As far as socially accepted careers go, Commerce has traditionally been considered the “safe” choice or the mid-way between arts and science. While the choice of science stream is perceived as a lucrative option with great potential for popular careers and professions – particularly in healthcare and engineering – those who wish to take up a career in literature, archaeology, or psychology usually pursue the Arts stream. Masters in commerce has always been seen as a choice for accounting and finance careers or careers in management and little else.

Traditional perceptions regarding B.Commerce are changing

Of late, Bachelor degree in Commerce has emerged as a popular stream among students, with the “cut-off” percentage for admission in good colleges escalating each year. What has driven this popularity?

Why did B Commerce become a popular choice?

Traditionally, a few careers were considered not just lucrative but of high social standing. Medicine and Engineering were two such popular streams and anyone who scored above 80% began vying for admission in these streams – either by choice or because of societal, parental, and peer pressure. B Commerce was a secondary choice and supposedly, Commerce graduates did not land “good” or lucrative jobs.

One reason behind this school of thought is that many students choose commerce simply as an alternative to science with no clear career goal in mind. Yet you see many accountants and management graduates holding top positions and earning six or seven figure salaries. The difference is perhaps a clear goal and career path that leads many to the top of the corporate ladder. In fact, the Commerce stream opens the doors not only for accounting jobs but a plethora of career options unlike the science stream which has just two pathways – Engineering or Medicine – though a variety of opportunities have emerged in these as well.

Read more about Engineering choices and Medical choices.

Another reason for the growing popularity of commerce is perhaps, the sheer number of undecided students and unplanned choices that drove enough students to Commerce. As students graduated and began mapping their career path, new roles, ideas, and opportunities surfaced. In the course of events, technology met Commerce and this mating became the driver for even more career options for Commerce graduates. Many specializations and sub-specializations emerged in finance, management, marketing, and IT – so much so that the curriculum for B.Commmerce was overhauled. Universities and colleges began offering wider choices to B.Com students. A stream was earlier considered a specialization in accounting or finance and management now diversified into accounting, finance, insurance, management, and IT to name a few, – giving Commerce a new life.

What has changed in the B.Com Curriculum?

In India, the decision regarding syllabus and admissions is made at the state level. Earlier the commerce stream offered a total of 6 subjects in each year of the degree course. In the third and final year, students were offered the option to specialize in accounting or business management. Gradually, specialization seeped in and the courses diversified. Today the commerce stream offers specialized courses in banking and insurance, finance, accountancy, marketing and more. Here’s a list of the most popular specializations –

  1. Accountancy
  2. Banking and Insurance
  3. Business Economics
  4. E-Commerce
  5. Finance
  6. Marketing
  7. Professional – an overall holistic course that teaches finance, management, taxation, and ecommerce as well as developing technical skills

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If a student has a clear goal in mind – such as becoming a banker, financial or tax consultant, or entrepreneur, or wishes to learn digital marketing, he can determine his speciality based on his career choice.

Career Options after B. Commerce

While it is advisable to chalk out your career path well in advance, many students are still unclear about their choices after completing their Secondary school (SSC). If you are one of those, you can still decide your career and speciality after you complete your 12th – or HSC. Depending upon whether or not you have taken mathematics, you can choose the following specializations for your degree course

  1. Accounts and Finance
  2. Marketing
  3. Management
  4. Banking and Insurance
  5. Investment Finance
  6. Law
  7. Computer Application
  8. Journalism
  9. Mass Media and Communication
  10. Event Management
  11. Information Technology
  12. Statistics – Requires Mathematics

There may be a few other choices depending upon your location and the institution you are hoping to join – but the above list is fairly comprehensive.

Charting your Career Path

It may seem simple enough – simply go with your favourite subject – and turn it into your career. But, as we mentioned when talking about How to Choose your Career, it is important to determine whether or not you have the aptitude for the career of your choice. For instance, you may have taken up mathematics as a subject because it was your favourite or highest scoring subject in school. Yet you may not necessarily be cut out to become a statistician – which requires other skills besides computing complex formulae.

That said, as you study for Junior College, you would be well advised to explore options and take an aptitude test – if you haven’t already – to determine the best career for you. Once you have chosen your speciality, it is important to explore also, the possible job opportunities available to you as well as the growth potential within the industry to get a sense of where you would be in the next 5 or 10 years – and whether that would be satisfactory for you. In short, it is important to have a fairly good idea about where you are at and where you are headed.

Summing Up

Commerce as a choice of study or career is becoming increasingly popular. For one it gives you a basic idea of Accounting and Management – which is helpful no matter what career or profession you are in. For another, it opens up a plethora of options and opportunities to you. Of course if you are determined to take up a specialized profession like medicine or engineering then you must study that – and then do your MBA or a certificate or diploma course to add to your skills.

Read about courses for High School Grads (12th) or Baravi Pass.

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