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Growing Education and Career Opportunities in Banking and Financial Services Sector

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

According to a report by the United Nations, in the years 2019 and 2020, India will continue to be the world's fastest-growing economy, way ahead of China. The banking industry of India has also recently seen the roll-out of innovative banking models like small finance banks and payments, writes Prof Udai Paliwal, Dean of Institute of Commerce, Nirma University, Ahmedabad.

United Nations' World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019 states that India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to experience a growth spurt of 7.6 percent in the financial year 2019-20. It will be a raise from an estimated 7.4 per cent in the last fiscal which ended in March 2019.

The country's financial and economic conditions are superior to any other country. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the banking sector of India is adequately capitalised and regulated. The studies of credit, market and liquidity risks suggest that the banks in India are usually resilient and have been able to withstand the global downswing well.

There are about 27 public sector banks, 21 private sector banks, 49 foreign banks, 56 regional rural banks, 1562 urban cooperative banks and 94,384 rural cooperative banks along with cooperative credit institutions, in the banking system of India. The banking industry of India has also recently seen the roll-out of innovative banking models like small finance banks and payments.

Why pursue a career in Banking and Finance?
The Banking and Finance sector has always been a lucrative career option to aspirants from different backgrounds. Roles in the industry offer job security and excellent package among other things and attract pursuers. Here are some other reasons why the Banking and Finance sector seems appealing:

1.    Diversity
Banking and Finance are among the most diverse sectors to work in. There are multiple options for jobs, and there is a variety in the kind of work offered. Hence, it creates many job profiles that are likely to suit the interests and aptitude of those who choose to pursue them.

2.    Challenging
The banking sector has multifaceted work requirements that are challenging and keep monotony at bay. For those who are ambitious and wish to develop their personality, this becomes a highly motivating factor. It is an industry that offers jobs which are physically and mentally stimulating.

3. Individual Growth
For those who are talented and dynamic, the banking sector's competitive and evolutionary environment provides ample scope for individual growth. The regular work environment is conducive to scale new heights and job profile improvement.

4.  Extensive Travelling
The banking sector jobs sometimes call for settling at a different location in the country or at a foreign locale. The role involves a lot of travelling for various reasons. This makes it lucrative for the aspirants since it allows them to beat the mundane monotony of a desk job and enjoy their work while travelling.

5.  Long Term Career
A reputed financial organisation on the CV can do wonders for the candidate's career. It is looked upon favourably by those who are employing. Furthermore, a bachelor's degree and knowledge about the sector are also held consequential by the potential employers. An individual has the opportunity to shift roles laterally within the banking and finance sector; e.g. from banking to private equity.

Career opportunities in the Banking and Finance sector

1.    Personal Financial Advisors
A financial advisor recommends financial options to individuals. Knowledge of investments, tax laws and insurance are essential in this role in order to help people meet their short term and long term goals. Apart from a master’s degree with relevant specialisation, a bachelor's degree like B. Com (Hons) with focus on Finance, business mathematics/ law, accounting and economics will prove beneficial for those looking to pursue this role.

2. Auditors
As an auditor, one has to examine and analyse the accounting records and make financial reports for the clients. A bachelor's degree like B.Com (Hons.) strong accounting focus gives a competitive advantage to obtains professional accounting qualifications such as chartered accountancy or internal auditing to become internal / external auditors in the banking and financial services sector.

3.    Financial Analysts
They work with businesses or clients to help them make sound investment decisions. A rigorous bachelor's degree, usually with focus on accounting, finance, statistics or business administration would suffice for the entry level role of a financial analyst. A relevant Master’s degree or a professional degree such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) would be an added advantage.

4.    Accountants
Their job is to plan, analyse, evaluate and advise people on matters related to accounting theory and practice. A bachelor's degree like a B.Com (Hons) is the minimum requirement to enter into accounting career. B Com (Hons) also provides a strong foundation to pursue professional accounting qualifications such as CA, ACCA, CIMA, CMA etc., which certainly boosts the job opportunities and related returns.

5.    Loan Officers
They assist people and organisations in applying for loans, in assessing creditworthiness and in helping determine the apt type of loan based on their needs. A loan officer is expected to possess a bachelor's degree which has focus on banking, economics, finance or a related field. Experience in banking, lending or sales and knowledge of computers can prove to be tremendous assets in the industry.

A career in the Banking and Finance sector of the country or abroad can be a fulfilling experience. The time is ripe as the country's economy is growing and suitable candidates are required to fill positions in reputed financial organisations and banks of all levels. The right degree will land students with a job that suits their interests and provides them with growth opportunities.

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