Commerce Grads – and even HSC with commerce – have a variety of options for further studies.

Before we describe the various courses available after 12th or B.Com, it would be prudent to mention that digitization has penetrated virtually every industry and this includes the world of accounting and financial management. Therefore, while the basics will be taught in every course, most courses will contain an additional module concerning digitization and automation, which would teach the learner about accounting and financial technology a.k.a. FinTech.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that new courses evolve every year and this list is not necessarily comprehensive.

With that background, here is a snapshot of the various courses in commerce.

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Business Accounting and Taxation Training (BATT)

Certificate in Investment Banking (CIIB)

Certified Financial Planner

US Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

Chartered Accountancy (CA)

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Company Secretary (CS)

Data Science Certification

Digital Marketing

Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

ICWA (Institute Cost and Works Accounting)

Investment Banking Certification (Master of Commerce)

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

ACCA is the leading global accounting organization. Becoming an associate of ACCA will open the doors to a plethora of opportunities in banking, management, and of course, financial accounting. Associates are often considered for senior roles. If you are likening this to completing CA (Chartered Accounting) within your own country, think again – it is far more encompassing as you will learn about GAAP, IFRS and other laws related to accounting from around the world. Here’s how you can apply and complete your ACCA –

Eligibility: Graduation and above

Duration: 2 years
Work Opportunities: Auditor, tax planner, financial planner, corporate treasurer, forensic accountant etc.

Business Accounting and Taxation Training (BATT)

This well researched and modelled course gives you a practical understanding of accounting and taxation, regulatory compliance, reporting, and other skills required by large accounting firms. Doing BATT after B.Com will give you the required experience to put on your CV or resume thus improving your chance of landing your first job. You may liken BAT to internship in accounting and taxation.

In India BATT is offered by EduPristine and is available in all metro cities as well as a few others.

Eligibility: B.Com and above

Duration: 8 weeks to 12 weeks depending upon skill

Work Opportunities: Work opportunities after BATT include accounting jobs at various levels from assistant right up to CEO and eventually, if you are determined enough you may make partner in a large accounting firm.

Certificate in Investment Banking (CIIB)

Investment is about facts, figures, statistics, and mathematics. So if you dislike computation this course is not for you.

Popularly called the IB Certification this course gives you the practical skills to become an investment banker or investment consultant. The course is offered by the AIWMI (Association of International Wealth Management of India) along with other institutes. The Certified Investment Banking program tests the ability of a candidate to have a systematic and disciplined approach to stock valuation. You will learn to make informed and calculated decisions about investment both at the individual and corporate level.

In general the course covers –

  • Asset Class Valuations including DCF
  • Corporate Actions and Restructuring
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Investment Banking Basics
  • IPO, Listing and Fund raising
  • Leverage Buyouts (LBO)
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Transactions Analysis

Certified Financial Planner

A financial planner is someone who helps people plan their investment with a view to achieving achieve their long term financial goals. It involves a variety of niches including real estate, estate planning, investment planning, and insurance planning and so on. The course is offered by the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) and Financial Planning Academy (FPA) among others. While the courses cover almost all areas of financial planning you may choose specialize and practice in a niche.

US Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

If you are aiming at MNCs or working in a global environment – which most people do these days – CMA is the course for you. The Institute of Management Accounts (IMA) in America primarily offers the course in two parts with examination at the completion of each. The course will prepare you for financial planning and analysis, decision making, reporting, and professional ethics. While the course is primarily offered in the USA, students in India can enrol through Miles education which has branches in major Indian cities as well as the UAE apart from America.

Eligibility: Graduation and minimum 2 years of experience

Duration: 6 – 9 months or more depending upon modules selected

Work Opportunities: Working with MNCs and large organizations or setting up your own startup.

Chartered Accountancy (CA)

This is the most common career choice for B.Commerce graduates. The Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAI) conducts CA examinations in three levels – CPT (Common Profeciency Test), IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence Course), and Final CA. After completing your 12th standard (HSC) in any stream. Graduates can also apply. You will first have to clear your CPT and then enroll for IPC. Alternatively you may opt for ATC (Accounting Technician Course) which is deemed equivalent to group 1 of IPC. If you go the ATC route you need not appear for group 1 IPC. Some students prefer to complete the ATC and begin working without waiting to complete the full course. If you wish to go the whole way, you will be required to complete article ship by working for an experienced CA for a minimum of 2.5 years.  Having done so and passed all the group exams at all three levels, you can proudly claim to be a Chartered Accountant.

Eligibility: 12th with 2.5 years of work experience (articleship)

Duration: 3 years or as you complete each level.

Work Opportunities: Working with banks, large and small businesses, or setting up your own practice managing business and personal accounts for clients, filing tax returns, and so on.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

CFA is considered the highest standard in the finance and investment industry. Big and small companies appoint CFAs for portfolio management, market analysis, investment planning and other financial decision making. The role of a CFA is lucrative and much sought after both in employment as well as in private practice. The course is completed over a period of 2.5 years in three levels. Like the CA course, the CFA course too requires internship for 2.5 years before certification. The course involves considerable statistical knowledge so if you do not like mathematics, this may not be your best choice.

Eligibility: Graduation with 2 years of professional work experience OR 4 years of work experience after SYBcom.

Duration: 6 months to 2 years depending on levels you choose to take.

Work Opportunities: CFA can find gainful employment in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) industry with both domestic and global companies. They may also set up their own practice.

