Often this career path is misunderstood as finance and accounts. But the reality is that, its doors are wide open to career opportunities in various sectors like Economics, Finance, Banking, Insurance, Trading (Local – Wholesale / Retail, Import & Export), Services, Tour & travel, Hospitality, Health Care, Real Estate, Stock Market, E-commerce, etc. In all sectors mentioned, there are very interesting common functions involved, where a person of commerce, finance or accounting background can pursue a promising career option. Buying and Selling of goods or services and making profit out of it is the core. This leads to various opportunities based on their personal interest and skill sets.

Following are the important functional areas one can choose:

  • Asset Management
  • Commercial & Other Laws
  • Costing & Management Accounting
  • Direct and Indirect Taxation
  • Finance,  Accounts & Audit
  • Funding and Financing
  • Insurance and Actuarial Valuation
  • Leasing and Renting
  • Logistics (Road, Sea, Air) 
  • Manufacturing and Production
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Merchandising
  • Portfolio Management
  • Sales and Distribution
  • Warehousing

As you all know, presently, a bachelor degree is the basic qualification one must possess and the recruiters always prefer that. Interestingly, If you are a B.Com Degree or BBA degree holder, it is the first step towards a successful Career and the doors are wide open in front of you to many of the paths listed above. Needless to mention, if you select Commerce stream in +2, it will be easy to study and to get admission in any degree we are discussing here. Various universities have different policies of admission, which are to be checked in individual cases.


Various courses being offered in this field:

BCom (Bachelor of Commerce): A three (3) year undergraduate degree in Business offered by most of the universities in India and overseas which is open to students from all streams and more preferably for students from commerce stream. There are many specialisations in B.Com. It is generally a regular course. Private study and distance education options are also available. Candidates who wish to pursue higher studies and career in accounting, finance and commerce may study B.Com as a first step. B.Com (Hons) is another related option which is an advanced 6 semester B.Com course, where students are required to complete additionally two interdisciplinary elective subjects in diverse disciplines [Humanities / Sciences] during the first two years and to undertake research work in the third year.

MCom (Master of Commerce): This is a two year postgraduate degree in business related subjects offered by all popular universities. They conduct 2 yearly exams or 4 semester exams and award the certificates. Students will specialise in core subjects related to commerce, finance and accounts, along with optional subjects like economics, banking, corporate taxes, business laws, auditing, business management, actuarial studies, human resource, marketing, entrepreneurship, etc. by delving deeper into the functioning of the economy, capital, revenue, trade, taxes, etc.This programme is well received in the industry for years which  serve the needs of managerial cadre in business and industry. This course also serves the needs of academics as well and prepares students for research and to become teachers and Lecturers in business related subjects.

CA (Chartered Accountant): This is a professional course which is being offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountant of India (ICAI), a statutory body set up by an act of parliament of India in 1949. This is a highly respected and most rewarding career in the field of Commerce, Finance and Accounts. A person can become CA by passing prescribed examinations along with few IT related courses and by undergoing three years of practical training. Chartered Accountants always hold key and managerial positions in medium to large scale organisations in India and Overseas. CAs have various options, either be a highly paid employee or be an independent consultant / advisor or be an independent auditor.

CMA (Cost and Management Accountant – earlier known as CWA): This is a professional course which is being offered by the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of India (ICMAI), a statutory body set up by an act of parliament of India. This is a highly respected and most rewarding career in the Cost and Management Accounting field. One can become CMA by passing prescribed examinations and by undergoing 15 months of practical training. All industrial units need a CMA, which will be one of the key positions. One has the option to be a highly paid employee of a company or to be an independent cost accountant or cost auditor.

CS (Company Secretary): This is a professional course which is being offered by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), a statutory body set up by an act of parliament of India. This is a highly respected and most rewarding career in Indian Commercial and Corporate Law field. One can become CS by passing prescribed examinations and by undergoing 21months training along with IT skill assessment. All medium to large companies in India need a CS in their key positions. One can be a highly paid employee in the managerial position in a company or be an independent company secretary.

IIM (Indian Institute of Management): There are 20 IIM in various states which are prestigious and most highly ranked institutes of importance in India, which offer various post graduate courses. They offer two-year Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP), Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) and Master in Business Administration (MBA). Some IIMs also offer a one-year post-graduate diploma programme for graduates with work experience.

BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration): A 3 year undergraduate course in Business Management which is open to students from all the three streams (Science, Arts and Commerce). This is available in both regular and distance education.

MBA (Master of Business Administration): One of the most popular postgraduate programmes in India and abroad. One can study this two (2) year course (4 semesters) after passing BBA or B.Com or any other degree from Science, Commerce and Humanities as per the prerequisite of the universities offering it. MBA is a gateway to plenty of opportunities in the corporate world. One can pursue MBA in various modes, such as, Regular, Online and Distance-Education. 

