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In-Depth Jobs

volume-4, 27 April - 03 May 2019

Careers in the Financial World

Vijay Prakash Srivastava

In a survey at management education institutions, it was found that specialization in finance is available at maximum number of institutes and it also is the most sought after specialization. This can be interpreted as a matter of demand and supply.

All business organizations need a number of resources and finance is one such prime resource. In fact finance touches most aspects of a business organization. Even for individuals and families the importance of finances can't be overemphasized. Our budget is about finances for the nation. Thus the world of finance permeates us all. Business performance to a larger extent depends on management of finances and all medium and large organizations require specialists to manage their finances.

Finances have major implication for firms .It requires detailed study of the subject to understand all such implications. As such the subject has been developed as a major area of study. In wake of increasing collaboration between countries of the world and liberal trade practices,  the subject has assumed greater significance. Every business organization tries to maximize profits and enhance shareholders' value. The world of business is becoming competitive day by day. In order to first survive and then keep ahead in such competition it becomes a must to make prudent use of all the resources including financial resources. Finance professionals are thus in great demand everywhere   and myriad career opportunities are available for them.

In order to make a proper career in finance one or more of the following qualifications will be required-

Master of Business Adminis.tration with specialization in Finance: A postgraduate degree in management expressed as M.B.A or M.M.S, is most sought after by young people now days. A fu ll time course takes two years to complete while for a part time course one needs 3 years. In the course candidates are required to choose one or more specializations. Choosing finance as your specialization gives you the opportunity to explore opportunities in this subject.

Masters of Financial Management: Some management institutes conduct a course with this nomenclature which is largely similar to doing the above course.

Master of Commerce: Post graduation in commerce is another avenue to enter the realm of finance. Although accountancy covers a major part of commerce , it is seen as a plus point and many firms prefer to employ M.Com degree holders for their accounts and finance function.

Chartered Accountancy: It is a highly specialized course and can be undertaken after completing 10+2 level. Option to

pursue chartered accountancy with Bachelor of Commerce is also available. This course is divided in two parts of Inter and Final followed by practical training in form of articleship. More details about this course can be obtained from the official website of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Post-graduation in Economics:  Study of Economics opens many doors of career opportunities. A career in finance is also possible with this degree. With specialization in econometrics or statistics your chances of laying your hands on such a career will be more.  Independent course of Post-graduation in Statistics are also available.

Cost & Works Accountancy: On the lines of chartered accountancy this course also has been developed. Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India has its comprehensive website offering relevant details of the course.

So there are multiple entry qualifications to make a career in finance. If we see the current trend, of the above most financial careers go to MBAs with  specialization  in finance ,  simply because their availability is more. This is followed by students qualified in chartered accountancy who are comparatively short in supply.

Subjects of study in Finance

Finance has a wider coverage. The topics of study include- Business analysis and valuation, security analysis, portfolio management, risk, project appraisal, balance sheet analysis, investment banking, international financial management, quantitative analysis for business decisions, security valuation, private equity, global/ emerging financial markets, behavioural finance, mergers and acquisitions, hedge funds  derivatives etc.

If you're interested in any particular area of finance you should check the specialization and electives before finally choosing a course.

Functions of a finance professional

The job of finance professional includes formulating organiz-ation's  overall financial strategy in consultation of the top management, forecasting profits and losses , exploring sources of finance on best terms, preparing financial statements  and annual performance reports, coordinating with internal and external auditors, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and regulations etc. These are only some areas of work.

Where to study

Some of the well known institutions offering valuable course in and related to finance, include

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (and at other centres)

Sriram College of Commerce, New Delhi

Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies ,Mumbai

S P Jain Institute of Management Research, Mumbai

This can be a long list, so only few names are given.

Generic courses in financial management are available at many institutes. However, few universities/institutes have come out  with  finance courses  with a particular orientation. Some examples are

Devi Ahilya University, Indore-MBA Foreign Trade/ Financial administration/ Financial services

National Institute of Securities Market, Navi Mumbai-Postgraduate Diploma in Quantitative Finance Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Engineering & Risk Management, Certificate in Treasury Management

National Institute of Bank Management, Pune- Postgraduate Diploma in Management (Banking & Financial Services)

Mysore University- M.Com Financial Services

Gokhale Institute of Politics & Economics, Pune-M.Sc. Financial Economics

Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai- M.Sc. Finance

Alkesh Dinesh  Mody Institute for  financial management studies, University of Mumbai-Masters for  financial services management

Department of Financial Studies, University of Delhi  -MBA Business Economics

Goa University- MBA Financial Services

T.A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal- Postgraduate Diploma in Management (Banking & Financial Services)

