Everyday as we step out of our doors, we’re involved in an array of exchanges – the milk we get from the neighborhood grocery store, the fees we pay for the music classes, the bundles of old newspapers we give away, or the packages brought home by the Amazon delivery man.
All of these activities dealing with the exchange of goods and services together make the field of commerce. Although this stream of study is often depreciated when compared to that of science in high school, this is the field that is closest to our day-to-day lives.
To most of India, commerce has been that alternate choice known to have only limited options when it comes to career. What fails to be understood is that fields of study are not to be compared amongst themselves, but rather to be examined individually.
So, what can you do in the field of commerce?
Of course, commerce and chartered accountancy are like an inseparable duo where thinking of one reminds you of the other. But what is the big deal about a Chartered Accountant (CA)?
To begin with, CA is an internationally recognized professional designation, where one is qualified to take on specific activities in accounting. As a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in India (ICAI), you would hold expertise in auditing, accounting, and taxation.
But here’s what makes the position special. To every business or corporation, their financial and accounting matters are highly sensitive and of utmost importance to them. Handling monetary issues require great responsibility, which in turn means that they are in dire need of constant expert opinions.
That’s where the CA steps in. India has witnessed a constant growth in the demand for CAs over the years. Now that the GST law has settled in, companies are all the more in the need for professionals for guidance in the monetary area.
What’s more, a career in CA comes with global recognition, a good deal of respect, money, mobility in work, and a perfect understanding of business and accounts that will help in itself in your daily life.
Next in line after Chartered Accountant comes the Company Secretary. A company secretary is said to be an ‘in-house legal expert’ who is responsible for a company’s efficient administration. He ensures that the company complies with the required legislation and regulation and keeps the members of the board well-informed of their legal responsibilities.
If you’re good with numbers, have a judgemental and analytical mind, and can work under pressure, you too can hold this position of great responsibility that can take you places. You get to do things in your own way, have flexible working hours, get an impressive pay, and most importantly – have great job satisfaction.
With the increasing growth of firms in the corporate world, the scope for company secretaryship is on the rise. A career can be sought in the private sector, the public sector, banks, stock exchange, law firms, and other financial institutions.
With a three-stage-course : Foundation, Executive, and Professional, which can be opted for immediately after class 10+2, the door to becoming a CS remains open and welcome to all interested students of Commerce.
Cost & Management Accountant
A Cost Management Accountant (CMA) holds the professional certification provided by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI). They act as a mentor for lower level accountants, create strategies to manage risks, and prepare financial statements.
This career focuses on the core strategy in management, accounting, and regulations for the company at hand. Obtaining this position, however, requires you to clear a number of exams in three different levels – foundation, intermediate, and final.
So what are the perks of being a CMA?
You’d hold a responsible position in making business decisions and running the company. You’d stand in a unique position in its finance and management section, bringing about a perfect balance between them.
You’re also more likely to advance in your career since you’re ahead of the other accountants. And of course, your salary would be higher than the rest as well.
You become the go-to person for business-related financial problems. Naturally, you get much respect and status for the work you do. Just as in the positions of CA and CS, job satisfaction comes as an add-on to the work.
We see that CA, CS, and CMA are the first choices that come across a commerce student’s mind, clouding the myriad other options available out there. So now, putting aside the three most sought-after professions, we shall now explore the career domains under commerce in general.
Other Major Fields
‘The queen of Social Sciences’, they call it. Economics can be defined as the study of how societies choose to distribute scarce resources. It discusses what goods and services are to be produced, how they are to be produced, and the way they are to be deployed.
As an economist, you will research and analyze economic issues, conduct surveys, prepare reports, and advice organizations on trends in economics. Economists have a logical and analytical mind, a good knowledge of current affairs, and a drive to strive for perfection.
The different job profiles you can hold in this field are financial risk analyst, data analyst, cost accountant, business economist etc.
Most consulting firms, banks, and corporations are in need of economists to deal with their economic issues. The profession being in close connection with people and the society, there wouldn’t be any shortage in its demand.
Actuarial sciences are all about analyzing and interpreting data. All industries requiring risk management, be it banking, insurance, or healthcare, are in dire need of actuaries. As an actuary, dealing with mathematical equations and financial theories would be your daily task.
This field is for the lovers of logic, mathematics, and problem solving. As you develop financial projects and evaluate its assets and liabilities, you will measure and monitor the risks involved with the same.
If you take up this option based on your skills, it would be undoubtedly an interesting experience to study and work in this field. Moreover, there is said to have an increase of about 30-40% in the demand for actuarial positions by insurers in India.
Surely, for those with the intellect, a career in this field will not disappoint.
Workers plan their days depending on the daily weather report. Researchers analyze the results of their experiments based on the collected data. The country’s economic growth is measured through the contribution to GDP by different sectors.