Company Secretary (CS)

The ICSI (Institute of Company Secretaries of India) offers the CS course under two separate programs – Executive and Professional. You may enter the Executive Program by passing your 12th and completing the CSEET (CS Executive Entrance Test) which has replaced the foundation program offered earlier – unless you have already completed the foundation program or hold a CA certification in which case you may be exempt from CSEET. All other candidates – even graduates – must pass the CSEET before enrolling to the Executive program and later passing on to the professional program – if you want to that is.

 Eligibility: 12th + CSEET.

Duration: 1 year for each program – or depending upon the time you take to clear all papers.

Work Opportunities: A Company Secretary is responsible for the overall functioning of the company. This includes everything from legal regulatory compliance to implementing management decisions and resolving disputes. CS holders find gainful employment in large and small companies.

Data Science Certification

This is a post graduate diploma or certificate course that can land you on the hottest IT seat in any company. If you are a science graduate, you may also complete your M.Sc. with Data Science as a speciality. Large organizations accumulate large amounts of disparate data – not all of which is always useful. It is the job of a data scientist to weed out superfluous data and collate the remaining data into meaningful statements and reports for decision making and strategizing. The course, and the eventual job require knowledge of mathematics and statistics.

Eligibility: Graduate from any stream – with mathematics as a subject for diploma course. BCA OR  B.Sc Statistics  OR B.Sc  Mathematics  OR B. Sc Computer Science  OR B.Sc IT OR BE or BTech or equivalent degree from a recognized university for M.Sc.

Knowledge of mathematics, statistics, and computer programming is useful.

Duration: Approximately 2 years.

  • Work Opportunities: You may work as a Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Business Analyst. , Data Analytics Manager, Data Architect, Data Administrator, Business Intelligence Manager, or other similar post in any large of small organization. You may also freelance as a data analyst working for several business organizations.

Digital Marketing

Another hot seat in the world of IT – a digital marketer is someone who helps businesses advertise and expand their business online. The study of digital marketing is a certification course wherein you will learn about the various advertising channels online including social media, blogs, and so on. You will also learn about website building, website ranking, SEO and other aspects of digital marketing.

Eligibility: 12th and above

Duration: 6 to 20 weeks depending on the program you join

Work Opportunities: Digital marketers often set up their own digital marketing agency. They may also work for large and small organizations handling a marketing team which includes experts in the various elements of digital marketing. E-commerce companies like Amazon also employ digital marketers.

Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

FRM is a globally recognized certificate in finance and banking industry. The course is offered by the Global Asociation of Risk Professionals (GARP) in the USA. The GARP holds examination in 4 parts or levels. You must pass all 4 levels (2 exam sets) for certification. Coaching for FRM is available in India through various institutes such as the Indian Institute of Quantitative Finance (IIFQ) and other private institutes. Completing your FRM will open the door to career opportunities in risk management, stock market, financial modelling, and other managerial jobs in the BFSI industry.

Eligibility: While there is no specific eligibility criteria you would be well advised to pursue FRM after your graduation. You are however required to show a work experience of minimum 2 years in the industry.

Duration: 9 months (Two-part exam conducted in May & November)

Work Opportunities: Risk management specialist, financial modeler, financial analyst, and other top managerial jobs in big and small organizations.

ICWA (Institute Cost and Works Accounting)

What was earlier called the ICWA is now called the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) and the new course is called CMA (Cost Management Accounting). As the name suggests, it teaches students about the costing part of business. It involves the study of economics, financial accounting, corporate law, and a few other relevant subjects.

The ICAI conducts a three level course in cost and work accounting. You can gain admission to the Foundation Course after completing your HSC, or Graduation. For the next two levels – Intermediate and Final – you should have cleared the previous level.

Eligibility: 12th or Graduate

Duration: As long as it takes you to clear all papers.

Work Opportunities: Large and small companies both in the private and public sector, banks, other BFSI institutions, private practice.

Investment Banking Certification

There is a huge demand for investment bankers and investment consultants in the BFSI sector.  A certificate in Investment Banking will help you make a career in the finance industry as an investment consultant, financial advisor, or portfolio manager. The certification is offered by big and small financial institutions in India.

Eligibility: Graduation and above – although some institutes may enroll you after 12th.

Duration: Depends on the programs you choose

Work Opportunities: Big and small banks, financial institutions, and business organizations. You may also set up your own investment firm. (Master of Commerce)

While there are many job oriented certificate and PG diploma courses, you may choose to go to the University instead. Most Universities in India offer a Masters in Commerce (M.Com) degree which you may take up after you complete your Bachelors degree. You may enroll in any nearby college to complete the course. You can specialize in various areas including of Accounting, Finance, Business Management, Economics, Statistics, Taxation, or Marketing.

Eligibility: Graduation

Duration: 2 years

Work Opportunities: Work in the finance industry with any big or small company or set up your own gig within your area of specialization.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

It’s a common enough advice given casually, often without fully understanding. Well, it’s not that bad either. Pursuing your MBA after graduation gives you insight into how a business is run. You’ll have to sit for a CAT (Common Admission Test) to gain admission. Some colleges like NMIMS conduct their own entrance test and then there are the state level entrance tests. You can specialize in Finance, Marketing, Operations, HR, IT, SCM, and a few other areas of business – new areas evolve every year.

Eligibility: Graduation with 50%

Duration: 3 years

Work Opportunities: MBA grads stand a better chance for recruitment into the C-Suite of big and small organizations depending upon their specialization.

Need more information? Read our blog on Careers After Commerce.

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