Manipal Academy of Higher Education- M.Sc. Financial Economics

Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad-Postgraduate Diploma in Management (Banking, Insurance & Financial Services)

Berhampur University, Odisha- Master of Finance & Control

IFMR graduate School of Business, Chennai-MBA Financial Engineering

K.J.Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research- Postgraduate Diploma in Management (Financial Services)

Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj University, Kanpur-MBA Finance & Control

Berhampur University- Post-graduate Diploma in Banking Finance

Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur-  Master of Financial Analysis & Control, M.Com Business Finance & Economics, PG Diploma in Corporate Managerial Finance, PG Diploma in International Business & Finance

Aligarh Muslim University -PG Diploma in Islamic Banking &  Finance, PG Diploma in Business  Finance

Research National Institute of Public Finance Policy, IIMs, IMI

Career opportunities

Public sector or private sector, manufacturing or service organizations; finance professi-onals are needed everywhere. In fact as told earlier, of all the specializations in postgraduate management programmes finance specialization has maximum number of students in most of the institutions.

A career in finance should be chosen if you have the required aptitude. If you're good with numbers, ratios and calculations and love complexities, finance may be an appropriate choice for you. 

Many of the selections for finance profile are done through campus placements at major management institutions. Multinational companies, foreign and new age private banks fulfil their requirement of junior finance professionals through campus selection. Leading public sector organizations viz. National Thermal Power Corporation, Oil & Natural Gas Commission, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation, Oil India Limited, Gas Authority of India, Steel Authority of India, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Powergrid Corporation ,Petronet LNG etc. recruit management trainees in finance and some other disciplines every year. Finance professional can enter banks (both public and private sector) as general banking officers. They are also taken as specialist officers for credit, corporate and infrastructure finance etc. Insurance companies in both public and private sector have regular requirement for finance professionals. Considering the size of organizations like Life Insurance Corporation, General Insurance Corporation, National Insurance Company and Oriental Fire & General Insurance have more opportunities. Most of the states have state finance corporations managed by finance professional. Even Industrial Development /Finance Corporations require the services of finance professionals. Many corporate houses have non-banking financial arm as an independent venture e.g. PTC India Financial Services. There are infrastructure development finance companies like IDFC. Another big segment is of housing  finance companies like Canfin Homes ,PNB Housing Finance, LIC Housing Finance, GIC Housing Finance etc. In all such organizations obviously the maximum ratio is of finance professionals.

Mutual fund industry is on a growth path in our country. Mutual funds mobilize funds from individuals and corporates to invest in stocks, debts and other financial instruments. So the basic job of a mutual fund is to ensure maximum return with least risk. Two major profiles available in mutual fund companies are that of fund manager and equity analyst. While fund managers have the overall responsibilities of managing funds mobilized under particular schemes, equity analysts profile companies and shares which are expected to generate maximum return. Which stocks to buy or sell, and when is what they do on regular basis.  Even stock broking companies have requirements of equity analysts and researchers.

Another niche career in finance can be explored with credit rating agencies. All companies which want to mobilize deposits, equity and loans have to get their credit rating done by identified rating agencies. CRISIL, ICRA and CARE are leading credit rating agencies of our country. There are also global agencies like Standard & Poor's.

Finance professionals have challenging opportunities with merchant bankers, investment bankers and domestic as well as  Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs). Such entities are usually considered better pay masters. Off course the job role also has higher expectations. Opport-unities exist in pension funds, national and global audit firms as well.

Software development com-panies also need financial specialists as domain experts. Those interested in journalism and have a background in finance or economics may prefer to work with media houses .The career of a financial journalist can be considered in newspapers, business magazines or TV channels. Another career is of a financial planner or consultant.

Many engineers prefer to go for MBA (Finance) after their graduation. They are considered more suited  to work in the domain of industrial finance. Another popular combination with finance is that of a degree in law. It is a matter of personal choice to go for additional degrees or certifications but any of the courses mentioned in the beginning of this article is considered to be sufficient for a finance career.

Those with an academic orientation may choose to teach finance at colleges, universities, management and other training institutes. This  teaching job can be undertaken as a fresher or after having some work experience. A doctoral degree is becoming an essential requirement for teaching higher classes. You may join a Fellow Programme in Management (equivalent to doctorate) at one of the IIMs. Doctoral courses in management are extensively available at universities and other management institutes like XLRI etc.

Career growth

In the long term under corporate careers, a qualified and hardworking professional may reach to the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a small, medium or large organization. Few of such CFOs  may grow into Chief Executive Officer(CEO) based on the trends seen in the past.

(The author is a career counsellor based in Mumbai Email: v2j25@ yahoo.in)

Views expressed are personal.

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