Booming trends in commerce education

Booming trends in commerce education

Today students of commerce at the graduate level can opt for a range of courses and options. Such a trend is a reflection of the booming economy, avers Geetanjali Purswani.

The demand for Commerce education has spiraled over the last decade to an  extent that it has eclipsed the significance of Science education. To believe that Commerce education now proves more popular than the pursuit of the basic sciences is difficult to comprehend for the older generation which venerated science and associated Commerce with clerical work. However, the manner in which society has now started to view Commerce has undergone a transformation. In the process the subject of Commerce itself has diversified into various allied disciplines.     
Today students of Commerce at the graduate level could opt for a range of courses and options.  For instance, a student could either opt for Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Commerce (Honours). Beyond these other options would include: Bachelor of Investment and Financial Accounting or Bachelor of Business Studies, Bachelor of Commerce in Foreign Trade, among others. Similarly at the post graduate level the menu is diverse which includes: Masters in Commerce, Masters in International Business and Master’s in Human Resource and Organizational Development, Master’s in Finance and Control are few of the various options listed here.

Booming economy
Evidently such a trend loaded in favour of Commerce manifests in the higher education space and is a reflection of a booming economy. These signs would include : Increasing industrialization, outsourcing of work in the IT and ITES sectors from the western industrial democracies, changes in global economy, increase in entry  of multi-national companies into the country, expansion of service sector in the national economy. Together all these considerations have fuelled an increase in demand for Commerce trained professionals.
Earlier impressions were that after a Bachelor of Commerce, the only jobs available were those of accountants eligible for clerical jobs. All these notions have changed with the availability of new avenues of work in and Commerce professionals at the helm of organizations. So much so, Commerce graduates now have a wider range of responsibilities that span diverse job functions from human resources and marketing to accounts and finance to logistics and even research. Moreover, globalization has integrated India with other developed and developing economies and in the process also encouraged many multinational companies to enter the country.
Clearly all these developments have spurred an interest in these companies of the need to adopt global standards in accounting. For instance, today companies listed in domestic and overseas stock exchanges which aim to improve their industry standing are inclined to adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) – specific guidelines which are globally accepted accounting practices for comparability and transparency of financial statements.
Considering the dearth of professionals who are able to comprehend IFRS requirements there is a heightened demand for Commerce graduates and trained professionals. In view of this there exists phenomenal potential for India to develop its higher education sector in Commerce and develop it into a whole new outsourcing industry. In response to such levels of demand higher education centers have lately begun to incorporate the IFRS into their syllabi and thereby provide a work force of students to ‘near-industry’ standards.

Niche domains
Besides for Commerce graduates to acquire professional qualifications in niche domains, traditional options include: Chartered Accountancy, Institute of Cost Accountants of India, besides Associate Company Secretary and MBA in Finance. The new breed of courses include:  the Certified Accounting Technician which caters to the accounting profession at the mid level and specifically support the requirements of Chartered Accountants in the industry and service sectors. The Chartered Financial Analyst provides a strong foundation for advanced investment analysis. All these courses train students to transform into specialized professionals. Other options include IT-based courses like Tally or Cyber security.
Another emerging area of specialization is Business Development which appears to be gaining momentum and now only a few private universities offer it. Eventually any sphere of business is all about increasing the bottom line and business development is integral to this exercise. This would especially prove useful to those students who are oriented to become entrepreneurs.    
For those Commerce students interested solely in stock markets they can evolve their skills with courses like the NCDEX Commodity Certification Course run by National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange Ltd, certification program in Financial Engineering and Risk Management by the National Institute of Securities Markets.  For students the flexibility to choose options in Commerce education only enhances the appeal factor of the subject.
Another approach is to choose a combination of a regular course and a professional course or to do a diploma course simultaneously and be ‘near industry-ready’ as soon as students graduate from college.

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