|CAREER GUIDE||Friday, September 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India|
It pays to be a CA
India has second highest number of certified
It pays to be a CA
THE profession of chartered accountancy (CA) has enjoyed great respect and status in society, though with the emergence of IT and other sectors, the youth started shifting from this sector during the 90s. Realising this, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) made several changes in 2001 in the curricula to make the course suitable for the changing needs of the industry and the economy.
Changes in curricula
Mr Manoj Kohli, Chairman, Chandigarh Branch of the Northern India Regional Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, says, "The institute has made it mandatory for candidates to undergo a six-month IT training and a three-year apprenticeship before appearing for the final examination. They will also have to undergo a 15-day training in general management and communication skills before getting the associate membership of the institute. After five years, they will get fellowship of the institute."
The professional education PE-I is a foundation course that can be done by any student who has passed class XII. The registration and tuition fee for the PE-I course is Rs 2,000 and the minimum duration of the course is 10 months.
After doing the PE-I course or clearing the CA foundation examination, candidates who have passed the final examination of the Institute of Cost Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) or the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) can enrol for the PE-II course. One can appear for up to five times to qualify for this course. The registration and tuition fee for the PE-II course is Rs 2,650 and the minimum duration is 10 months. Both exams are held in May and November every year.
On the completion of the articleship, a student has to pass the final examination and subsequently has to undergo a programme of general management and communication skills.
Regarding the failure rate, Mr Sanjeev Malhotra, CA of Malhotra Rajeev & Co, says, "As per the previous examination schedule, more than 90 per cent candidates used to fail. However, with the introduction of the new schedule, a candidate can join the articleship only after passing the PE-II exam. This year about 3,000 candidates have cleared the exam, including over 60 candidates from Punjab and Chandigarh."
With the opening of the economy, chartered accountants are picking up all types of jobs requiring proficiency in financial management, corporate law, income and excise tax, audit skills and IT audits. Says Mr Anil Kalia, CA from Kalia Gupta & Associates, "CA is a prestigious degree in India and abroad, which can fetch a job in the corporate sector with up to Rs 10,000 salary per month at the entry level. One can also practise independently or as a consultant. As far as the future prospects are concerned, the sky is the limit."
With the introduction of VAT in the near future, a number of CAs are likely to opt for it due to their expertise in tax laws. Equipped with a Diploma in Insurance and Risk Management (DIRM) and Computer-Aided Audit Techniques (CAAT), one can enter the insurance and banking audit sector.
The ICAI has already signed an
agreement with 13 countries, including the UK and Canada, under which
its degree will be recognised in these countries as well. Mr Kohli
adds that with the increasing importance of the service sector and
growing jobs in Business Process Outsourcing from Western economies,
the job opportunities for the CAs are bound to increase.
India has second highest number of certified professionals: study
NEW YORK: India ranked second among 10 countries with the most certified professionals in nine skills, including IT, finance and healthcare, says a new study.
The USA topped the list with over 2,39,000 skill certifications in 2002, says Brainbench, an online testing company.
Despite far fewer certifications earned than in 2001, India retained its dominance in South Asia with 38,195 professional certifications, says a release by the firm.
Pakistan, with 4,970 certifications, was ninth in the top 10 countries and second, behind India, in South Asia. Nepal, with 105 certifications, was third in South Asia.
The nine key categories studied in the report include computer software; essential skills, including basic literacy, mathematics, interpersonal communications and basic computer skills; financial; healthcare; industry knowledge; IT; language and communication; management; and office skills. The report said although worldwide IT certifications were down, reflecting a still depressed IT sector, IT and IT-related certifications still lead all other categories. Office skills, essential skills and computer software followed IT, it said.
Among the key findings are large concentrations of certified professionals in emerging markets outside the USA, including India and Russia.
Russia is the clear leader among its brethren from the former Soviet Union, with 15,242 certifications in 2002. It is followed by Ukraine and Belarus. In 2002, Britain overtook Romania as Europeís leader in certifications.
Bulgaria retained the number three spot from 2001. In the Pacific Rim, Australia is the clear leader in certified professionals with 7,025. It is followed by Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, reflecting the importance technology skills continue to play in those nationsí economies.