The decisions made and conclusions drawn in the above scenarios are entirely based on statistics. From the prediction of the weather by analyzing the past statistics, organizing the right data for scientific experiments, to interpreting the rate of the country’s progress with the statistics of each economic sector, this field of study plays a major role in every aspect of our lives.
A job profile in the field of statistics will involve data collection, organization, analysis, interpretation and presentation. Following your degree in statistics, you can take on the roles of statisticians, business analysts, data scientists, statistic trainers, content analysts, and more of the like.
Because of the diversity in the areas of work which require statisticians, you get to explore various options for your job profile.
Here’s a career that will bring you to the heart of money management. Anything and everything we do involves money in some way or the other, being a part of the finance sector gives you a better idea on how best to deal with the notes.
From investment and commercial banks to money management and real estate firms, opportunities are vast in the financial sector. The work in the finance department will include planning, organizing, and controlling the company’s finances.
The finance sector is fast-paced and challenging. Expertise in this field can open doors to careers in several other sections since it is an integral part of a business of any category. You also get impressive salary and benefits, along with great potential to climb the career ladder.
We see that several fields under commerce require analytical and problem-solving abilities, making it seem more or less like a profession involving too much of mathematics. What if you’ve chosen the commerce stream but with a strong aversion to mathematics? Let’s now look into this problem.
Is Mathematics a Must?
Mathematics has timelessly haunted students who aren’t cut out for the subject. If you’re one of them, you probably have been wishing for a way out of it. Well, there’s good news – not all fields in commerce require skills in mathematics.
One of the most crucial roles in any work environment – management, does not ask of you to be a pro in mathematics. What matters here is your organizational and communication skills, your ability to interact, motivate, and lead your team.
Although it might seem like strong intellect is a necessity to succeed in commerce, the truth is that there are more important factors that affect the work.
“The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect” – Warren Buffett
Leonardo Dicaprio has glorified the profession of stock broking through his movie, The Wolf of Wall Street. In this profession, one researches on stock markets and works with investment analysts. Adequate knowledge in economics and accounting, along with excellent communication skills are the essentials for the same. Maths again takes a back seat here.
If you have an idea to set up your own business, you need to recruit the right professionals, administer the finances and accounts, be responsible for the organization, and be willing to take risks. Entrepreneurship is one of the prominent factors contributing to the country’s industrial growth. And no, you needn’t break your head with mathematics to succeed in the field.
The popular options discussed earlier – CA,CS, and CMA also require less amount of mathematics when it comes to the job profile. However, having a good background in the subject will definitely give you an edge over the ones who don’t.
Creativity in Commerce
Perhaps you’re one of those out-of-the-box thinkers who love to be innovative and imaginative. Perhaps you think that taking up a career in commerce will diminish your creative cells, it being a pretty bland field of study.
But that’s exactly where you’ve gone wrong. The field of commerce is not as dry as it might seem. Every idea you gather for a product design, advertising, or market implementation, how you decide to make your business make a mark by standing out, or the strategy you create to reach your goal – all of this requires a keen and creative mind.
With the advent of online shopping, customer experience has changed tremendously in commerce. Firms have also started targeting the popular media of communication used by the common folk – social media handles.
For instance, the simple idea of the instagram feature ‘swipe up to link’ has turned out to be a game changer in e-commerce, with an increasing number of social media users being able to become influencers.
From advertising techniques to creating trade policies, building businesses to managing tasks, creativity and innovation take their place in most areas in commerce. All you need is to be creative enough to figure out where and how to apply them.
E-Commerce in India
In this age of rapid digital advancements, our worlds revolve around mobile applications.
Want some food? Order at Zomato.
Need to travel? Book tickets from IRCTC.
Not feeling so well? Consult doctors through Lyberate.
The list goes on. Products and services are available at the comfort of our homes today, changing the face of commerce altogether. According to Times of India, India has been leading the charts in online retail growth with a 53% increase over the years 2013-17.
Some of the best retail eco-systems in India include Reliance, Flipkart, Amazon, and Alibaba.
The two initiatives in Amazon India – Self Service Registration and Amazon Easy Ship allows sellers to self register and start selling their products within a day or two. The retailers and customers are kept happy with its features, providing a complete hassle-free experience.
Meanwhile, PayTm has made its way to the list of unicorn startups and is the second-largest e-commerce platform in India. With over 120 million users, the feature attracting most clients would be the cashback service. The numerous discount coupons to choose from makes the purchasing all the more exciting.
Several other e-commerce websites have taken the market by storm and made its mark. In today’s commerce field, this section of e-commerce has visibly opened up new avenues in terms of career.
All in all, a career in commerce not only brings you vast and diverse opportunities to work in, it also brings you closer to understanding the commercial society and building a more quality life.