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Careers after BFM/BAF- The days are gone when you need to get overwhelmed about what to choose. This is the age of specialization. And if you have already done your BFM or BAF, then you’re already on the roll. It’s time to look closely at your career aspirations and decide what specifications to pick.
You have already done your Bachelor of Finance or Bachelor of Accounts and Finance. That means you have already chosen one of the most lucrative professions in the world. But still sometimes when you talk to your teachers or friends, every option seems good and perfect. And you’re not able to decide how to solve this issue. Isn’t it?
Thus, we bring you this article where we will talk about few career choices that you can choose from. We will give you the details of the courses, fees, compensation range you would get and at the end we will discuss a way through which you would be able to choose the right option easily.
Career options after BFM or BAF
Chartered Accountancy (CA)
You may have heard the significance of this course. But let us go deep and see some statistics.
- CA is the 2nd best course in the world (yes, in the world).
- Only 2-3% clear all the levels in one go.
- You need to complete 100 hours of information technology training and 3 years of article-ship to be able to get qualified for this lucrative profession.
Now you can understand that this course is not for faint hearted. But the difficulty is hyped. Yes, it’s difficult to clear CA, but if you decide to study every day from the beginning, you would clear it. And it would be easier for you as you already have a background in finance and accounts. CA is more about accounting than finance. But as it’s a very comprehensive course, the application of financial management would come in due time.
Let’s look at the fees and the structure. The fees are nominal. In India, it is just INR 17,500. But if you look at CA outside India, it’s costly, around INR 2.5 lakhs. Usually CA takes around 4-5 years depending on when you join the course. If you join CA after graduation and you have 55% (for commerce students) and 60% (for others), then you don’t need to give CPT. You only need to sit for IPCC and CA Final. Thus, you will be able to clear CA (after graduation) within 3 years if you clear it in one go. The compensation you may expect around 6.5-7 lakhs per annum. Now, it’s important for you to know that from which city in India, you do your CA. If it’s from Delhi or Bangalore, you would get around 6.5-7 Lakhs per annum. If you do it from cities like Kolkata, your salary may be a little less depending on the cost of living index.
Financial Risk Manager (FRM)
As you’re already a finance-professional, this is a good option for you. FRM is particularly designed for students who are from banking and finance background. Moreover, it’s a globally recognized course which will add tremendous value if you can complete it.
Let’s look at few nitty-gritty of the course.
- FRM exams are being conducted by Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), USA.
- To clear FRM, you need to sit for two exams. FRM Level 1 and FRM Level 2.
- The exams are being conducted twice in a year – in the month of May and in the month of November.
- Once you clear these exams (which are rigorous and you need to work really hard for it), you need to go through 2 years of work experience in the similar field. What makes GARP stand out in the crowd is its approach of educating its students. It doesn’t only value theory; it also asks the students to complete a 2 year practical experience before it offers the certificate. Yes, you won’t get the FRM certificate before you complete your 2 years of work experience in the similar field.
- Finally, after you complete your FRM, there are basically four domains you can choose to work in – Trading, Modeling (financial modeling), Structuring & Risk Management.
Let’s talk about the fees and the compensation you would get after you receive FRM certificate.
The fees are not on the higher side. You need to pay around INR 1.2 – 1.5 lakhs which is very nominal for a global course like FRM. Moreover, once you complete your FRM, you will be able to avail job of INR 5-7 lakhs per annum which is quite decent for an entry level position.
If you’re thinking about enhancing your career after BAF/BFM, FRM is the right opportunity for you. Do have a look at FRM Important Dates here.
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If you have a dream of earning a lot more than your counter-parts and you never mind sacrificing all your day for your job, you have another option after your BFM or BAF. Yes, it’s MBA in Finance.
Now, this is true that if you do it from the top-notch institute, you will become valuable to the corporates; otherwise they will shift their focus from you and will concentrate on the students who have done their MBA from top-notch institutes.
If you want to do it from India, aim for IIMs and top 10 MBA institutes in India in terms of placement, faculty and academics. If you want to do from foreign university, aim for Harvard, Stanford or MIT. If you give CAT, MAT, XAT & GMAT, you will cover 90% of top institutes. And once you get an entry, your future is secured.
You would be able to get a job in investment banking (if you wish to) and can replicate what we mentioned at the beginning of describing MBA (Finance).