In South America, Brazil remained the
leading country in the number of certifications. Despite depressed
economies - and in the case of Colombia, continued social and
political unrest - Argentina and Colombia captured the number two and
three spots, respectively. ó IANS
Future in preserving the past
Q How can I become an archivist? Which is the best course and what are the qualifications required?
A The best course in archival studies is offered at the School of Archival Studies, National Archives, New Delhi. This is a one-year course that usually commences in September each year. Applications are invited in June/July. You must have a minimum of 50% in MA (History) with at least one paper in Modern Indian History from a recognised university to be eligible for this course. For further details contact: The Director-General of Archives, National Archives of India, School of Archival Studies, Janpath, New Delhi.
Short-tem courses in Records Management (how to create, control and dispose of records), Reprography (how to reproduce documents and manuscripts, microfilming, handle automated information storage retrieval and dissemination); Servicing & Restoration of Records (how to arrange, supply, restore and preserve records).
Postgraduate diploma and certificate courses in this subject are also offered at Annamalai University (Dip in Archive Keeping/ Development Studies), Gujarat Vidyapeeth, (PG Certificate in Archives), Pondicherry University (Dip in Archival Studies) and Osmania University Dip in (Archival Sc & Manuscriptology).
Q Having completed my MSc (Chemistry), I am now desperate to take up a job. But Iím totally bewildered and confused by the various options. All I know is that Iím not too keen on taking up chemistry-related work. How do I select the job thatís just right for me? Please advise.
Sanjay Kapoor, Chandigarh
A Allow me to let you in on a secret: there is no easy or instant formula for landing the perfect job. But, if you work through these seven key steps to selecting a job, you can be confident that you have made a wise decision:
Investigate a wide range of jobs.
Identify jobs that may suit you.
Develop a short-list of Ďrealí possibilities.
Collect detailed information about each job on your short-list.
Choose the job that suits you most.
Keep reworking your short-list.
While working through these steps, it is helpful to remember that:
Most people are capable of working successfully in a number of jobs.
Your ideas about the jobs that suit you may change somewhat over time.
You may not be able to get everything you want in a job.
Some people have fixed ideas about the sort of job that should be suitable for them and this often prevents them from finding a job that is suitable.
Q I am a nature freak and would love to contribute to the growth of our environment and forests, so I have decided that I would be a forest officer. I would like to know more about the job profile and responsibilities of a forest officer.
Paramveer Kang, Kasauli
A Forest officers have a variety of roles to perform depending on the level they reach in their career. In lower grades, they work as technical supervisors who are responsible for planning and controlling operations. As your career advances, you will perform a variety of management functions as well as plan, control and implement policies and operations.
These will include supervising forest workers, organising the training of existing staff, and being directly involved with the training of new forest officers.
You may even be required to act as an adviser to private estates in the area, administer grants and liaise with local authorities. Experienced FOs may have specialist duties such as research, education and training, or technical development.
They are also responsible for overseeing the fire protection arrangements within the area and prevent unlawful poaching and tree felling.
The job content of an FO has changed considerably over the years.
Now the job is not merely confined to preserving and protecting forests and wildlife: it also extends to new areas like maintenance of the whole eco-system, social forestry and afforestation.
The responsibility is therefore immense, especially when even local farmers at times fail to appreciate the role of forests in the conservation of the environment.
Carried away by popular crazes that promise greater prosperity, they donít hesitate to replace established forested areas with fruit orchards or commercial plantations in the hills.
Q I am doing my Bachelorís in English (H). Could you please tell me the future prospects in this subject after graduation and postgraduation?
A After your Bachelorís or Masterís in English, you could either take up teaching in schools (after doing BEd) or join the print or electronic media as a journalist, editor in a publishing house, web content creator, compere, announcer, newsreader, anchorperson, scriptwriter, copywriter in an advertising agency, technical writer, public relations executive, etc. Creative writing is yet another option.
With the proliferation of the media, there is a growing demand for those who can communicate with style, ease and competence.
An additional course in public relations, journalism, advertising or mass communication would give you the necessary professional edge.
Those with a good command of the language, particularly in spoken English and basic computer skills, can also look at openings in leading call centres.
Starting out as a customer care associate, you can move up the ladder to the position of team leader and business development manager if you have what it takes.
Other than these, you could opt for just about any other professional course - in law, travel and tourism, management or design which requires a bachelorís degree.
ó Pervin Malhotra, Director, CARING
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