To be able to become CPA, you need to sit for a mammoth exam of 14 hours. There are only four subjects to clear if you sit for CPA – auditing & attestation (AUD), financial accounting & reporting (FAR), regulation (REG) and business environment concept (BEC). The pass percentage is around 47% on average by clubbing the pass percentages in all the subjects.
The First Steps
These are the overview of courses you can do once you complete your B.Com. But having a lot of options is like being paralyzed by choices. So, how would you choose which one is right for you? For that you need to know your inclinations about certain subjects. If you are more inclined toward accounting, you should go for CA, CPA or ACCA. Or else, if you feel finance is your cup of tea, go for MBA in Finance from a reputed institute. Do some soul-search. Have some time handy so that you have enough time to think about all your options.