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Having commerce as a stream in class 11th  and 12th opens up a wide pool of courses and career opportunities for the students. One of the biggest misconceptions among the students is that CA and CS are the only two elite services in this field. It is not so. Commerce offers such a diverse spectrum of opportunities that one single blog cannot even mention them. In this blog, we will analyse all the general courses available for a commerce student and their relevance in real job market. The upcoming blogs will analyse career opportunities and the best institutions for commerce in India.

The students who had studied commerce till 12th can be divided in two categories – (a) the ones who studied mathematics along with commerce and (b) the ones who didn’t study mathematics. Apparently, some courses require the compulsory knowledge of maths and are not available for the students who did not study it. Based on this classification, we will analyse different courses available for both types of students.

Courses available for Commerce with Maths
The students who had studied maths have a little edge over the students who didn’t, as the options available to them are wider. They can also apply for non-maths courses.
Following are the most popular courses for Commerce with maths:
1.     B.Com (Hons)
Considered as one of the most traditional commerce course, Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) aims to mould the students and make them fit for business and corporate world.
·       It is a 3 year undergraduate course, available at most of the colleges in India and in abroad.
·       It is generally available only to the students who had studied mathematics with commerce till 12th.
·       It deals with subjects like financial and corporate accounting, business economics and environment, taxation accounting, etc.
In the 3rd year (5th and 6th semesters) of the course, students are required to choose any area of their interest for specialisation. This makes it different from B.Com general course.
The following are the areas of specialisation in B.Com (Hons). Availability of specialisation subjects varies from college to college.
o   B.Com Accounting and Finance
o   B.Com economics
o   B.Com Law
o   B.Com Business Analytics
o   B.Com Management Studies
o   B.Com Investment management
o   B.Com Banking and insurance
o   B.Com Financial market
o   B.Com Computer applications
o   B.Com statistics
o   B.Com Information technology
o   B.Com International Business
o   B.Com Foreign Trade management
o   B.Com Accountancy
o   B.Com E-Commerce

Cost-benefit Analysis: Average course fees = ₹30,000 – ₹60,000
Average placement value = 4-5 LPA
Remarks: it is one of the most sought after course. Being an undergraduate course, earning perspectives are comparatively less. However, in top colleges of India, the highest placement value goes as high as ₹16-17 lakhs. B.Com (Hons) followed by higher education in the same field is a very good option to consider.

2.     B.A. Economics (Hons)
It is an undergraduate course aimed to familiarise the students with the cause, effect and working of various macro and micro economic factors. The duration of the course is 3 years. It is one of the most popular courses among students of commerce, arts and science. The only eligibility requirement is that the student must have studied mathematics till class 12th. Thus, it is available to only those students who have studied maths till class 12th, from any stream.
This course is the best for our future aspiring economists. The students will be exposed to various economic factors and behaviour of different sectors and paradigms of economy. It is available at almost all premium colleges of the country.

Cost benefit analysis: Average course fees = ₹20,000 – ₹60,000
Average placement value = 6 LPA
Remarks: The course in general does not promise a very good salary package. However, at premium institutions, the highest placement value goes around 25 LPA (at SRCC, University of Delhi). This, combined with higher studies in economics will provide a wide spectrum of opportunities and good earning prospects.

Courses Available for Commerce without Maths
Students who did not study maths with commerce till 12th aren’t very disadvantaged. They get a huge number of courses to choose from. Apart from the commerce courses, they can also apply for arts courses.
Commerce students who had studied maths till class 12th can apply for all the courses mentioned here.
Following are the most popular courses for commerce without maths:

1.     Bachelor of Commerce
Bachelor of Commerce is a 3 year undergraduate course aimed at imparting the knowledge of financial accounting, business laws, economics, taxation, etc to students. It does not have any eligibility criteria in terms of stream till 12th. Thus, arts and science students can also apply for this course.
Cost benefit analysis: Average fees = ₹10,000 – ₹50,000
Average placement value = 3-4 LPA
Remarks: As far as earning perspective is concerned, the highest packages are often around 16-17 LPA in premium institutions. However, on an average it offers a very low earning prospective most of the time. Also, the disadvantage widens as the students pursuing B.Com do not have specialisation in any specific area, unlike the students pursuing B.Com (Hons). Higher education and specialisation in a particular field can multiply the earning capacities by a huge number.

What is the difference between B.Com and B.Com (Hons)?
·       B.Com is a general course which focuses on all subjects of commerce without any specialisation. Whereas, B.Com (Hons) allows the students to go for specialisation in a particular field during their 3rd year.
·       B.Com does not have any eligibility criteria in general in terms of stream or subject. However, in order to pursue B.Com (Hons), the student must have studied maths till class 12th.  

2.     Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) And BBA (Hons)
BBA is one of the most preferred courses for the students of commerce, arts and science, who aspire to learn entrepreneurship skills and business administration. It is a 3 year undergraduate course. It aims to produce creative and skilled future entrepreneurs for the country. BBA graduates can find career opportunities in sales, marketing and finance sectors.

·       While BBA is a general course, BBA (Hons) allows specialisation in a particular subject.
·       The eligibility criteria is generally the same for both courses, however it may differ from college to college.

Cost benefit analysis: Average course fees = 2-4 lakhs
Average placement value: 4-5 LPA
Remarks: BBA as a course has less spectrum of opportunities as compared to B.Com. Also, the fees structure is higher than other courses, but average placements are not promising. However, going for MBA after BBA is a very good choice. Also, it is the best for students aspiring to start/handle their business. 

3. Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS)
BMS is a three year undergraduate program that aims to familiarise the students with the concept of management in financial and corporate field. It imparts the knowledge of entrepreneurship skills, financial management, human resource management, economics, etc to the students. However, it is not as popular and traditional as B.Com and BBA. Relatively less colleges offer this course.
It can be pursued by a student of any stream, however different colleges may have different eligibility criteria.
Cost benefit analysis: Average course fees = 1-2 lakh
Average placement value = 3-4 LPA
Remarks: Although the course in itself is not very future promising, going for higher studies and developing marketable skill set will make it worth.   

4. Five year Integrated Programme in Management (IPM)
     It is an integrated five year course covering under graduation and post graduation at once. The first three years of the course focuses on core knowledge of economics and other foundational disciplines. The last two years focus on managerial and leadership qualities and business management. Upon the completion of 5 year, the student is awarded an undergraduate and post graduate degree.
It is a very new concept in India launched by IIM Indore in 2011. Several IIMs across India offer this course.  
Students from any stream can apply for this course. Generally, an entrance exam is conducted for admissions.
Cost benefit analysis: Average fees: ₹4 lakh per annum for first three years and ₹8 lakh per annum for last two years. Hence, a total of nearly ₹28 lakhs.
Average placement value: ₹20 LPA
Remarks: The course is definitely promising from earning perspective. Highest placement of IIM Indore was ₹82 LPA (international) and ₹40 LPA (domestic). Students are exposed to many internships during the course. However, the total fees is comparatively very high than the other courses. 

5. Bachelor in Foreign Trade (BFT)
BFT is a three year undergraduate program which focuses on the study of foreign trade, imports, exports, international business laws and trade management. The value of this course has been increasing due to globalisation and free trade regimes. There are a good number of career opportunities after completion of this course.
Students from any stream can apply for this course.
Cost benefit Analysis: Average course fees: ₹5000 – ₹30,000
Average placement value = 3-8 LPA
Remarks: There are very good career opportunities if one goes for higher education in the same field.

Apart from the above mentioned courses, commerce students can also go for Law, and other arts courses like Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of fashion design, etc. as per their interests.

All the best for your future!


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