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Courses and Career Options after
Class 12th : Commerce Stream


Most of the state and other boards have announced their class 12th results. It is now the time to think over the career options & courses and many more related questions that are puzzling in your mind like what should be chosen after class 12th. This is one of the most critical periods in a students’ life. First you should evaluate yourself. Though you already chose a stream like Arts or Science (PCB or PCM) or Commerce in class 12th on the basis of your aptitude and interest, yet if you wish to switch over to other field for higher studies, you can go through many options as per your interest. It is time when you should counsel yourself. You need to check out your interests and which way you exactly want to go. This will help you a lot in taking the right career decision. While choosing a career and in other fields of life as well, if you follow your passion and pursue what you like, the road to success will become very easy for you. A person who takes the right career decisions at the right time can enjoy very much the career path he has chosen. Taking guidance from your parents, friends and other experienced persons really helps, but the final decision should be yours. This article and the next one in this series will discuss about the various career options that are available in the commerce stream. 
Why to choose Commerce?
Commerce is the backbone of any country’s economy. It is also the backbone of the Market. Commerce is an essential part of business covering its economic aspect. It involves activities like exchanging goods, money and services between companies and persons. The commerce is a gateway to the world of finance and accounts. Any business entity, from an unorganized business set up to a highly organized corporate company, requires professionals with knowledge in finance and accounting.  Over the years, importance of commerce as a stream in our country has increased with the integration of the world economy. Even when there is a recession in any economy or job cuts, the demand for accountants does not go down as companies require them in difficult situation also to restructure their budgets.  A degree in commerce will help you understand business operations and how they shape up an economy.  Excellent graduate and undergraduate courses in commerce, banking, finance, accountancy and management areas are offered across the country .These courses ensure very bright professional career.
Major Courses
Here is the list of main courses which as a commerce student you can opt for after passing the class 12th standard. 
Bachelor in Economics
 Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
Chartered Accountancy (CA)
Company Secretary (CS)
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
 Cost Accountant (ICWA)
 Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
 Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
 Cost & Management Accountant (CMA)
 Law (LLB)
 Preparation for UPSC, IAS etc.
Banking, SSC and other Government jobsBachelor of Commerce (B.Com)
B.Com. is one of the most popular and the most preferred programs all across the country. The course is directly related to the basic business requirements. It focuses on the factors that drive economic behaviour at both an individual and an organizational level and therefore, covers a very wide realm of employment prospects. B.Com can be pursued both as a regular graduate course and as a part time graduate course through correspondence or distance education depending upon one’s choice.  Simple B.Com or B.Com (General) or B.Com (Pass) is not a subject specific course and apart from a few compulsory courses, a number of combinations of subjects can be chosen. In India, B.Com course generally spans over a period of three years. Most of the Government Colleges as well as Private Colleges offer B. Com. Course. So, finding a good College near your location will not be a challenge for you.
B.Com. Subjects
A number of subjects can be studied under disciplines of Commerce. Most commerce colleges in India offer the following subjects:
Auditing: The subject focuses on vouching, valuation and verification of transactions, assets and liabilities. It covers the auditing of different organizations like trusts, hospitals and charitable societies.
Business economics: The subject includes concepts like the laws of demand and supply, law of returns, elasticity, theory of pricing under different market forms etc.
Business finance: This subject deals with financial analysis as a diagnostic tool, the management of working capital and its components as well as capital structure leverages.
Business law: It discusses the different laws in India including Companies Act and the Consumer Protection Act.
Cost accounting: This includes process, job and contract costing, costing of overheads, standard and variance costing and budgetary control.
Financial accounting: This subject covers the preparation of profit and loss statements, balance sheets and final accounts of a company, knowledge of Indian and international accounting standards, calculation of depreciation and valuation of shares and goodwill of a company.
Income tax: This subject deals with the nature and basis of charge of income tax, tax planning, tax deduction, incomes not taxable etc.
Marketing: This subject encompasses products, pricing methods, promotion, channels of distribution, logistics etc.
A student can opt for various combinations depending upon availability of choices in different institutes. Most of the institutes offer change in the Elective Subjects in the second year depending upon one’s choice.
Bachelor of Commerce Specializations
B.Com (Honours) offers specialization in a particular discipline during the final year of the program. This gives students opportunity to specialize in disciplines which have lucrative career prospects like Marketing, Finance, Taxation, Law, etc. New courses like B.Com in Computer Applications and Information Technology have been introduced recently in various institutes across the country. These courses are market oriented offering quality jobs.
B.Com. in Accounts & Finance-
Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Finance provides training in the areas of accounting and finance. University of Mumbai for the first time introduced this course in the year 2003-04. Many universities now offer this course which has objective to provide trained professionals in the field of Accounting & Finance. This course covers areas like financial accounting, Cost accounting, Auditing, IT, Taxation, Economics and Business Law, Business communications. After completion of  this course, applicants can pursue many courses such as Master in Commerce, Company Secretary Ship course, Master of Business Administration in Finance or an MS in Finance and Accounting.
