CA is a very demanding course. It tests us on various levels: patience, tenacity, hard work, dedication, time management, multitasking etc. So, it is not uncommon to question or doubt doing an additional course along with CA.
Prior to introducing CA Foundation, CPT was held in June and December. Many CA aspirants like me would give CPT two months right after Class XII board exams. CPT is comparatively easy to clear with all MCQs and syllabus quite similar to Class XI and Class XII. After giving CPT, there is a dilemma: Should I go to a regular college or not?
I too faced this situation. Two schools of thoughts always exist and you would always find people who are in favour of joining college and the ones against it. One should not get swayed by any of these extremists. People tend to get influenced and regret their decision later.
Let us analyse pros and cons of attending a regular college:
Good diversified exposure: In a regular college, a student gets opportunity to meet people with diverse career ambitions. You might meet MBA aspirants, Law, M.Com, job getters and you get a bigger picture of things. To put it simply, you know a lot of things which a correspondence student misses on.
Honing skills: A regular college provides an easy platform to explore your interests and build on them. You might be interested in dramatics, singing, dancing, volunteering etc. The respective societies give a chance to perform in inter college or national level competitions etc. The finesse you tap in those skills will remain unparalleled.
Society exposure: The college societies are an interesting place to build connections with people having mutual interests, holding events, fund management, brand partnering etc. Depending on your skill and interests, you get to handle it all.
Placement opportunities: Many top colleges have good placement opportunities for CA students for articleship. Big 4s and other top firms approach top colleges to hire students for articleship training. Trust me, nothing beats campus placements. A lot of hassle avoided at your end!
Preference for regular college students: Certain top firms give a preference to regular college students for articleship. Along with Inter studies, regular college students also get opportunity for personality development. They have a lot of activities to mention on their ‘resume' other than IPCC.
Campus life: You make a lot of friends; build a strong network of people. You make a lot of memories to be cherished. Colleges organize annual cultural fests, society fests, seminars, events etc.
Related syllabus: Most of the subjects in B.Com and CA Inter are the same. The two courses complement each other. Having studied certain subjects in college prepares you for CA exams and vice versa. Even if you miss out college classes due to Inter studies, you will be easily able to manage college exams.
A safe option to back on: Graduation from a regular college is always a safer option to back on than graduation from correspondence. If a student doesn't clear CA exams in successive attempts or loses interest in the course, a regular college helps. This is not to dissuade you, but to provide an option.
Hectic schedule: It is quite a task to manage CA classes, college and societies. You will have to strike a balance between them. It will be tiring to attend college and IPCC classes. There will be moments of frustration and anger. At times, you will have to miss CA classes due to college work.
Extra years spent in college: A student going for correspondence can join articleship immediately after clearing Inter exams. Regular college students can join articleship only after completing graduation. This might mean delaying articleship for 1-1.5 years, hence delay becoming CA.
Managing college attendance: Certain colleges lay down strict attendance norms. Due to CA Inter classes, students may not able to attend college regularly. If college is very pertinent about attendance, this may land you in trouble i.e. filling bonds, getting admit cards late etc.
Non availability of placement opportunities: Only top colleges provide placement opportunities for articleship. It might happen that some colleges do not provide campus placements with top CA firms. You might miss that opportunity.
MAKE A CALL
After evaluating these pros and cons, the below mentioned points will help you in making a decision:
Check whereabouts of the college: You will be able to get maximum benefits of a regular college only if it has a good ranking. You should consult with seniors from the college about its placement opportunities, society exposure etc. Only top DU colleges provide placements with Big 4s and other top firms for articleship. Please confirm about strictness of attendance also.
Ask yourself certain questions: Definitely, managing college along with CA is challenging. You should analyze whether you will be able to handle both, plan you CA Inter: single or both groups, whether to give both groups after 15 months etc. Are you okay with the idea of spending extra 1-1.5 years in college than correspondence students?
Do a trade off analysis: Analyze the opportunity cost of attending a regular college and vice versa. If you think that you can learn more at college and improve your personality, go for it. If you think otherwise, go for correspondence. Ultimate decision should be yours.
In my opinion, if you are getting admission in a good college, grab that chance and make the most of it. It offers various benefits and must have opportunities.