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Career in Banking

Introduction

Banking today is a niche career for enthusiasts in the field of commerce and accounts. For the beginners, it is the first step towards understanding the global economy, discovering the challenges of the marketplace and identifying themselves with a career that provides them with tremendous opportunities, both within the country and abroad.

With new banks coming up every year owing to privatization of services, the industry indeed provides sufficient room for graduates in any field. If you are a student of BCom, you can get placed as a sales executive for loans, mortgages and insurance with any of the leading banks. All you need is good communication skills. Similarly, if you hold an MBA in finance from a good b-school, you can expect to be placed as a relationship manager. The salary packages are accordingly decided.

Step-by-Step

An admission to bachelor’s program in banking requires good percentage in Class XII. If you are a student from CBSE Board, you would require at least 80% overall to get admitted to a good college.

Besides, the skills expected from students to clear the interview include good communication skills, aptitude for banking, sales, marketing and money matters. If you are an enthusiast who loves trading in stocks, mutual funds, hedge funds and understands the pros and cons of availing personal loans and insurance policies, then it only adds to your career prospects.

It is recommended that you start preparing for CAT (Common Aptitude Test) right from college onwards so that you are ready and fully prepared to clear the entrance tests and get into a top b-school heading towards an excellent career in banking.

Banking programs introduced by various government and private organizations aim at equipping students with concepts, tools and techniques in the banking sector.

For instance, broadly, the bachelor’s degree program in Banking and Insurance offers specialization in the following areas:

•    Environment and Management of Financial Services
•    Micro Economics
•    Effective Banking Communication
•    Quantitative Techniques in Banking
•    Organizational behaviour in Banking organizations
•    Taxation of Financial Services
•    Laws relating to Banking & Insurance
•    Cost Accounting of B&I Services
•    Equity Debt
•    Corporate Laws governing Capital Markets
•    International Business Management in Banking Organizations
•    HRM in Banking Organizations
•    Strategic Planning in Banking organizations

Start Early

Banking is a career that offers opportunities to students from all streams, be it humanities, commerce or science. However, to make a career in banking, you must be good at analysing numbers, that is, your mathematics must be strong enough to interpret and analyse numerical data. You must be prepared for the Banking Entrance Exams and for the interviews that follow these entrance examinations. 

Is it the Right Career for Me?

Banking as a career provides opportunities to students from all subjects. For instance, if you are a BA student with excellent communication skills, you can actually get placed with a banking BPO as process executive. Companies such as GE Money, Max New York and leading banks such as ICICI, HSBC, HDFC, Standard Chartered, American Express, to name a few, select students from colleges for their BPOs and KPOs.

Thus, choosing banking as a career is a wise option for those interested in growing fast in their careers and those who wish to get exposure to world markets at an early stage itself.

What would it Cost Me?

The fees structure for a banking bachelor’s degree varies from Rs 10,000 to Rs 100,000 depending on the college you select. Private institutions such as NIIT (National Institute of Information Technology) offer diploma programs that cost between Rs 1 and 2 lakhs.

For a post graduate diploma or master’s degree, you may be expected to spend anywhere between Rs 50,000 to Rs 7,00,000 based on the college you select.

Several colleges such as IIPM, Amity, Birla Institute for Insurance provide laptops to students and take them on student trips to foreign companies abroad. This, in addition, is the advantage of getting admission in a private institution.

Funding/Scholarship

There are several ways to fund your banking degree. You may approach banks for educational loans or if you are a working professional with an organization that offers study programs to employees, your company may fund your studies and allow you to repay after a few years.

Job Prospects

Job opportunities for graduates and post-graduates in banking are excellent in India. Once you complete a selective professional course in banking, you will immediately be offered a position as a banking sales officer with the private banks. Of course, your technical skills and basic communication skills do matter in the process.

Besides, positions in insurance, personal loans, mortgages, collections and back office operations are always vacant and offer all bright to average students to avail the opportunities presented.

