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Courses that count

You can have a successful career in finance even if you cannot get into the college of your choice. Moumita Chaudhuri tells you how

If you haven't made the cut-off marks for the college of your choice, do not lose heart. You can still study your favourite subject -as long as it is numbers. If it was Accountancy or Commerce you wanted to pursue, you could instead choose from an array of finance-related courses.

"Remember the recent Nirav Modi case?" asks Piyush Pugalia, co-founder of ULURN.in - that provides online study materials to those pursuing finance courses - at the Sanjay Saraf Educational Institute (SSEI) in Bhawanipore, Calcutta. "It shows that we need to take more care of risk management and compliance issues," he says. Needless to say, risk management is going to loom large in the near future. As will data and analytics.

Want a lucrative career? Take a look at the courses below.

Actuarial Science

You can opt for Actuarial Science if mathematics is your strength. Actuaries - as the professionals of Actuarial Science are called - are experts in risk management and rely on their mathematical skills to measure the probability of future events. Says Saket Saraogi, founder of S-Cube Tutorials that provides coaching in actuarial science, "You can take up Actuarial Science while pursuing BBA or BCom. There are 15 papers that you have to clear. But a graduate can bag a job soon after completing three or four papers. Of course, the starting salary will be only around Rs 3.5 lakh." However, the papers are so difficult to clear that there are only 375 actuaries in India, Saraogi warns.

Course duration: 4-5 years

Eligibility: Plus Two, with high competence in Mathematics or/and Statistics

Top institutes: Sanjay Saraf Educational Institute or SSEI ( https://www.ssei.co.in/), Institute of Actuaries of India or IAI (http://www.actuariesindia.org/), S-Cube Tutorials ( http://www.scubetutorials. com/), Edupristine (https://www.edupristine.com/)

Study abroad: Institute and Faculty of Actuaries or IFOA ( https://www.actuaries.org. uk/), UK

Sectors for employment: Insurance, pension funds, investments, government jobs, academics and risk management

Starting salary: Rs 30 lakh per year

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

According to career counsellor Deepika Padhi, "Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or ACCA is a professional accountancy body of the UK that provides more opportunities on the global stage." This membership is recognised in more than 130 countries. If you are planning to work abroad, ACCA certification is the ideal option.

Instead of Chartered Accountancy (CA), which is a hard nut to crack, try your hand at ACCA - very similar to CA but easier, says Pugalia.

Course duration: 2-3 years

Eligibility: Plus Two with commerce

Top institutes: National Institute of Management ( https://www.nimonweb.com), Mumbai; Kaizen School of Business Management, Mumbai; Vidyabharathi Group of Institutions (http://vidya.ac.in), Kochi; Edupristine, Mumbai; SSEI, Calcutta

Study abroad: Manchester Metropolitan University ( https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/), UK; Amity Global Business School (http://www.amitysingapore.sg), Singapore; University of the West of Scotland ( https://www.uws.ac.uk/), UK; London School of Business and Finance (https://www.lsbf.org.uk/), UK

Sectors for employment: Financial organisations in areas such as management accountancy, international banks, MNCs, auditing, management consulting, corporate recovery

Starting salary: Rs 10-12 lakh per year

Financial Risk Management

If you are looking for short courses, think of enrolling for a one-year course in Financial Risk Management (FRM). The reason why Lehman Brothers - or, for that matter, Bear Stearns - crumbled, is that they did not pay heed to sound risk management practices. Financial companies will always be in search of people with the knowledge of risk management. Time for you to grab that opportunity.

One advantage is that you can do your graduation simultaneously. You can enrol for FRM soon after your board exams and finish it before your first year exams start.

Course duration: 6 months to one year

Eligibility: Plus Two

Top institutes: SSEI, Calcutta; S-Cube Tutorials, Calcutta; Indian Institute of Quantitative Finance ( http://iiqf.org/), Mumbai; Edupristine

Study abroad: National University of Singapore ( https://rmi.nus.edu.sgraining/certification-programs.html)

Sectors for employment: Banking, stock broking companies, investment, enterprise and market risk management

Starting salary: Rs 7-8 lakh per year

CFA Foundation

It is a certificate course that anyone who is interested in the financial market can choose to study - even if you are weak in commerce. "This particular programme is a foundation course that one can do as they await their classes to start after the board exams. It can be learnt as preparation to the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course and can be picked up by a student who does not have any prior knowledge of finance.

If you want, you can follow up the six-month course in CFA foundation with a full time CFA course. It opens up many job opportunities in the financial sector.

Course duration: 6 months for the CFA Foundation course, plus 2.5 years for the CFA programme

Eligibility: Plus Two

Top institutes: SSEI, Calcutta; Edupristine, Mumbai

Study abroad: CFA Institute ( https://www.cfainstitute.org)

Sectors for employment: Investment banking, research analysis, portfolio management, risk management, relationship management, financial advice, consultancy

Starting salary: Rs 10-12 lakh per year

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