Top 5 Professional Commerce Courses after 12th
Updated on Feb 11, 2019 - 4:39 p.m. IST by Naureen Gurung
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Top 5 Professional Commerce Courses after 12th - One of the main questions for students opting for commerce after 12th is the professional course that would be apt for them to make a career. While graduation in commerce is a mandatory understood qualification, what other professional courses after 12th in commerce have to be looked at to get the edge in building a career is quite a concern. While commonly known ones are Cost Accountancy, Chartered Accountancy as well as Company Secretary courses, upcoming ones like Chartered Financial Analysts and Certified Financial Planner are also beneficial as they come with international accreditation. In this article, we look at some of the top professional commerce courses after 12th that can be opted for.

1. Chartered Accountant 

One of the top 5 professional commerce courses after 12th is the Chartered Accountancy (CA) course and it can be pursued after class 12th with the foundation course. The programme is conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). The course is divided into Foundation, Intermediate and Final. One can start with the foundation course, move onto intermediate course while pursuing graduation and then do the finals after graduation. 

Different levels of Chartered Accountancy Course 

  1. Entry Level Foundation Course 

  2. First Stage of Theoretical Education Intermediate Course 

  3. Final Stage of Theoretical Education Final Course

Practical Training:

  • Candidates have to undergo a minimum of three years of articleship training to strike a balance between theoretical education and practical training.

  • A student can also undergo audit training. It may be noted that eight months of audit training is treated as equivalent to six months of articleship training.

Application and Exam Scheme:

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The exam is held twice in a year in November and June. Applicants must register for the course before the closing date of their respective sessions to appear for the exam. This is applicable for all the three levels. CA CPT is the entry level exam for those who wish to pursue the old scheme of ICAI. However, CA CPT will be discontinued and replaced by CA Foundation after the June 2019 session. 

Eligibility Criteria of CA CPT 

  • Students must have passed class 12 examination from a recognized board/ body.

  • Students must have registered with ICAI for CPC course before the stipulated time period for each session. 

Eligibility Criteria of CA Foundation

  • Students who have completed or are appearing in Class 12 examination from a recognized board/ body.

  • Students must register and undergo a minimum of 4 months of study to be eligible to appear for the foundation course.

Eligibility Criteria of CA IPCC/ Intermediate 

Students should be Commerce graduates/ post graduates with at least 55% overall or graduates/ post graduates of any stream with at least 60% marks.

  • Students must have completed the CA CPT/ Foundation course. 

Eligibility Criteria of CA Final 

  • Students must have completed the Advanced Integrated Course on Information Technology and Soft Skills and the requisite practical training on or before the last day of the month prior to the month of the examination.

  • Students must have completed CA IPCC/ Intermediate course.

ICAI Application Procedure

For the upcoming June 2019 session, CA aspirants must apply before the first week of March tentatively. The CA CPT application form is to be filled online only and the application fee varies according to the number of modules and the location of exam centres selected by the candidates. Moreover, late submissions are accepted till a week longer with an additional fee of Rs. 600. During the December 2018 session, two application correction windows were opened for candidates of all levels. While the first correction window was free of cost, the second one carried an extra fee of Rs. 1000. 

ICAI Exam Pattern

All the exam levels of CA will be conducted on pen and paper-based. The type of questions will differ according to the sections i.e., the paper will be a mix of MCQs and descriptive questions. The medium of the CA question papers will be both, English and Hindi. Wrong answers will result in negative marking.

Know all about CA FoundationCA Intermediate and CA Final now. 

2. Cost and Management Accountant

Another one of the most popular professional commerce courses after 12th is the Cost and Management Accountancy (CMA) course. This is also similar on the lines of the Chartered Accountancy programme with Foundation, Intermediate as well as Final programmes. The Institute of Cost Accountants of India is the body that governs admissions and membership in the country.

Different levels of Cost and Management Accountancy Course 

  1. Foundation course

  2. Intermediate course

  3. Final course

Practical Training

To become a CMA, candidates will have to complete the following:

  • Communication and Soft Skill (CSS) Training- 3 days

  • Computer Training-100 hours

  • Industry Oriented Training Programme (IOTP)- 7 days

  • Practical Training-3 years (6 months mandatory)

  • Modular Training- 15 days

  • Practical Training- 3 years

Application and Exam Scheme

All the three levels of CMA also have two sessions of exams conducted in June and December every year. Candidates aspiring for CA should ensure that they apply for the relevant exam within the specified time period. 

