Banking promises a secure future

Banking promises a secure future

CAREER WATCH

Banking promises a secure future

He is the superhero in anyone’s life — salvaging investments gone wrong, channelling money into right avenues and accounting for profit and loss. Adept at handling money matters, bankers can be called the guardian angels of any business, industry or economy. And with financial markets picking up and the recession waning, what better way to tap the growth in the financial sector than by pursuing a career in banking?

There are multiple career options opening up in the banking sector. As per the McKinsey report ‘India Banking 2010’, the banking sector index has grown at a compounded annual rate of over 51 per cent since the year 2001, as compared to a 27 per cent growth in the market index during the same period. It is projected that the sector has the potential to account for over 7.7 per cent of GDP with over Rs 7,500 billion in market cap, and to provide over 1.5 million jobs.

The Indian banking industry can be classified into nationalised, private banks and specialised banking institutions. A course in banking will help any student to develop skills like human resource management, planning, funding operations, handling of loans and profit generation.

If you do decide to pursue banking as a career, the field has a plethora of options before you — there is corporate, retail, commercial, investment and private banking among other services.

A career in banking and finance opens up many avenues for young graduates. It opens doors to positions in banks at various levels, right from Bank Clerical to Probationary Officers (PO). An option is to appear for an All-India Examination conducted by public sector banks, which is a stepping stone for a career in the banking industry.

And there is more, says Kavita Iyer, CEO and co-founder, Minglebox.com, “While career options like investment banking, fund/ portfolio management are still the most sought after, only students with an MBA, finance or CA background manage to get into these areas. In addition, there are a large number of students aspiring to get into PSU banks in the clerical and officer cadres. Of late, career options like wealth manag-ement, financial planning, commercial risk management and securities trading have become popular among students.”

Courses in capital markets, financial statement analysis and valuation, mergers and acquisitions, advanced risk management, financial deriva-tives engineering as well as security analysis can also be opted for.

Generally, all courses in banking cover atleast a few common subjects such as operations management,  micro and development finance, marketing, human resource management, international finance, strategic planning and information technology. The course there-fore needs to give a student enough indepth knowledge about monetary control, foreign exchange, currency values, treasury management and other allied fields of study. With many banks today being technology-driven, it has broadened the scope and range of banking service and career opportunities in banking and financial sectors, resulting in the need for more profe-ssionals.

With the information tech-nology boom, a new dimension has been added to the face of banking. Jagmohan Bhanver, CEO, Indian Institute of Financial Management, feels that software knowledge has now become an integral requirement from students.

“HDFC uses Flexcube by Iflex Solutions while Infosys-developed Finacle is used by banks like ICICI and Bank of Baroda among others. Therefore, students who are conversant with these software always have an edge. If not, while signing up for courses, keep in mind that providing this domain knowledge is also a part of the curriculum,” he says.

Some prominent banking institutes of the country include IFBI (Institute of Finance, Banking and Insurance) which is promoted by NIIT in association with ICICI Bank, International Institute of Financial Markets, Raffles Millennium International, Indian Institute of Financial Management and the Intern-ational College of Financial Planning, among others. Courses offered in banking can be anything from a six-month to one year certificate or diploma course to a full-fledged one or two year MBA (MS Banking, MBA in Banking, etc.) where students can specialise in banking.

Many institutes also offer postgraduate diplomas in banking and finance through distance learning. These are especially beneficial for those who are already working. Generally, 60 per cent marks or an equivalent grade is all you require to register yourself with an institute. Also, it’s a myth that it is only suitable for students with a background in commerce . Many bank officers are from different streams of education.

Says Jagmohan Bhanver, “There is a huge deficit of good bankers. We need to create a huge pool of talent in order to supply the same to the industry. One of the reasons why top banks in the country are entering into joint ventures with institutes is to groom and hire students, especially for private banking and wealth manage-ment sectors. Freshers are also encouraged, but a majority of institutes prefer it if students have at least two years of work experience.”

Kavita Iyer says, “While careers in banking are exciting and, no doubt, financially rewarding, they are also directly impacted by the prevailing economic conditions.

However, having an understanding of the fundamentals of finance and how the financial sector functions will surely help in building a great career.”

Adds Aakash Shah, a team leader with a financial solutions company in Bangalore, “In the era of corporate scams and bank frauds, demand is for a core understanding of various aspects of finance and financial products, in addition to a strong foundation of ethics and integrity.”

 As for the money, with competition between private and public sector banks heating up, these institutions are offering fat pay packets to attract talented youngsters. The annual entry level salary is 2.65 lakh while people with relevant skills and with over 10 years of experience to earn about 45- 48 lakh per annum. Professional like MBAs, CAs and CFAs recruited by public sector banks can draw a higher salary.

But same professionals recruited by private and foreign banks are given pay packages to the extent of about Rs 30,000-50,000 a month.

But a caveat here. According to Jagmohan Bhanver, “Any institute that assures you of a placement with a salary package of less than 3 lakh per annum is not a premium institute.” Considering there are thousands of colleges and single-city operators who offer specialised courses in banking and lure students in the name of guaranteed placements, youngsters need to do their research before signing up for a course.

Bhanver gives a few tips to choose the right college. “Find out if the institute is auto-nomous or accredited to a banking body. Those which have tie-ups with renowned banks should be preferred. In addition, the nature of these tie-ups should also be determined (many might just tie-up with a college to recruit sales people, for which you need not do a specialised course or an MBA). Also, see if it has visiting faculty from the banking industry.”

For courses in banking...

*Indian Institute of Financial Management
*International Institute of Financial Markets
*Institute of Finance, Banking and Insurance
*Symbiosis School of Banking Management
*National Institute for Rural Banking
*Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies
*International College of Financial Planning
*Sikkim Manipal University
*Indian Institute of Finance

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