Actuarial Science: A very high level course offered by most of the developed and developing countries. In India, it is monitored by the Institute of Actuaries of India. Actuaries analyze numerical information to assess risk. Aspiring actuaries need to have a strong understanding of mathematics and business, and they should complete an undergraduate degree with mathematics, statistics, finance, economics or business to join this course. 

Foreign Degrees: There are many overseas institutes giving professional degrees in the field of Commerce, Finance and Accounts. Few important among them are given below;

ACCA (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants): One of the world’s leading and fast growing international accountancy organisations HQ in the UK, having 110 offices and centres in 52 countries. India is one among that. 98 Global accountancy partnership and 323 approved learning partners. ACCA is a professional accountancy qualification that benefits from global recognition. Can Join after +2. The course takes between one to three years to complete, depending on your current qualifications. It’s structured so that Full Time students must choose to study either four, five or six ACCA papers each academic year, and a minimum of two papers each semester. Part Time students do not need to undertake any minimum number of papers, as they can take just one singular paper. Both computer based exams(CBE) and paper-based exam methods are there. Once you qualify, ACCA membership opens doors to a successful career in accounting or finance and immediately increases your earning potential. It is highly rated in the fields of banking, management, Audit, consulting and having a cutting edge while competing for senior roles in organisations.

CPA (Certified Public Accountant): This is a professional course in the field of Finance, Accounts, Audit and Taxation which is being offered by various countries through the designated Institutes, which gives license to CPA degree holders to provide accounting and auditing services to the public in those countries conducting this course. This degree is similar to Chartered Accountant. CPA offered by the USA is most popular among students of various countries. CPA is a designation given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to individuals that pass the Uniform CPA Examination and meet the education and experience requirements. To Join this course you have to pass bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, or accounting. When an Indian CA competes in the international job market, CPA is the main and tough competitor for vacancies in Auditing, Accounting & consulting firms and industrial and business units.

Australian CPA and Canadian CPA are also famous. In Australia CPA is Certified Practicing Accountant. In Canada CPA which is Chartered Professional Accountant.

CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants): This is a professional course in the field of management accountancy and related subjects offered by this UK based professional Institute. They offer a standard scheme of qualifying examinations called CMA for prospective members which is highly valued and this degree is the competitor for Indian CMA in the International Job Market.

Required Skills and Aptitude

  • Business acumen, Analytical skills, Interpersonal skills and Mathematical ability are the basics.
  • Must have problem solving, decision making, organising and delegation skills.
  • Interest in playing with numbers and having a habit of updating what is happening around.
  • Dedication and focusing more on particular areas for a longer period is a prerequisite.

Eligibility Criteria

  • For B.Com & BBA, the student must pass +2 from any stream, preferably commerce.
  • For M. Com, the student must pass B.Com or BBA.
  • For CA & CMA, degree pass with specified percentage of mark. CS via entrance only.
  • For IIM, there is entrance examination.
  • For ACCA, CPA & CIMA you may join after +2 or after any commerce degree as per each Institute’s criteria.
  • For MBA, the student who passed B.Com, BBA or Science degree can apply.

Entrance Examination

  • For B.Com, no entrance test in Kerala. It is based on +2 Marks. But in other states few universities and colleges conduct entrance exams
  • For CA, CS & CMA, there are entrance exams for direct entry after passing +2. For ACCA, 4 subjects to be studied initially and pass the exam. 
  • For courses offered by IIM, there are entrance examinations
  • Reputed universities and colleges conduct entrance exam for MBA

Job Profiles

In Private & Public sector

  • Accounts Manager, Assistant Manager Accounts, Senior Accountant, Accountant
  • Actuary, Risk Assessment Manager
  • Company Secretary, Legal Advisor
  • Finance Director, Presidence Finance, CFO
  • Finance Director, VP Finance, Finance Manager, Financial Analyst, 
  • Junior Accountant, Data Entry Clerk, Documents Manager, Store keeper, Cashier, Customer Care Executive etc are the few of the starting career and based on the experience and skills that developed in the Job, one will reach up to managerial level
  • Management Accountant, Cost Accountant
  • Marketing Manager, Merchandising Manager, Warehouse Manager
  • MIS Administrator
  • Operations manager, Commercial manager, Department manager
  • Own practice as Auditor, Company Secretary, Cost Accountant
  • Own practice as Business Consultant, Financial Consultant, Tax Practitioner
  • Portfolio manager, Asset Manager, Fund Manager
  • Statutory Auditor, Audit Director, Internal Auditor, Cost Auditor
  • Tax specialist (direct and indirect)

Top Recruiters

  • Accounting & Audit Firms
  • Banking & Insurance
  • Commercial Units
  • Government and NGOs
  • Industrial units
  • Multinational Companies
  • Own ventures also
  • Service providers
  • Trading houses

Opportunities everywhere in every business unit for persons from this stream. Sky is the limit. 