Eligibility Criteria for Foundation course

  • A candidate who has passed Class 10 or equivalent from a recognized Board or Institution.

  • A candidate who has passed 10+2 from a recognized Board or equivalent thereto.

  • Candidates who have passed National Diploma in Commerce Examination held by the All India Council for Technical Education or any State Board of Technical Education are also eligible.

  • Also, candidates who have passed the Diploma in Rural Service Examination conducted by the National Council of Higher Education can also apply

  • Candidates who are waiting for their result can apply for provisional admission.

Eligibility Criteria for Intermediate course

  • Candidates must have passed 10+2 and Foundation Course of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India.

  • For direct entry, candidates must be graduates in any discipline (except Fine Arts) or should have qualified CAT of CMA/ ICSI Foundation/ ICAI Intermediate.

Eligibility Criteria for Final course

  • Candidates must have cleared the Intermediate course of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India

CMA Application Procedure

CMA registration is open throughout the year but aspirants who wish to appear for the June session must apply before the first week of April tentatively. On the other hand, candidates wishing to appear for the December session must submit the online application form of CMA before the first week of October. The examination fee differs according to the exam module and centre chosen by the candidates. Those who need to opt for international centres will have to apply offline and send the DD along with the application form. 

CMA Exam Pattern

According to the exam pattern of CMA Foundation, Intermediate and Final, the mode of exam will be offline and the questions will be descriptive in nature. Each paper will carry 100 marks and the questions are to be answered within the time limit of 3 hours. 

3. Company Secretary

Another attractive and financially rewarding professional commerce courses after 12th is that of a company secretary (CS). The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) is the only recognized professional body in India that conducts the Company Secretary course and regulates the profession. Similar to CA, the CS course is also divided into three stages, namely- Foundation, Executive and Professional. 

To pursue this statutory course, aspirants can enrol for the Foundation programme. Those who have already graduated can apply for CS Executive. Lastly, there is no direct admission to CS Professional so only those who have cleared the previous level i.e., CS Executive can apply for it. 

Different Levels of Company Secretaries Course

  1. CS Foundation

  2. CS Executive

  3. CS Professional

Practical Training

  • Long Terms Internship with specified entities- Three years on registration to Executive Programme/ Two years after passing the Executive Programme/ One year after passing the Professional Programme 

  • Management Skills Orientation Programme- 15 days

Application and Exam Scheme

ICSI accepts applications for each of the level programmes throughout the year. However, examinations are held twice a year- June and December. Thus, candidates must submit their online application form before the stipulated deadline according to the session they wish to appear for. 

Eligibility Criteria for CS Foundation

  • Candidates should have passed class 12 (any stream other than Fine Arts) from a recognized board

  • Candidates must register before March 31, 2019, to attempt the December session and September 30, 2019, to attempt the June 2020 session. 

Eligibility Criteria for CS Executive

  • Candidates must be graduates (from any stream other than Fine Arts) from a recognized university

  • Candidates must have passed the ICSI CPT or Foundation examination

  • Candidates must register before February 28, 2019, for appearing in both modules in the December 2019 session and those who register before May 31 can appear for only one module. Candidates wanting to appear for the June 2020 session must register before August 31, 2019, for both modules and November 30, 2019, for only one module.

Eligibility Criteria for CS Professional

  • Candidates must have cleared the CS Executive exam with at least 40% section-wise and 50% overall.

  • Candidates must register before February 28, 2019, for appearing in both modules in the December 2019 session and those who register before May 31 can appear for only one module. Candidates wanting to appear for the June 2020 session must register before August 31, 2019, for both modules and November 30, 2019, for only one module.

ICSI Application Procedure

CS aspirants will be required to fill the application form on online mode only. Documents like signature, photograph, class 10th and 12th mark sheet, category certificate, etc. will be required for uploading on the CS application form. The registration fee can be paid via credit/ debit/ net banking or through the bank challan system and the amount varies for candidates of different categories.