So how would you start? You should start at the final year of BAF or BFM. If you have a year to prepare for MBA entrance, you will be able to score better and your chances of getting into a top-notch institute will increase drastically.
Let’s talk about the fees and the compensation. Now if you join an ordinary college, you will be able to do a regular course under INR 4 lakhs. But if you want to join IIMs or in similar sort of colleges, you need to raise your bar, yes, even financially. The fees for IIMs are around INR 18-25 lakhs.
But if you get into IIMs or any top 10 institutes in India or in USA, you would have multiple options and you would be able to place yourself in good position as well.
Let’s talk about the compensation you would get. If you do your MBA from top-notch universities in USA, you will start with US $80,000-$100,000. And if you complete your MBA from a top-notch institute like IIM, you will be able to earn around INR 18-20 lakhs per annum in starting.
So think before you complete your BAF or BFM if you want to do your MBA in Finance from a top-class institute. If you decide after completing your graduation, you can start right away. It is always better late than never.
Chartered Finance Analyst (CFA)
If you love math and you have a passion to do something incredible in the investment world, choose this course. It’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s one of the toughest exams in the world. But if you persevere, you would be able to clear the exams and make your mark in the investment world.
After passing CFA, you would be able to do few jobs significantly well. You would be able to join a private equity firm where your job would be to find out the merit of various investments so that you can choose the right one for your clients. Or else, you can join hedge fund where always you need to do investment analysis. In both of these fields, the money is huge, especially in hedge funds.
Let’s look at the structure of CFA. CFA is conducted by Chartered Finance Analysts Institute, USA. It has three levels. In the first level, you need to answer MCQs and in next two levels, the emphasis would be on case study analysis. Along with clearing three levels of exam, you also need to have 4 years of relevant work experience. If you clear three levels and have four years of relevant work experience, you will receive CFA certificate and your value as an investment professional would increase exponentially.
The difference between a CFA and an ordinary graduate is the depth of knowledge and the way a CFA will be able to perceive an investment. Again, CFA is tough. You need to put in a lot of hard-work to be able to crack it.
Let’s look at the fees of CFA and what compensation you can expect.
A globally recognized, number one investment course in the world cost you around INR 2.5 – lakhs. If you see the value this course provides, the amount it charges as fees is negligible.
The compensation would be around INR 7-10 lakhs (often more than this range) depending on the number of years of experience you have and the industry you choose to work in.
If you have inclination toward investment and want to become an investment professional, you should go for CFA.
Company Secretary (CS)
This is another option you may take. Once you complete your graduation, you can go for CS which is conducted by Institute of Company Secretaries of India. But you can start after 10+2 as well. But if you haven’t here’s your chance. This is a course which is often compared with CA. But in this course, the emphasis is on the qualitative reasoning instead of quantitative reasoning.
If you are eager to know what value you would be able to add if you do CS, it is this – you would be advising board of directors or MDs or CEOs on different aspects of the company’s affairs and legal matters. If this sounds good to you, you can join CS and can get the certification within 4 years. As we mentioned earlier that it is mostly compared to CA, you can understand that it’s not as easy as it looks. You need to be the master of legal affairs and you need to understand each and every subject of business (for example – MIS, Business Communication, Financial Accounting, General & Commercial Law, Corporate Restructuring etc.).
In CS also, you need to clear three levels – foundation, intermediate and final and after or before clearing the final exam, you need to take up a one year internship. Once that is done, you will be given the certificate of CS.
The fees for CS are reasonable, around INR 30,000 – 40,000 (if you opt for CMA, it’s a bit costly). The compensation you can expect after getting CS certification is around INR 5-8 lakhs per annum.
Careers after Commerce? Have a look at this article for in-depth options
A way to decide what you should choose
There’s a simple way to decide which course you should choose. To know which course you should choose, you first need to think about the lifestyle you want to live. Do you want a life where you need to be always on your toes and you will hardly get any time for family? Or else, you want a lifestyle where you would do 40-50 hours of work a week which will leave you enough time for your family and friends. Or you want anything in between these two.
Now see which course offers you this kind of lifestyle (a lifestyle that you want) and go for it. It’s quite simple. Most students make the mistakes of listening to other people – friends, teachers and authority figures and then live a life of quiet desperation. Drop opinions of others. Listen to yourself. What do you want? How you want to live? Choose accordingly.