Universities and Institutions in India:

  Name of the university/institution  State
  Christ University - Bangalore   Karnataka
  St. Joseph’s College of Commerce - Bangalore   Karnataka
  Kannur University, Kannur   Kerala
  Kerala University, Thiruvananthapuram   Kerala
  MG University, Kottayam   Kerala
  University of Calicut, Malappuram   Kerala
  Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai   Maharashtra
  St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai   Maharashtra
  Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, Pune   Maharashtra
  IIM – Indian Institute of Management   Multi States
  Hans Raj College   New Delhi
  Hindu College - University of Delhi   New Delhi
  ICAI - The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)   New Delhi
  ICS - The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI)   New Delhi
  Indira Gandhi National Open University (Distance Education)   New Delhi
  Jamia Millia Islamia University   New Delhi
  Lady Shri Ram College of Commerce   New Delhi
  Shri Ram College of Commerce   New Delhi
  Annamalai University (Distance Education) – Cuddalore   Tamil Nadu
  Loyola College - Chennai   Tamil Nadu
  Madras Christian College - Chennai   Tamil Nadu
  Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) - Aligarh   Uttar Pradesh
  Sharda University, Greater Noida   Uttar Pradesh
  ICMAI - The Institute of Cost Accountants of India, Kolkata   West Bengal
  St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata   West Bengal

Foreign Universities/Institutions:

  Name of the university/institution  Country
  Monash University   Australia
  The Australian National University   Australia
  The University of Melbourne   Australia
  The University of New South Wales   Australia
  The University of Sydney   Australia
  Lakehead University   Canada
  Seneca College   Canada
  University of British Columbia   Canada
  University of Calgary   Canada
  University of Guelph   Canada
  University of Ontario Institute of Technology   Canada
  Auckland University of Technology (AUT)   New Zealand
  Massey University   New Zealand
  The University of Auckland   New Zealand
  University of Otago   New Zealand
  Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)   Singapore
  National University Singapore (NUS)   Singapore
  Singapore Management University   Singapore
  Abu Dhabi University - College of Business Administration   UAE
  Ajman University - College of Business Administration (CBA)   UAE
  American University in Dubai – School of Business Administration   UAE
  American University of Sharjah - School of Business Administration   UAE
  Canadian University in Dubai - School of Business Administration   UAE
  Institute of Management Technology Dubaï – IMT Dubai   UAE
  United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) - College of Business and Economics   UAE
  University of Dubai - Dubai Business School   UAE
  University of Sharjah - College of Business Administration   UAE
  University of Wollongong in Dubai - Faculty of Business and Management   UAE
  Zayed University College of Business   UAE
  London Business School   UK
  London School of Economics and Political Science   UK
  The University of Manchester   UK
  University of Cambridge   UK
  University of Oxford   UK
  Harvard University   USA
  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)   USA
  Stanford University   USA
  University of Chicago   USA
  University of Pennsylvania   USA

Questions & Answers​

Q) What should I do after passing B.Com?

A) It is advised to do higher studies. If there is a pressing need for a job, keep studying while working, which will help you to reach the desired heights.

Q) What are the options available to study B.Com? Which is better?

A) Three options. Regular college going option, Private study option and Distance education option. Suggest to go for a regular college going option.

Q) Out of the three professional courses – {CA, CMA & CS} – which one do you suggest?

A) All the three are professional degrees being granted by autonomous bodies under the government of India legislation. If you consider CA as an option, it covers all the aspects of business. You can compete in the Indian and International Job market. CMA is limited to cost and management accounting having opportunities overseas also. CS is more theoretical and the opportunity is limited in India. It is your call to take based on your aptitude and personal evaluation.

Q) What is the difference between CA and ACCA

CA is a highly reputed professional degree offered by ICAI which is competitive both in Indian and Internationally and always having an upper hand over ACCA. Passing out percentage of CA is an average of 15% (Only 15 out of 100 who write the exam will pass).  In India CAs have special privilege under various legislation of India and a CAs opinion and signature has value that you never imagine.

ACCA is a professional degree offered by foreign universities and they are offering it in many countries including India. It is easy to pass with a passing out of 50% (50 out of 100 who write the exam will pass). Companies in India recruit ACCAs because they are cost effective in the job market. If you evaluate ACCA independently as a professional degree, it is really a good one having demand in Job market in India and overseas.

This page is supported by: Mujeeb Moosakunju Howlath (FCA)