ICSI Exam Pattern

CS Foundation, Executive and Professional will consist of a different number of papers each of which will carry 100 marks. All the papers will be conducted in offline mode and candidates will be required to answer objective questions. Every correct answer will add 2 marks whereas incorrect responses will not induce negative marking.

Check all the details about CS FoundationCS Executive and CS Professional now.

4. Actuary

A career in actuarial science is slowly but steadily gaining momentum in our country and thus, it is no surprise that it is one of the top 5 professional commerce courses after 12th. The field requires abundant knowledge in math, statistics, risk assessment, and financial products. The Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI) conducts the Actuarial Common Entrance Test (ACET) in order to screen out potential students for admission. ACET is held online in two sessions- June and December. 

Application and Exam Scheme

IAI will accept the online ACET application form from February 20 till April 30, 2019, for the June session, and from August 16 till October 31, 2019, for the December session. 

Eligibility Criteria for ACET

  • Students must have cleared class 12 examination

  • Students must have studied English as one of the subjects in class 12

  • Students who are pursuing a UG, PG or higher degree or those who are employed, etc. are also eligible to apply for ACET

ACET Application Procedure

The ACET application form is to be filled and submitted online before the stipulated deadline. Candidates are required to register, enter relevant details and upload their photograph and signature as per the specifications set by IAI. The exam fee for all categories of candidates is the same i.e., Rs. 3000 which is to be paid via debit card/ credit card or net banking.

ACET Exam Pattern

ACET is a computer-based exam wherein candidates will be required to answer 70 questions carrying varied weightage of marks. If a candidate gives a wrong response, 50% of the marks allotted for that particular question will be deducted. All the questions will be in English and the time duration is of 3 hours. 

Click here to know all about ACET.

5. Certified Financial Planner

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) course is also one of the top 5 professional commerce courses after 12th. It is a certification course lasting a year. The Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) India is the only body which regulates the professional standards of the country and is licensed to award the CFP certification program. A Certified Financial Planner supervises and controls the financial resources of an enterprise. The CFP Certification Education Program includes 5 exam modules which the candidates must qualify. 

CFP Exam Modules

  • Exam 1: Risk Analysis & Insurance Planning

  • Exam 2: Retirement Planning & Employee Benefits

  • Exam 3: Investment Planning

  • Exam 4: Tax Planning & Estate Planning

  • Exam 5: Advanced Financial Planning

Note: Exam 1-4 will include Introduction to Financial Planning having 20% weightage.

Application and Exam Scheme

A candidate can apply for the CFP course by registering on the official website of FPSB via ‘Regular Pathway’ or ‘Challenge Status Pathway’. The eligibility criteria and application procedure of both the categories are different. 

Eligibility Criteria of CFP

  • CFP Regular Pathway: Candidate must have passed SSC/ matriculation/ class 10 and must qualify the 5 exams either through self-study or through training support approved by FPSB India.

  • CFP Challenge Status Pathway: Candidate must have cleared CA Intermediate Level/ CFA (US)/ ICWA/ CAIIB/ CS/ LLB/ PhD/ M. Phil/ PG/ Licentiate/ Associate/ Fellowship of Life Insurance/ Actuary/ FFSI & FLMI from LOMA/ Civil Service Examinations by UPSC.

CFP Application Procedure

Aspirants must visit the FPSB website, choose their mode of study and receive their NCFM number from the NSE website. Thereafter, candidates will have to choose the ‘pathway’ through which they wish to apply and fill the required form. 

CFP Exam Pattern

Candidates enrolled under ‘Regular Pathway’ will have to appear for all the 5 exam modules whereas those under ‘Challenge Status Pathway’ need to appear for Exam 5 only. Exam 1-4 will be conducted for a duration of 2 hours each and Exam 5 will be for 4 hours.

The question papers of Exam 1-4 consist of 77 MCQs in English medium. The number of marks allotted to each question varies. There will be no negative marking. 

Exam 5 will provide two case studies of varying number of marks. There will be no negative marking. Only those candidates who score more than 50% will be considered as ‘Passed’.

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