Q: I completed BCom with 50 per cent marks. I wish to join the stock market in Mumbai. Are there any courses I could pursue? Should I work as an apprentice with a stockbroker?
— Subhash Agrawal, Calcutta
A: A stockbroker is a professional who buys and sells stocks on behalf of clients. Good knowledge of the financial market is a pre-requisite to become a stockbroker. One should also have good communication skills, the ability to handle high levels of stress, be extremely patient and willing to work long hours.
The National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange offer courses in stockbroking. To become a stockbroker, it is necessary to have two years of work experience in a stockbrokering firm. Bombay Stock Exchange (www. bseindia.com) offers courses in capital markets, equity research and currency futures. However, before investing and registering for these courses it may be worthwhile to find a job in the financial services industry or a stock brokering firm such that you gain a better understanding of the finance sector. National Stock Exchange of India (www.nse-india.com) offers several short-term courses in stock brokering.
You can become a NSE Certified Capital Market Professional (NCCMP) by pursuing a course from Rourkela Institute of Management Studies.
NSE also runs a full-time one-year postgraduate programme in financial markets. There is an online test you need to take to become eligible for this postgraduate diploma. You can get more details about the NSE-NIFM online test on the NSE website mentioned above. So brush up on your financial knowledge and run with the bulls.
Food for thought
Q: I am pursuing a BTech in food technology. Most of the students who passed out from our college have not bagged any jobs. What should I do? — Sumita Ghosh, Raigunj
A: Food technology industry is on a high growth trajectory with the increase in demand of processed, ready-to-eat food. In Cuttack, fish processing and packaging has been a high-value industry and there are companies that would be happy to give you exposure to processing and marketing.
In terms of further education, a course in food agribusiness or food marketing would help. You can top your BTech in food technology with a course in supply chain management. The important thing is to gain internship experience and choose a specialisation in a particular area that would enable you to carve a career for yourself.
Not worth the money
Q: I am an average student from a lower middle class family. My dream is to study and work in the US or Canada. Should I join a community college? Will I get a bank loan to pursue a course there?
— Chandan Baruah, Shillong
A: Some community colleges are good teaching institutions but getting a visa for them is extremely difficult. The degrees they offer are very often not a bachelors degree but an associate degree which is lower than a bachelors. It is equivalent to a diploma. It will be extremely difficult to get a job in the US as an international student with an associate degree. The lower fee structure of community college does make it attractive but I would not recommend it as the quality of education offered in a community college is not the same everywhere.
Just like in India, unless you get admission into the best of the colleges or universities, jobs are difficult to get. Studying abroad requires an investment of about Rs 10 to 15 lakh per year. Since undergraduate degrees are for 3 to 4 years which means you are looking at an investment of 40 to 50 lakh for the entire course.In fact, my suggestion is to go for some skill-oriented education in India and subsequently look for a job or even consider becoming an entrepreneur.
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