“Employability of Accountants” – A cause of worry
A survey by NASSCOM revealed that every 26th graduate in the country is unemployable, shocking but a reality which is causing shivers to the corporate world. Earlier, the burgeoning population of the country was a cause of concern, which has now translated into ensuring their employability.
With the Indian economy growing at more than 8%, the problem of plenty is not a cause of concern, rather the country now needs workforce to manage this growth. As they say “Demographic dividend should not translate into Demographic curse”.
Millions of students are enrolling into various professional courses including chartered accountancy, company secretaryship, MBA etc, but the big question is are the professionals and graduates churned out by the system ready for corporate jobs?
The primary reason for such a fear can be attributed to the primitive academic programmes running across the Universities and colleges and perhaps low or nil focus on personality development.
The importance of soft skills cannot be ruled out considering that technical skills (or the hard skills as they are referred) can only help a person land into a job interview, but performance in the interview cannot be guaranteed by the candidate’s good grades. A very valid question which keep worrying the recruiters is – “Will he able to communicate his performance to the client or to his colleagues in an impressive manner”?
Our experience in various coaching centers, colleges and universities reveal that good communication skills are mostly lacking in the students and across the verticals like CAs, MBAs, BBA, lawyers etc. The problem is significantly higher in Tier-II and Tier-III cities where emphasis on soft skills is very low. Students are only loaded with technical stuff, exams, projects etc, but when it comes to articulation of their results, the result is not very encouraging.
The importance of soft skills is not only in the beginning of one’s career, but the same permeates throughout the professional life. As one starts progressing in career, the importance of soft skills keeps on increasing with increase in public dealing and an increased interaction with the clients and peer colleagues.
Soft skills are not only restricted to communication skills, but include various other skills including:
So if you think you lack in any of the above, then it might probably be the right the time now to approach a training organization.
The behavioural traits to change from what is developed over the lifetime require immense hard work and dedication. Family background, communication channels, quality of the college/university and of course the mindset plays a very important role in picking up the relevance of soft skills. What is important is that the student should realize his/her shortcomings and it should be realized early.
Apart from formal training, the students should create enough opportunities for themselves either by way of participating in team activities, college fests, seminars, debates etc. It is important that one should observe one’s behaviour in the group and relate it to with the others. Introspection is thus, important.
Can a formal training improve my personality?
A common question which occurs in students mind is whether it’s possible to enhance soft skills in a few hours/weeks of training, especially when one has lived with those traits all his life. The answer to this question is harsh that a professional who wants to do well in his career does not really have a choice.
Right from leaving college, a professional student has to have good soft skills to do well in life. In the initial years of your career, your technical abilities are important to get good assignments and when it comes to growth, it is your personality that matters, more so in large organizations where several people will compete for one single promotion.
Formal training can assist in adding a lot of shine to one’s personality. Soft skills training not only involve imparting lectures, but at the same time involve extensive role plays, group discussions, theatre, outdoor activities etc. The idea is to take out or remove the “fear” of speaking in public, honing the skills, preparing well for the interviews and start thinking as a business leader.
Nimish is the co-founder of Promaynov Executive Trainers LLP, a training organization actively involved in conducting extensive workshops and seminars on employability enhancement measures for CAs, CA students and professionals in various Universities and colleges. Promaynov also imparts training to Commerce and Arts graduates and 12th pass students on various accounting and taxation modules. You can reach him on firstname.lastname@example.org or at 011-26563500.
Completed CA – Jobs are available, but are you ready?
This article is the second in the series highlighting the vagaries of the life of a recently qualified Chartered Accountant. In the previous article we discussed how a newly qualified chartered accountant feels once his/her CA gets completed. We discussed how a wrong guidance from a relative/friend can lead to choosing a wrong career path, and thus, it is important that a new CA gets a correct and complete picture of the career opportunities.