Banks such as ICICI, HSBC, Kotak Mahindra, HDFC, Standard Chartered, Barclay’s, and American Express are some of the companies that hire banking students at all levels depending on the colleges they are recruiting from.

Pay Packet

The pay scales for banking student who is a fresher could vary anywhere from Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 to begin with. Students who have post graduated from top b-schools and banking institutions can expect up to Rs 8 lakhs per annum for the role of relationship managers depending on their overall scores and the college they are from.

Several banking companies recruit Indian students from the IIMs, XLRI, FMS and other popular colleges every year for pay packages not less than Rs. 10 lakhs per annum.

However, please be wary that the financial markets are ever fluctuating and may all of a sudden cause crashes in career. There is a constant need to keep yourself updated with latest trends in banking so you remain relevant in your job profile.

Demand and Supply

Demand for banking process executives, collection officers and financial analysts with BPOs is the highest till date in India. There is still a considerable dearth of graduates, post-graduates who have mastered cost accounting.

Concepts such as Hedge Funds dominate the overseas markets. However, Indians still survive on 10 hour BPO and KPO jobs and definitely, these are excellent opportunities to begin with.

If you are a graduate in banking or any other degree with an aptitude for it, just go for it. There is always demand for banking professionals.

Market Watch

During the recession of 2009, the demand for banking professionals drastically reduced. Many top finance organizations went bankrupt and several others laid off thousands of employees in India.

However, in 2010, the situation is far better and the same enthusiasm has been revived. With popular mergers and acquisitions such as Royal Bank of Scotland and ABN Amro, people do see hope at the end of the tunnel. The world economy has revived itself to the post-recession challenges quite effectively.

International Focus

The CAT scores and GMAT scores after graduation enable students to get into post-graduate programs in banking per se. However, even as a banking professional who joins after a BCom with a leading bank, you can look forward to excellent scope and growth in your career.

The international market offers challenging roles for banking professionals nonetheless.

Positives/Negatives

+ves:
•    Banking professionals are required all year long. After privatization, the requirement for banking professionals has increased manifold.
•    Students with different specializations such as Science, Arts and Commerce can apply for jobs with banks after equipping themselves with diplomas that provide them with the basic knowledge required in the banking organizations.
•    Salaries of students getting placed abroad are huge and provide excellent scope for professional and personal growth.

-ves:
•    The layoffs in banking jobs have become frequent due to fluctuating stock markets in recent times.
•    Post recession, the enthusiasm of several banking organizations has been dampened.
•    A student from other fields will require developing enormous expertise in financial matters.

Different Roles, Different Names

It is quite obvious for people to mix up between a course in finance, accounts and banking as these are highly related areas. However, a course in banking is slightly different from a B.Com or a CA or an ICWA.

Degrees and diplomas in banking courses aim to equip individuals to survive in a banking organization both in terms of technical and non-technical aspects. This is different from a CA course that is much more complex and difficult to clear.

Top Companies

Based on the college you are graduating with a banking degree or diploma, you may expect placements with various companies.

If you are from a tier-1 college such as the IIMs, you can expect banks abroad such as JP Morgan Chase, Fidelity etc. to hire you for an excellent salary.

Besides, as evident, top banks such as Barclay’s, Royal Bank of Scotland, American Express, Standard Chartered and other financial institutions require hundreds of banking professionals every year and are more than willing to hire the same for considerably good salaries.

Most of these companies come for campus placements with universities, which makes it quite easy for students to approach them and understand the opportunities.

Tips for Getting Hired

1.    Be thorough with accounting and financial skills acquired in school and college.
2.    Display a mathematical aptitude to impress the interviewers.
3.    Speak to the point and measure everything quantitatively as you display your subject skills.
4.    Carry your awards and certificates from school and college when you appear for the interview.
5.    Be dressed formally and speak boldly as this is a prerequisite for all candidates appearing for interviews with banking organizations.
6.    Assure the interviewers that you are a target-oriented person who loves daily challenges and narrow deadlines.
7.    Assure the interviewers that you have no hassles working extra hours every day.

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