The two broad areas that are of significant interest in terms of career choices are Management and Finance. The interest can, among other factors, be attributed to the remuneration offered in these areas, in comparison with several other sectors.
Finance, as a career choice, has been around for long. Historically, a career in this field revolved around two aspects — accounting and fund disbursement. However, until a few decades ago, the repetitive nature of these jobs and advances in technology — leading to a huge amount of the work getting automated — dissuaded people looking for challenges from joining these industries.
This has changed over the last 30 years, owing to significant developments in the Finance industry. Today, Finance is more about investment planning, engaging in Mergers and Acquisitions, funds mobilization, risk-management as well as financial engineering, which uses complicated products like derivatives, mortgages, etc. Essentially, the field now requires foresight and professionals with the ability to take calculated risks while trying to profit from them.
Interestingly, given the universality of the need for capital , careers in finance are today opening up not just in financial institutions but in all areas of the economy. This is also happening due to an increasing number of corporations engaging in numerous activities, apart from their core activities, and realizing the ability to profit from such expansions. For example, most large tobacco and oil companies in the world have one of the most advanced treasury operations — earlier a preserve of banks and financial institutions — and are making significant profits from the treasury operations. Other career opportunities in finance are in the field of Insurance and trading.
Unlike finance, management as a discipline is only about a century old. The field was developed to aid integration and increase efficiency of business with the aim to complement core business activities. The importance of management was soon realized by the industry and management became a career option . The other reason for the increased interest in this field is the manner in which professionals create an impact on every aspect of business activities on a real-time basis. It also gives the individual diverse exposure, along with the ability to jump hierarchy and interact with senior-most managers of an organisation . Like finance, career options in management exist across the industry. Global opportunities are opening up in the areas of sustainability, ubiquitous technology, social networks, real-time trading, ethical supply chains and fashion. The traits one needs to succeed in a career in management are agility and pro-activeness .
Ananth V Iyer, associate dean of graduate programme, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University US TODAY’S management graduate faces a global market for ideas, with the impact of events rippling across the globe.A company in India, China, the US or Europe can offer products that can access world markets. But, there is also the opportunity presented by hyper local markets that require deep knowledge of unique local preferences.
Career choices on offer reflect this trend. Global Supply Chain Management offers opportunities to travel and operate across the world. Logistics continue to provide opportunities, given the local knowledge needed for execution.
Look around you at the appliances, cars, consumer goods, food and electronics — those are the companies offering opportunities.With consumers demanding engagement through games, customised promotions, and alignment with global brands, marketing and technology are now intermingled. Also, being an entrepreneur is an option not to be overlooked.
V Sridevi ,Associate Professor, finance, IFIM Business School, Bangalore STUDENTS from B-schools in India are generally recruited as analysts to develop financial models. They are trained to deal with operations of Financial Marketsand services and client-relationship management in addition to the conventional profiles. There exists potential with the private and foreign players in the sector. There are many other emerging areas like rural banking, collateral management, micro-finance institutions , hedge funds, private equity, etc.
It is interesting to see an emerging trend among leading audit firms that are now open to absorbing management students with finance specialisation in areas like transfer pricing.
Earlier, such opportunities were restricted only for the professionally qualified.