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Top 7 job-friendly courses in Accounting and Finance

Last updated on: September 15, 2011 16:41 IST

Top 7 job-friendly courses in Accounting and Finance

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Shajan Samuel, an IIM Calcutta alumnus and Divisional Head, IIJT Education suggests seven useful courses in Accounting and Finance that graduates can pursue in India.

To a layman 'finance' would mean managing fund flow and Accounts would mean systematic recording of transactions, but each of these functions have different roles and different skills are required to drive these roles.

Never before has the country needed the services of Accountancy /Finance Professionals in every facet of the economy.

The changing economic realities have driven the organisations to necessarily take up the services of Accountants and Finance Professionals.

The Finance and Accounts department are essentially the lifelines of any organization and companies often prefer candidates with skills and expertise.

If you have a specialisation in Commerce, Finance or Accounts, you can find ample job openings in financial services.

There are several Jobs in Finance and Accounts even for a fresher. While applying for an entry-level job in Finance or Accounts, you can choose from a wide variety of exciting job profiles matching your qualifications.

In Finance and Accounts, there are many options to choose from.

For example, a student who has graduated with a degree in Commerce or Business Management can pursue courses in post graduate diploma and degree courses.

You can choose between M.Com, MBA in finance, PGDM, Banking & Finance, Capital Markets, Wealth Management, Insurance, Risk Management, CA, ICWA, CS, CFP, CFA and more.

Let's look at some of these courses in detail.

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Image: There are several Jobs in Finance and Accounts even for a fresher
Photographs: Illustration by Uttam Ghosh
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1. Chartered Accountant

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The most prestigious career option in this field is that of Chartered Accountant.

Chartered Accountancy is a dynamic, challenging and rewarding profession. All countries have their own Accountancy Association which regulates the quality and quantity of the professionals in this field.

The Chartered Accountancy Course is a professional course in Accounting introduced in our country in 1949, with the enactment of the Chartered Accountants Act.

The course involves a blend of theoretical education and practical training which run concurrently for a period of three years and equips a student with knowledge, ability, skills and other qualities required of a professional accountant.

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Image: Chartered Accountancy is a dynamic, challenging and rewarding profession

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2. Cost Accounting

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The other popular course is the Cost Accounting course offered by the Institute of Costs and Works Accountants of India (ICWA).

Cost management is the mainstay for an organisation to stay afloat.

With the global competitive nature and economic demands, a company's success totally depends on the quality of service it provides with minimum cost input.

The minimum qualification to pursue cost accountancy is a pass in class 12 or graduation (preferably in Commerce).

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Image: Cost management is the mainstay for an organisation to stay afloat
Photographs: Illustration by Dominic Xavier
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3. Company Secretary

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An important link between the company and its shareholders, Company Secretary is becoming an increasingly vital and good career option.

Every listed company, at the stock market, employs a company secretary to deal with the formalities involved in stock and trading.

With industries venturing into new areas -- mergers, takeovers, collaboration -- getting listed in foreign stock exchanges etc, are becoming common, that brings along all the complex legal issues that are associated with it.

A company secretary with his statutory powers and knowledge of accounting and legal matters plays a vital role in every large and growing organisation to settle such issues, quickly and smoothly.

The minimum qualification to pursue a Company Secretary degree is a pass in class 12 or graduation (preferably in Law / Commerce).

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) conducts the company secretary course in India.

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Image: A CS plays a vital role in every organisation to settle issues, quickly and smoothly
Photographs: Illustration by Uttam Ghosh
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4. Chartered Financial Analyst

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Chartered Financial Analysts are one of the most valued personnel in any organisation.

The reason being, their analytical and insightful opinions are important for investing funds in the right area to gain maximum profit.

A CFA certification course is designed to equip you with all the basic accounting standards, various business practices, economic policies and conditions etc.

The minimum qualification to pursue a financial analyst course is graduation (preferably in Commerce with Maths).

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Image: The analytical and insightful opinions of CFAs are important for investing funds in the right area to gain maximum profit

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5. MBA in Finance

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MBA Finance is a comprehensive degree that not only covers managing routine financial needs, but provides in-depth knowledge on investments, securities brokerage, economics, market analysis and other management related functions.

Minimum requirement to apply for the course is graduation.

If you are looking to be hired through campus placements, you will be required to clear competitive exams like CAT.MAT, XAT etc to get selected in to the top 20 B Schools in India.

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6. NSE certification

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For people having a flair for stock trading, they can go in for National Stock Exchange's NSE certification.

This programme duration is 100 hours along with 20 hours of hands-on training which is done at a live terminal of a trading partner.

For more information on the NSE certificate course, you can refer www.nse-india.com

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7. Certified Financial Planning programme

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For people working as Relationship Managers in banks, wealth management companies, insurance related departments, mutual fund and other financial intermediaries, you can go for the prestigious Certified Financial Planning programme.

Currently, there are only 1300 CFPs in India against a requirement of 50,000, which by itself explains the scope of this profession.

The CFP certification is valid in 23 countries in the world.

Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) India is the authorised regulatory body for this course in India.

This program is for a duration of 165-180 hours and is delivered by FPSB authorised education partners.

CFP candidates gets 30 percent more salary against their current degree and is preferred by the charter members of FPSB like Deutsche Bank, ICCI Securities, Kodak Mahindra etc.

Further information on this course is available on www.fpsbindia.org.

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Choose a program which includes both finance and accounts

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The larger picture

The exodus as far as job opportunity is concerned is in the entry level job and here is where is organisations are looking for skills and application rather than knowledge and poetry, action rather than intent.

Students who fail to make the cut in the competitive exams, or the others who feel they need to work immediately after graduation or while pursuing graduation, there are plenty of options in front of them.

The best option for you would be to pursue a flexible vocational training programme.

There are a few quality vocational training institutes which provides the bridge to narrow the gap between academic inclination and industry orientation.

The choice of the programme also determines the distance the student will travel vertically in their career. It is always prudent to choose a career program which encapsulates both finance and accounts. And a one year program with specific and relevant projects, software and practical training would be a safer bet to place.

Few years back we were fighting odds and opportunities, today, we are on a batting wicket with conducive conditions. So let's make that choice and take charge of our destiny.


Image: There are plenty of options for those who want to work while studying

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