WHAT ARE MY CAREER OPTIONS AFTER A BACHELORS IN COMMERCE (B. COM)?
Bachelors in commerce is a greatly sought out-degree, particularly for those who want to pursue a career in the corporate sector. However, many people think the only way you can get there is with an MBA following your bachelor’s degree. Right? Well, no. We’re happy to tell you that you can pursue courses other than an MBA after your B. Com and even join the workforce immediately. Plus, you have many choices as well to study and work outside the corporate world. After a B. Com from a good college, such as Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi; Fergusson College, Pune; or SRM University in Amravati, Andhra Pradesh, you can pursue careers in government, public sector banks, education, law, research, communication and more. Here’s a comprehensive list of career options, including diploma courses after B. Com and job-oriented courses after B. Com:
What are my options for further study?
Professional courses after B. Com
An MBA from a premier institute is an evergreen option to build your career. You will be required to take the CAT for the IIMs and other entrance exams for institutes like XLRI, Jamshedpur and Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. In an MBA, you can specialize in options such as finance, marketing, human resources, foreign trade, and more. Choose a specialization allied with your strengths to get the most out of your MBA degree.
Where: The IIMs; XLRI; ISB; FMS, University of Delhi; Symbiosis, Pune
Which jobs: Depending on your specialization, you can work as a manager in various departments of Indian and multinational companies. Statistics show companies like American Express bank, tech giants like Google and Intel technologies, and consulting firms like KPMG and Deloitte are some of the top hirers of fresh MBAs. Indian businesses like Aditya Birla Group, Airtel, Reliance Industries also hire fresh MBAs on campus and outside.
Monthly salary: Graduates from tier-1 colleges like IIM Ahmedabad and ISB can expect a monthly average salary of Rs 1,25,000.
Accountancy and finance certification courses
Love crunching numbers? You can opt for exams like Chartered Accountancy (CA), conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants; Company Secretary (CS) conducted by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program offered globally by the US-based CFA Institute. The International Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) are two other lucrative certifications you can consider. Although qualifying all stages of these prestigious courses, especially the CA and CS exams, is challenging, their rewards are well worth the hard work. Another advantage is, you can start many of these certification courses as additional courses with your B. Com since their entrance requirement is that you have passed your Class XII exam.
Which jobs: After qualifying the CA and CS exams, you have to apprentice with chartered accountancy or company secretary firm for a few years. Post this, you can work as a CA or CS, respectively, or a risk manager, corporate accountant, investment manager, and more for any Indian or multinational firm. CFA and CMA also require training. The advantage with a CPA certification from the USA is that it can be completed within 12 months.
Monthly salary: According to a survey conducted by The Hindu, starting monthly salaries for CAs range from Rs 65,000 to Rs 2,00,000. For those working as a CS with a firm, monthly salaries start from Rs 28,000-40,000, but there’s a steep upwards curve with experience. After the CPA course, or CFA OR CMA, you can work as a corporate accountant, risk manager, or in other roles in corporate banking, finance, and management with an MNC. Here, your monthly salaries are between Rs 30,000 to Rs 2,00,000.
After your 3-year B. Com degree, you can appear for the Common Law Aptitude Test (CLAT) which enables you to get into a Bachelors of Law (LLB) program. If you specialise in a company, corporate, patent, or intellectual property law, you can join the legal department of any Indian or multinational corporation as an attorney or legal advisor.
Where: National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore; Symbiosis Law School, Indian Law College (ILS), Pune; MSU, Baroda
Which jobs: You can work as a legal associate, corporate counsel, or attorney with various businesses. Although the job titles differ, the profile is essentially similar: you will be working in the corporate law department of companies, like Amazon India, Tata Consultancy Services, and Proctor and Gamble.
Monthly salary: From Rs 60,000 upwards
Postgraduate courses and diplomas in journalism
Do you feel you have an opinion to share on start-ups, the state of the economy, and multi-million-dollar acquisitions? A master or postgraduate diploma in business journalism after your B. Com prepares you for a career in print, TV, or digital media!