B.Com. in Advertising & Sales Management –
Communication is an important process though which a company can make its target audience aware of its products or services. Advertising and Public Relations play a vital role in fulfilling the communication aspect. B.Com in Advertising & Sales Management aims at equipping students with finer nuances of Advertising, Sales Promotion, Public Relations and Sales Force Management. The course enables the students to develop skills required for job/vocation in advertising, personal selling and salesmanship. A student with passion and negotiation skills should pursue this program. The sector offers lots of opportunities in corporate world. You will find good opportunities in organizations involved in marketing,  market research, marketing strategy, sales, advertising, promotion, pricing, product development and public relations activities.
B.Com. in Banking & Insurance-
Financial institutions like banking organizations, insurance firms, stock markets, etc. play a significant role these days in the economy of a country. Moreover, as India embraced for liberalization and economic reforms two decades ago, the banking and insurance have become a vibrant sector. The sectors have grown manifolds in recent years. Many private and international banks and insurance firms now operate in the country.  As India is one of the fastest growing markets across the world, these sectors are bound to grow further. Both the sectors combined provide attractive career opportunities. Through this course you come to better understand how the banks, insurance firms and the financial markets work. Different aspects of banking and insurance are made knowledgeable through this course. The course is useful for anyone who is aspiring to make a career in finance, banking, insurance and other allied services.
B.Com. in Banking Management –
It is an undergraduate degree course in the field of Commerce with specialization in Bank Management. It is a full time course. The duration of the course is generally three years. This course prepares the students to take up various positions in the banking industry and financial services industry. After completion of this course, students can go for opportunities in public or private sector banks and financial services industry.
B.Com. in E-Commerce-
With the rise in the use of internet, e-commerce transactions have gained much popularity. E-commerce, in most simple terms, is business transactions over internet. The course covers accounting principles and e-commerce. It also encompasses modern technologies used in e- commerce and their applications. Basics of Law, management, programming, accountancy etc are also part of the course. B.Com in E-commerce offers you a lucrative career in diverse firms operating with the application of e-commerce.
B.Com. in Financial Market-
This is relatively a new course that describes various nuances of financial markets, and makes you understand finance, economics, investments, risks etc. The course deals with debt markets, commodities markets, equity markets, global capital markets, derivative markets, foreign exchange markets, corporate finance, banking, financial services, taxation, business law, security analysis, customer relationship, computer applications in financial markets, and communication skills. Students, after successfully finishing this course, can seek employment at the stock exchange, at banks, investment firms, and various other financial institutions and businesses.
B.Com. in Foreign Trade Management –
In this era of globalization, seamless exchange of goods, capital and services across international borders and territories is on rise. B.Com in Foreign Trade Management helps you understand the factors that are responsible for affecting the global marketplace. It prepares students for a professional qualification in foreign trade and it provides you a good base in the international business field. It offers you job opportunities in various areas like trade, commerce, accounts, banking, etc.
B.Com. in Information Systems-
Information Technology is one of the fastest growing industries creating significant career opportunities for students.  B.Com in Information Systems is designed for those students who wish to specialize in Information Systems. Information Systems specialists focus on integrating information technology solutions and business processes to meet the information needs of businesses. The course aims to create graduates who are able to offer and manage business solutions through information supported technology. The advances in technology call for professionals who have a sound understanding of how organizations make use of computers to function effectively and efficiently.  Various career opportunities exist in the field of Information Management.
B.Com. in Office Management –
This course is best suited for someone who has aptitude for administrative jobs and is interested in handling and maintaining office records and information. This course helps you to understand the modern office procedures and in developing the skills necessary for handling and maintaining of office records ad information. This course teaches you about office management. This job oriented course offers employment in various fields of commerce and business.
B.Com. in Marketing-
Marketing is a process through which companies create customers interest in their products and services. B.Com in Marketing deals with the techniques and methods of managing and planning for marketing. The course focuses on practices and application of theory covering research, the nature of consumers, sales management, advertising, quality management, law and ethics in the marketing environment. Subjects studied under this degree are Financial Accounting, Business Economics, Mathematics & Statistics, Financial markets, Marketing and Consumer behavior. After pursuing this course in marketing you will have the option to build a lucrative career in this field as almost all companies offer employment in marketing.
B.Com. in Taxation-
Taxation is a means by which governments finance their expenditure by imposing charges on citizens and corporate entities. B.Com in Taxation helps you to understand diverse aspects of different types of tax such as Income tax, Value Added Tax or VAT, Service Tax, etc. The course helps the students to gain skills in accounting, finance and economics with special emphasis on taxation. There are multiple job opportunities in this field. After successfully completing this course, you may get job profiles like Finance Executive, Accounts Assistant, Audit Assistant, etc. There are opportunities of becoming Tax Assistants in government departments like Income Tax Department, Central Board of Excise and Customs, State Department of Excise & Taxation, etc.
(The author is a career counsellor and life skills trainer. Email: ruchiupadhyay.careercounsellor@gmail.com)