Commerce leads to many career options

Commerce leads to many career options

A student from the commerce stream always has the option to pursue careers as diverse as hospitality and tourism, mass media, journalism, law, advertising, civil services among others, says Payal Krishnan.

Gone are the days when students opted for the commerce stream in +2 only as a 2nd option after the Science stream. Also, the commerce stream is no longer pursued by only those who are looking at managing family businesses! With careers in commerce undergoing a sea change both in terms of options and scope, commerce  has become a sought after and popular option among students.

If a student wishes to pursue commerce in +2, he will have to study subjects like Economics, Accountancy, Business Mathematics and Business Studies.  There are several career options that open up for a student after commerce stream. Chartered Accountancy, Business Management, Cost & Works Accountancy, Company Secretary, Actuarial Science, Chartered Financial Analyst are some of the fields that are directly related to the subjects in the commerce stream.

In this write up, I am going to focus on Chartered Accountancy as a career.

Chartered Accountancy

These days C.A aspirants are busy burning their midnight oil preparing for the first hurdle on their way to becoming a Chartered Accountant- the CPT. This year the Common Proficiency Test or CPT as it is commonly called, is scheduled to be held on the 15th of  December 2013.

Chartered accountancy (CA)has always been one of the most popular choices of a student studying commerce. With the rapid growth in economy, careers in finance and accounts have gained tremendous popularity. Chartered Accountancy - the core of all businesses, is a dynamic, challenging and rewarding profession and continues to attract a large number of aspirants year after year.

What does a Chartered Accountant do?

As a C.A your work will involve compiling, analyzing, verifying and reporting on the financal affairs of businesses and individuals. You will be responsible for providing a wide range of advice about financial control and planning to companies, public bodies and private citizens. You may choose to specialize in particular aspects of financial management. This number-crunching profession offers a wide variety of jobs in any environment- advertising, manufacturing, media, banking, consulting etc and in all sizes of businesses and public enterprises.

On Becoming a C.A

The study route for a student who is interested in pursuing a career in Chartered Accountancy essentially involves 3 main stages – enrolling & apearing for the Common Profieciency Test (CPT), appearing for and clearing the Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC), and lastly clearing the CA Final examination.  Following is a detailed outline of the stages involved in becoming a C.A:

You are first required to register with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for the Common Proficiency Test (CPT) after passing class X.

You can then appear for the CPT after appearing for your10+2 exams i.e. the senior secondary examination. The ICAI conducts CPT twice a year i.e. in the months of June & December. However, students have to register for these exams before 1st April & 1st October respectively. Students can only appear for CPT after successfully completing the specified period of 60 days from the date of registration.

After students have successfully cleared their 10+2 exams and CPT, students are then eligible to enroll for Group I or Group II or both Group I & II of Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) by ICAI.

After enrolling for IPCC, students are then required to successfully complete a 9 month study course from the date of IPCC registration.

After completing a one week orientation course of 35 hours & a 100 hour Information Technology Training (ITT) and clearing IPCC, students are then required to register and practice as an articled assistant for 3 years.

During their training, students also need to register and simultaneously prepare for CA Final Course.

During their last 12 months of their training, students have to undergo a General Management and Communication Skills (GMCS) (15 days) course.

During the last 6 months of their training, students become eligible to appear for the final examination.

After successfully completing GMCS and clearing CA Final exams, students can then enroll as a member of ICAI and be designated as Chartered Accountant.

Other exciting options in commerce are:

Management Studies - a popular choice among students. In this course you learn how to manage a business professionally and can opt for a degree or diploma in management. Students who are keen to take up management as a career option after class 12th can opt for BBA (Bachelors in Business Administration), BBS (Bachelors in Business Studies) or BBM (Bachelors of Business Management). These courses are typically of 3 years duration where students are shaped to meet the industry standards in the field they wish to specialize in.After graduation, you may opt for an MBA degree in a specialized field.

Company Secretary (CS) is another interesting career option that will require you to deal with aspects of management which relate to the company as a legal entity. Interested sudents can apply for the 3 -year company secretary course after passing (10+2) examination.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) - The chief responsibility of a chartered financial analyst is to manage in the areas of financial accounting, management accounting, financial management, Investment management, security evaluation, project planning, venture capital management and credit rating. This is 3-year course that can be pursued after graduation.

In addtion, a student from the Commerce stream always has the option to pursue careers in any of the non-science fields such as – designing, hospitality & tourism, mass media & journalism, law, advertising, civil services etc. So, you see – the world is your oyster and it is waiting to be discovered!

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