Alternatives to CAT

Although you may get paid well as a CA, your starting salaries don’t make it to the headlines as do those of an IIM graduates.

The course as structured by the institute of Chartered Accountants of India is a good blend of theoretical education and practical training. Syllabus is revised and updated to keep pace with the fast changing needs of the local and global economic environments. The CA program has three sections, Competency Professional Test (CPT) Integrated, Professional Competence Course (IPCC) and the Final examination are held twice a year in May and November and it is necessary that a student must register at least ten months before the examinations. After passing the group I of the IPCC examination candidates are eligible for registration as articled clerks / audit clerks for practical training Computer Training Program i.e. 100 hours Information Technology training is also compulsory for the candidates who wish to register themselves as articled clerk. For training as an articled clerk, the incumbent is attached to a practicing chartered accountant for the duration three years. During this period the articled clerk will also continue to study for the remaining exams to complete both groups of IPCC and the Final exams. During the training period the articled clerk is required to work at different locations under the supervision of the chartered accountant to whom he /she is attached and learns the practical elements of auditing, taxation, and accountancy. This training enables them to learn the technical details of the job as well as to get an idea of the working environment of the profession.

Having qualified the exams and completed the three year training, the CA is now ready to step into the professional field with full force. There is no dearth of jobs for Chartered Accountants. Not only can you start your own practice or join a practicing firm but several CAs are absorbed by the industry. CAs are needed in all businesses, big or small whether in the manufacturing sector or service sector. Of late BPOs, KPOs and IT companies have been absorbing CAs twenty to a dozen. Out of a total number of 1.4 to 1.5 lakh CA professionals, over 10,000 are settled abroad. Of the rest, 70 – 80% are employed in industries and the rest are practitioners. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India believes that there is a growing requirement of CA professionals in the country and it has a tough time keeping pace with the demand. The real point is therefore not whether or not you should do an MBA or a CA, but that you better know why you should do so. As in every profession, the most important thing is what you do with the degree you acquire.

Another area in demand is in HRM. One get selected as a HR executive after taking a Post Graduate degree in Social Sciences from reputed institutes like Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. After putting on about 3 to 5 years as an executive in a reputed organization the candidate can attend a part time MBA course of 3 years duration or try for a course in IIM with HR as specialization. In the latter the aspirant may have to obtain a study leave or resign from the current employment and prepare for the IIM entrance.

Other degrees which can be acquired subject to your aptitude are B.Pharma, B.Tech/M.Tech (Bio-Technology), Masters degree in Forensic science. Another avenue can be a degree in Engineering followed by a Post graduate full time or part time Diploma in Supply chain management or Marketing or courses related to IT where placements are made by the Institutes