This article seeks to provide information on the typical challenges faced by qualified chartered accountants and more so from candidates coming from Tier II and III cities. It is therefore, extremely important that
Completed CA - Real Life Begins Now!
Congratulations to all those students who qualified as Chartered Accountants. Completing a rigorous training and clearing examination is indeed a commendable job.
I remember my old days, when I qualified in 2002 and the excitement on the result day was quite palpable. The immediate reaction is of wow! as the entire family and friends suddenly seem to treat you as a respectable professional of the country. And indeed it is a great feeling to be a part of the elite below 200,000 CA fraternity.
However, soon the excitement tends to subside and the next question which crops up in mind is WHAT NEXT. Notwithstanding the excitement and happiness, all of a sudden one also starts to feel nervous and think of what would happen now. With loads of opportunities staring at you, the difficulty lies in choosing the ‘Right Path’.
This series of Articles shall provide an insight into the dilemma young CAs face and the kind of opportunities available to them. It would also throw light on the challenges typically faced by students in searching the right job, getting selected and their future in such organizations. This article broadly highlights how a fresh CA should think about his future and the job opportunities available.
Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy
It is extremely important that one should sit down and think about the future opportunities. Students who are already working in good multinational firms have less difficulty in thinking about the same as they are already exposed to variety. The problem lies with students who live in Tier-II and Tier-III cities, have limited exposure in articleship and consequently, feel left alone for guidance. Generally, what has been observed is that the local friends and relatives start bombarding them with their limited exposed ideas and this pressure typically ends up in students making a wrong career choice.
Every newly qualified CA should identify his/her individual strengths and weaknesses and make a clear roadmap of where he/she sees his/her future. One should be clearly able to identify the job which would make them happy and thus, successful.
There are variety of job opportunities now-a-days available including the following:
Each of the above industry vertical throws immense opportunities. For example, Tax consulting will have direct tax, indirect tax, transfer pricing and expat taxation. M&A vertical will have opportunities in due diligence, valuation, M&A tax advisory. Similarly, banking and financial services industry hires CAs for variety of functions including credit and mortgage risk, internal audit, forex etc.
In addition, it has been observed that there is a big confusion amongst fresh CAs that KPOs are call centers and thus, it is not advisable to join them. This conception is grossly inaccurate since KPOs are typically knowledge based units (generally captive) where huge accounting, finance and taxation processes are carried out. This industry has infact, created loads of job opportunities for Chartered Accountants on the basis that Indian accountants are smart, hard-working and intelligent. Consequently, majority of such global processes have landed in Indian KPOs. One therefore, needs to know how such companies function and what kind of work profile do such companies offer.
For example, Genpact alone has a strength of more than 1500 Chartered Accountants on their role and its increasing. Similarly, companies like HSBC, Deloitte, E&Y, KPMG, J P Morgan, Goldman Sachhs etc have huge captive units which take care of accounting, finance and tax processes for their global entities. These industries therefore, provide immense opportunities to newly qualified and experienced CAs.
The right approach is therefore, identify the companies which offer jobs relevant to your skill-sets, target them through right channels and finally go for it. ICAI Campus provides an opportunity to get a job and thus, one should make the most of it. In addition, there are some boutique private companies working on improving the employability quotient of CAs where they impart specialized technical and soft skills trainings and other value added services, such as CV preparation and tips on cracking the GDs and interviews They also conduct their private campuses which allows students to get jobs.
One can therefore, sit back, relax and enjoy the future provided right guidance is seeked and thus, a right career path is treaded.
By Nimish Goel
Nimish is a Chartered Accountant and a Company Secretary and has more than 10 years of experience. He has worked with E&Y and KPMG in Europe and with Pwc, Mumbai. Nimish now runs Promaynov Executive Trainers LLP, a boutique training and recruitment firm for fresh/newly qualified CAs which provides technical and soft skills training to new CAs and also helps them with jobs through their private campus. He can be contacted at email@example.com