Education and Career in Banking, Financial Services and Insurance Sectors

Prof. Udai Paliwal, Dean, Institute of Commerce, Nirma UniversityBanking, financial services and Insurance, popularly known as BFSI sector are one of the most trending career choices today. The reason is simple – there is a high demand for banking and finance professionals. India’s financial sector comprises banks, insurance companies, mutual fund houses, co-operatives, non-banking financial corporations, pension fund companies, asset management houses, e-wallet/digital payment companies and credit institutions. The sector is booming rapidly, with existing institutions expanding their operations and new entities entering the market. Moreover, India being one of the most emerging powerful economies, there is a huge influx of domestic and foreign capital investment in this sector.

Given that the banking and finance services sector is poised for innovation, diversification and growth, it will also create massive employment opportunities. A report by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) highlights that this sector will be a significant driver of employment creation and will contribute generating about 1.6 million jobs during next five years in corporate banking, finance, treasury, retail banking, human resource and technology. Some of the reasons that lure students to opt for studies and career in banking and financial services are:

• Competitive remuneration
• Lucrative career growth prospects
• Continuous learning and advancement opportunities
• Opportunities for international jobs
• Greater choice of jobs and roles
• Multi-faced challenges to keep monotony of job away

In case you are planning to become a banking and financial service professional, it is necessary that you have the strong foundation provided by relevant academic qualifications. A commerce degree such as B.Com. (Hons.) specialising in BFSI domain or a finance / management degree can serve as a pillar to build career in BFSI sector and gain understanding of banking, insurance and financial services adequately. You need to enrol in a course which introduces you to the fundamentals of the sector, develops necessary skills and trains you in real-life job scenarios in the industry. Certification courses that you may pursue together with a bachelor’s degree to further sharpen your BFSI skills include those offered by institutions such as NISM, BSE Institute, AIMA, AMA, CIMA Global etc.

Here is your handy guide to all the information you may need regarding this field of study and related career paths.

Eligibility Criteria:

While the eligibility criteria may differ across Universities offering an undergraduate course in banking and financial services,
most of them require you to have completed higher secondary (12th standard) or equivalent to enrol in a Bachelor’s programme. For the master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree or equivalent with a minimum aggregate of 50% marks is required.

Course Content

The banking and financial services courses may be spread across different semesters or modules over a few months to 1-4 years, depending on the type of the course. A good course is one which combines theory with a practical approach such as internships, case studies, presentations and projects. Learning should be interactive and participative.

The BFSI programmes broadly comprises the following subjects/topics:

• Domestic and international economies
• Monetary theory and policy
• Banking law
• Assets and investments
• Stock markets and capital markets
• Commercial banking and finance
• Treasury and forex management
• Security analysis
• Financial accounting and analysis
• Micro and macro economics
• Financial Management
• Portfolio Management
• Credit evaluation, monitoring and recovery
• Corporate governance
• International Banking and finance
• Investment banking
• Merchant banking
• Study of IFSCs etc.

The course should also focus on developing soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, critical thinking and team-building as these skills are crucial to carve a stable career path in this industry.

Career Scope and Growth

After completing a course in BFSI domain, you can join any private, public, foreign, co-operative or non-profit company in the banking and financial services sector in India or abroad. Some of the most-sought-after profiles are investment banker, bank manager, actuary, insurance broker, insurance operations manager, portfolio manager, bank teller, treasurer, economist, asset manager, debt collector, credit analyst, risk manager, risk auditor, loan counsellor, business analyst, recovery agent, taxation officer, stockbroker and mutual fund advisor. There are many other job roles which vary from one company to another. Job opportunities or graduates with BFSI domain skills are immense and include those in related roles such ac taxation officer, compliance officer, human resource manager, legal advisor, cyber security manager, public relations and marketing in this sector in case you have any background or knowledge of these fields.

As like in any other sector, you usually start with a junior grade position in the company, then rise to the middle management and then reach top management in a span of 10-15 years. You can even become an entrepreneur and launch your own venture if you have any innovative or disruptive idea in mind. Another option is to go for higher studies abroad after this course and then build an international career.


If you are a fresher with a Bachelor’s degree alone, the average starting salary is 3 – 3.5 lac per year. As you begin to gain experience and expertise and climb the corporate ladder, you can fetch decent remuneration.

The rising income and disposable income of the consumers in India are fuelling the growth of banking and finance services. These services are also increasingly becoming accessible to rural and remote areas, opening up new avenues of revenues for the sector. There is no doubt that banking and financial services professionals have a bright future ahead.