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Commerce opportunities: Part 1 - Introduction of the Professionals


Gone are those days when science was a more preferred field. Commerce and arts/humanities is gaining a lot of importance and scope.

But how aware are we of the options available for a commerce student post 12th or even a commerce bachelor's degree? Are we informed enough of the career options and specialisations options available in the field of commerce? As a commerce student myself some years back I wasn't completely aware of all the options available (though I did landup on the career option I enjoy, being informed would have felt better). That is the reason why I felt the need and importance of this series ‘Commerce Opportunities', brought together after lot of understanding and research. Every student should make an informed choice being aware of the options available and his/her interest and strength areas.

I could also listed down the options like most of the articles you will find on a google search. But in this series we will cover various opportunities including those less talked about but much in demand courses. Also we will look at each course option in detail answering the common questions and doubts.

This series will be helpful for

  • 10th standard students to be able to decide if commerce is their cup of tea,
  • 11th and 12th standard commerce students to decide their path ahead
  • Commerce bachelor's students, again to decide their specialisation path ahead
  • Also, all those commerce students irrespective of the level of education they are in, as this will further guide them to take their specialisation.

In this series we are going to look at an array of options, to be precise 12 broad fields. I will elaborate the details such as what is it, where to pursue the course, what does it specialise in, what is the course structure and what is the career scope. This series will be covered over 4parts/articles. Each article talking about 3 options each. So it is best understood if you read all 4 articles.

So let's begin.

Commerce opportunities: Part 1 - Introduction of the Professionals

Professional courses: CA, CS, CMA

What are they?

Professional courses refer to: CA (Chartered Accountancy), CMA (Cost and Management Accountancy) and CS (Company Secretary).

  • CA - colloquially referred to as an auditor, specialises in statutory audit, internal audit and finance.
  • CMA - colloquially referred to as a cost accountant specialises in cost management, internal audit and cost audit.
  • CS - specialises in corporate law.

Where can I pursue?

These courses are provided by Autonomous Institutes set up under Acts passed by the Government of India, immediate before and after Independence.

The Institute has chapters (branches) in almost every city of India. These chapters govern admissions and sometimes even conduct coaching classes. Exams are conducted in local colleges treated as exam centres.


What do they specialise in?

A student of any of these professional courses gains immense amount of knowledge in their area of specialisation apart from subjects such as - accounts, taxationand allied laws.

What is the course structure and pass percentage?

These courses requires candidates to have passed 12th standard examinations.

These courses can be pursued with or without a bachelor's degree.

  • Now Intermediate pass is to be considered as bachelor's degree and final pass is to be considered as Master's degree by Indian UGC.(To be clarified) This aids in pursuance of higher studies by a professionally qualified without having to complete a formal bachelor's degree course.
  • Additionally, UK NARIC and UAE boards have studied in-depth about CMA courses and deemed to recognised CMA intermediate pass as Bachelor's degree and CMA final pass as Master's degree. This aids in more acceptance and recognition in UK and UAE for CMA course.

The 3 courses follow a 3 level examination pattern to qualify - foundation, intermediate and final level.The pass percentage ranges from 10% - 20%.

Exams are conducted twice a year.

The exams require self preparation and Independent coaching must be obtained by the student either from coaching academies or chapters (local branches)of respective institute.

The courses also include compulsory training period.

A qualified professional garners recognition and respect. On qualification the letters ‘CA'/'CMA'/'CS' shall be added as a prefix to one's name.

What is the career scope?

Each of these professional courses have a huge amount of career scope -

  • Employment can be obtained in various sectors ranging from manufacturing, FMCG, IT, professional firms etc.
  • The department of employment can range from - statutory audit, finance & accounting, internal audit, credit rating.
  • A qualified professional can also set up own practise in the field of statutory audit, internal audit, direct tax and indirect tax consultancy, tax audit, cost and management decision making & business decision making consultancy and corporate finance consultancy.
  • Opportunities in the field of education is also immense as one can take up the role of training future students.

Salary for a fresher who is employed can range from - 7 Lakhs p.a - 14 Lakhs p.a.

Links -

International professional courses: ACCA, CIMA, CMA, CPA, CFP.

What are they?

They refer to professional courses (mentioned in point 1) equivalent in other countries.

  • CA equivalent in UK -ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants),
  • CA equivalent in USA -CPA (Certified Public Accountants),
  • CMA equivalent in UK - CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants),
  • CMA equivalent in USA - CMA (Certified Management Accountants),
  • Others - CFP (Certified Financial Planner)

Where can I pursue?

These qualifications are governed and granted by institutions in their respective countries. But the course can be pursued from any country and the exams can be given in local centres set up by the respective institutes.

What do they specialise in?

These courses also specialise in subjects such as - accounts, finance, audit, taxation,costing and management decision making.

What is the course structure and pass percentage?

These courses require candidates to have a bachelor's degree and minimum work experience according to set standards.

Author's suggestion - It is suggested that interested candidates pursue these courses on completion of bachelor's and relevant work experience or alongside one of the Indian professional courses.

Each course has different numbers of levels and subjects ranging from 2 to 15 exams.

These courses are relatively easier to pass in comparison to the Indian professional qualifications as the course structure is different and pass percentage is higher. The pass percentage ranges from40% - 80%.

These courses require self preparation and independent coaching can be obtained by the student from private coaching academies.

What is the career scope?

They garner international recognition and global job opportunities.

  • Employment can be obtained in various sectors ranging from manufacturing, FMCG, IT, banking. Professional firms etc.
  • The department of employment can range from - finance & accounting, internal audit, internal control, credit rating, management accounting and taxation.
  • A qualified professional can provide consultancy in the field of direct tax, cost and management decision making, business decision making and corporate finance consultancy.
  • One can delve deeper in the field of educationby pursuing PhD in the area of interest and take up the role of training future students in renowned Universities globally.

Nevertheless, these qualifications have a lot of scope for employment in India as well.

Salary for a fresher can range from - $30,000 to $50,000 abroad.

Links -

Professional certifications: CFE - Certified Fraud Examiner

What is it?

CFE refers to a Certified Fraud Examiner.It is governed and granted by ACFE - Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. As the word says, qualified CFE's are specialists in corporate fraud prevention, examination and deterrence.

Where can I pursue?

The ACFE is a USA based Institute which conducts exams globally at specified centres.

What does it specialise in?

The course specialises in subjects such as - Financial Transactions & Fraud Schemes, Law, Investigation, and Fraud Prevention & Deterrence.

What is the course structure and pass percentage?

This course requires candidates to have a bachelor's degree and minimum work experience according to set standards.

Author's suggestion - It is suggested that interested candidates pursue this course on completion of bachelor's/master's degree and relevant work experience or alongside one of the Indian/foreign professional courses.

To be a qualified CFE, candidates need to appear and pass one exam.

Around 75% - 80% of the candidates taking the CFE exam pass to become qualified CFE.

What is the career scope?

Qualified CFE has a lot of scope globally specially in the US and Canada. Opportunities in India is also increasing in the past 5 years.

They are much preferred over other non-CFE candidates for the following roles:

  • The areas include - Forensic accounting, Forensic advisor, Forensic auditor, Internal control, fraud investigation and deterrence, Fraud prevention, Compliance, internal audit, risk management and loss prevention.
  • Employment in various sectors including - Manufacturing, IT, FMCG, Accounting firms, banking sector etc.
  • One can also join the Government services as an Investigator.

Salary for a freshly qualified CFE in employment can range from - $40,000 to $60,000 abroad

Link -

Courtesy - Official websites of professional courses.

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Mrudula M,Co-founder-KaizenEdu 

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