Where: Asian College of Journalism, Chennai; Indian Institute of Mass Communications (IIMC), Delhi
Which jobs: You can work as a business reporter, writer, or editor with a consulting firm, newspaper, news agency, TV channel, or website, depending on your preference and specialization. Popular employers in India are the Mint, TV18, Gartner, and The Economic Times
Monthly salary: Reputable print and digital media outlets pay a starting salary ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000. For TV channels, the salary can go up to Rs 60,000.
Academic courses after B. Com
Masters and PhD courses in commerce, marketing, and finance
Not everyone dreams of joining the corporate world. Some are enthused about the fields of research and education. If that’s your bent of mind, you can always opt for advanced study courses like M. Com and then PhD in India, or an MS/ PhD program in commerce, marketing, or business economics overseas. Programs in the US may require you to qualify the GRE and TOEFL exams and may be fully funded, so keep a lookout for scholarships. After your M. Com or MS, you can apply to teach at a school or a college. You’ll need to qualify the Bachelors of Education (B.Ed) or National Eligibility Test (NET), for school and college teaching, respectively.
Where: For M. Com – Sri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi; Stella Maris College, Chennai; St Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bangalore. For PhD in commerce: SRM University, Amravati, Andhra Pradesh
Which jobs: Assistant or associate faculty at a college, a teacher in a school, market research analyst or manager with a firm
Monthly salary: For government and accredited colleges, monthly salaries start from Rs 35,000, while for schools the range begins from Rs 28,000. For private-sector jobs, expect a salary upwards of Rs 25,000, depending on your role and the hiring company’s profile.
Can I get a job right after my B. Com?
Although adding advanced courses to your belt after a B. Com makes you eligible for more, better-paying jobs, there are also plenty of job options for you right after your graduation. Let’s take a quick look:
Govt, Defence, and Public Sector Banking Jobs
Government jobs after a B. Com are a great option. After your B. Com, you can take the Indian Administrative Exams (IAS) and the Provincial Civil Services Exam (PCS) to join the central government. Most such competitive exams require only a Bachelor’s degree, so they are always a good option. You can also take the Central Defence Services (CDS) or NDA exams to join the armed forces, and bank exams to join public sector banks, such as Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank.
Monthly salary range: Upwards of Rs 50,000 for IAS, PCS, and defence services; upwards of Rs 38,000 for probationary officers (PO) in banks.
Private sector jobs
Work in Audit and Accounting
You can work as an accountant or auditor for large Indian firms and MNCs like Reliance Industries, Wipro, Tata, and more. You’ll be working in a team in a large department that handles the closing of books, finalization of accounts, tax audits, cost audits, and more.
Monthly salary: For a fresh B. Com graduate, a reputable firm can pay a monthly salary of Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000.
Work as a financial analyst
Since you will be familiar with finance and accounting systems, you can find work as a financial analyst with MNCs, consulting firms, or Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) firms, such as KPMG and Genpact.
Monthly salary: Rs 25,000 and above
Work as a finance manager with financing firms
Private financing companies such as Bajaj Finance and Veritas are often on the lookout for finance officers who can sell, disburse, and manage their loan products, as well as customer portfolios. Your familiarity with finance and economics will come in handy here.
Monthly salary: Rs 20.000 and above
Work as an analyst with private and investment banks
You’ll be happy to know that banks like Indian banks like HDFC and ICICI, as well as global investment banks like JP Morgan often hire fresh commerce graduates to work as accountants, banking analysts, and customer service officers. To make yourself eligible for these prestigious hires, opt for a B. Com from a prestigious university, and try maintaining high grades.
Monthly salary: Rs 20,000 and above
With so many options available, you’ll be hard-pressed for choices after your B. Com. If you’re still confused about what to do, decide based on your strengths and interests rather than current trends. After all, finding a career you love is the best lifetime investment you can make!