BCom (Bachelor of Commerce)
From the time they reach class 8, Indian students are constantly bombarded with one question: “So, what are you going to do next?” Deciding between the broad streams of science, commerce and arts is only the first hurdle in the journey towards reaching your career. There will be many other educational crossroads to face. Even the commerce stream, which was earlier a straight, undivided route from a BCom to CA/MBA, is now a maze of options. Upcoming courses like BMS (Bachelor of Management Studies), BBA (Bachelor of Business
Administration), BAF (Bachelor of Accounting & Finance), BBI (Bachelor of Banking & Insurance) and BFM (Bachelor of Financial Markets) have become popular degree options among the youth who want to move beyond the traditional BCom. Before you decide on a course, it is important to evaluate the benefits it holds for you and your personal career choices. Here is a brief comparison of the most popular business undergraduate courses to help you make a more informed decision.
This degree is theory-based and is essentially a more detailed version of Class 12 commerce. The emphasis is on finance and accounting which makes BCom a suitable first step for students who want to pursue chartered accountancy or cost accounting.
Class 12 in commerce stream or with optional subjects like economics, mathematics and statistics. There are no entrance exams but the cut-off percentage for admissions vary in different colleges.
Accounting & finance management, cost management , auditing, economics, industrial psychology, secretarial practice, organisation of commerce
Earlier this degree was followed by a MCom, but this is a dying trend. Most students continue their study through courses like CA (Chartered Accountancy), CS (Company Secretary), MBA (Finance), CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), etc.
Since BCom is a generic degree, job prospects after graduation are low. However, it is the starting point for students who want to be accountants, auditors or analysts.
BCom is the best choice for students looking to work in the finance or banking sector. Since the course is not as demanding as other professional courses, you can opt to study for courses like CA, CFA, ICWA, etc while pursuing your BCom degree. The fact that some of the content overlaps in these degrees is another advantage.
The course content can be limiting, especially for students who are more interested in management than finance and accounting. BMS/BBA students arguably have an edge over BCom students while applying for an MBA degree. This is because BCom only touches upon management subjects and focuses more on accounting and finance.
- Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), New Delhi
- Lady Shriram College for Women (LSR), New Delhi
- Loyola College, Chennai
- Shri Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai
- St Xavier’s College, Kolkata
“I wanted to pursue chartered accountancy and therefore I decided to opt for a BCom. Also, if you are not really interested in academics, BCom gives you to opportunity to pursue other interests along with your degree. Unless you are 100 per cent sure about what specialisation you are interested in, it is best to stick to a BCom as it teaches you the basics of everything. It also keeps your options open and gives you time to decide what you want to do next” – Dhwani Karia, TYBCom student
BMS (Bachelor of Management Study)/ BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration)
These courses involve less theory and more practical study as they are job oriented degrees. The focus is on managerial concepts and development of entrepreneurial skills. Projects, assignments and presentations are a large part of the learning and assessment process.
Minimum 50 per cent marks in class 12. Additionally, some colleges also hold entrance exams, group discussions and personal interviews as part of the admission process.
Marketing, finance, human resource, business ethics, management, international
business, public relations, retail management
The next step is an MBA or a PG diploma in management studies. The syllabus in these courses lays the groundwork for management concepts that are further explored in MBA and other post graduate programmes.
Employment opportunities are greater due to practical, job-oriented study. Reputed institutes also offer campus placements in fields like marketing, sales, finance and HR.
These degrees serve as a platform for an MBA degree as they introduce students to important management concepts. Suitable for people who are looking to do an MBA or want early employability. This degree also uses evolved methods of teaching and assessment. Individual attention is also given to students due to small sized batches.
Since this course is demanding due to the assignments and projects, pursuing an additional degree is not possible. In addition, due to the semester system of assessment, students face those dreaded examinations twice in an academic year.
- Shri Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai
- Madras Christian College, Chennai
- Christ College, Bangalore
- HR College of Commerce and Economics
- Symbiosis College, Pune
“I feel that BMS is a better course than BCom because it includes practical training and presentations, which is preferred more than theory. Also, I feel one has better employment opportunities after BMS/BBA. While BBA focuses more on international business, BMS provides better understanding of Indian markets. The only thing I would change about BMS is remove mathematics because I hate that subject.” – Shivam
Kandhari, SYBMS student
BBA and BMS:
What’s the Difference?
BMS (Bachelor of Management Studies) is a degree that is only offered by the University of Mumbai. On the other hand, BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) is a degree offered by various colleges all over India and the world. Both degrees share similar course content and teaching methods. Despite this, some people feel that a BBA degree has a global appeal when compared
to a BMS degree. However, the college one studies these degrees in plays a more important role than the name of the degree, especially when applying for a job or for further studies.
Specialisations in Commerce
Students who feel that a BCom degree is too generic or are certain about which branch of commerce they are interested in, can choose from other specialised undergraduate degrees such as:
BAF (Bachelor of Accounting and Finance)
SUITED FOR: Students who want to pursue and MBA in finance or want a deeper understanding of accounting and finance to enhance their employability. The syllabus concentrates on subjects like cost accounting, tax, business law, auditing, etc.
BBI (Bachelor of Banking & Insurance)
SUITED FOR: Students interested in pursuing a career in banking. The course structure aims to provide practical training and includes industrial visits, internships, etc. Some colleges also offer placements in the final year.
BFM (Bachelor of Financial Markets)
SUITED FOR: Students who are interested in the stock markets or want to pursue a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) degree. This degree focuses on subjects such as debt markets, equity markets, risk management and mutual funds.
Volume 2 Issue 6