Welcome to the Mecca of opportunities! A commerce teacher once welcomed his new batch of students to the class saying this. No one believed him then. Most of them were the ones who couldn’t win the race to get into science classes. But soon, everything changed and commerce became the promised land.
Today, Commerce stream is one of the most popular choices for HSE education. It has evolved to become one of the most common routes towards building a successful career. But once you’re done with your 12th, another choice has to be made. Which course should I take up after 12th commerce? The most popular choices are BCom and BBA. Then, the BBA vs BCom debate begins. Let’s look at these two choices in detail.
What is Bcom?
Bachelor of Commerce (B Com) is one of the most common educational choices made by students with a commerce background. It is a 3-year undergraduate program that intends to equip students with academic knowledge in subjects related to commerce and finance. Many prestigious institutions in the country offer BCom as both regular as well as part-time programs. A few reputed universities also offer BCom courses as distance education programs.
During a BCom program, students learn core subjects of commerce and finance along with a number of electives from the stream. The curriculum consists of papers such as financial accounting, corporate tax, economics, company law, auditing, business management, etc.
Types of BCom programs
Three types of BCom programs are available in India. Namely, Bcom-general (also known as BCom pass), Bcom (honors) and Bcom LLB.
Both Bcom (pass) and Bcom (honors) teach similar subjects. But unlike a Bcom (pass) student, Bcom (Honours) students can opt for specialization in a particular subject such as accountancy or finance. As Bcom (pass) is more of a general course, it doesn’t offer specialization programs. Though the eligibility criteria for both programs are the same, it’s harder to get into Bcom (honors) when compared to Bcom (pass).
Bcom LLB is actually a law program. It is a 5-year integrated course offered by law schools in the country where a student takes subjects from both commerce and legislative law. The course includes subjects like Business Statistics, Business Communication, Auditing, Economics, etc.
What is BBA?
Just like BCom, BBA programs are also very popular among students with commerce background. It is a three-year undergraduate program that comes under business management. The program intends to equip students with the right knowledge and skills to take up business and management related roles. It provides effective training in management education, communication skills, and entrepreneurship. The course curriculum is designed to instill qualities that can help an individual to fit in the corporate world.
During the 6 semesters, students learn the concepts of sales, marketing, human resources, finance, etc. The program offers papers such as business laws, marketing management, business management, etc. Many prestigious institutions in the country offer BBA programs as both regular and part-time programs. A few reputed universities also offer BBA courses as correspondence programs. But this depends on the specialization available.
Different types of BBA programs are available in India. This includes BBA general, BBA honors, BBA Finance and Administration, BBA information technology, etc.
Who should go for Bcom?
Are you someone who hated math classes when you were in school? Then, I won’t suggest you go for Bcom. The core subjects like finance and accountancy will require you to play with numbers again. That doesn’t mean you should be someone who can look through trigonometry and algebra. Good knowledge of high school mathematics will do. An ideal combination of numerical and analytical skills along with interest in commerce and finance will make you an ideal candidate for Bcom programs.
Who should go for BBA?
You should be a fox to thrive in the business world. Yes, that’s true. And BBA intends to prepare you for the corporate world at an early stage. So, the ideal qualities you need to get somewhere with a BBA degree? Management and communication skills. If you are someone who wishes to get into the business field and take up management roles in an organization, I will suggest BBA.
BBAvs BCom: Subjects
If you ask a BCom or BBA student to point out a few differences between BBA and Bcom subjects, he or she will find it hard. The subjects both the courses cover are identical. The programs are designed to equip students with a basic understanding of management, finance, and economics. But, the BCom curriculum gives more emphasis to finance and commerce related subjects while the BBA curriculum focuses more on business and management.
BBA programs intend is to provide the student overall understanding of management and administration. For this purpose, the syllabus is structured in a way that it covers all management fields like finance, operations, project management, human resources and more.
When it comes to Bcom, the program intends to provide in-depth knowledge of finance-related subjects such as accounting and taxation. Thus, the syllabus includes papers like Accountancy, Cost Accounting, statistics, etc.
BBA vs BCom: Approach
BBA intends to equip students with the necessary skills to adapt and thrive in the business world. Thus, it follows a practical approach by giving students the chance to interact with real-life situations in the business world and learn things on their own. The program will have compulsory internships, industrial visits, interaction sessions with experts from the business industry and other programs that keep them updated with the ever-changing business world.
This doesn’t mean you don’t study theory at all. Of course, a basic theoretical understanding is necessary for everything. But rather than going for an in-depth study of theory, BBA courses focus on the application of theory. Let’s say you don’t study BBA inside a classroom.
On the other hand, Bcom courses intend to provide students with extensive knowledge of commerce-related subjects. Thus, it follows a theoretical approach. During the period of the course, students acquire in-depth theoretical knowledge in various subjects that comes under economics and commerce. As subjects like accountancy and taxation are more about learning theories and formulas, you will spend most of the time inside the classroom working on them. BCom course thus provides less practical exposure and internships are not compulsory in many institutions.
BBA vs BCom: Choices for Specialization
BCom covers a vast area under the commerce field. It intends to give students a basic understanding of various theories that come under commerce and economics. The Bcom course does provide specializations, but the number of specializations available is limited. When it comes to BBA, you will find a lot of options to choose from.
BBA vs BCom: Higher studies after BBA or BCom
Bcom is the jack of all trades. You get a basic understanding of everything under the commerce field during those three years. Once you’re done with that, plenty of choices are available to you. If you go with the nomenclature, Mcom comes after Bcom. You can opt for a postgraduate degree in commerce after Bcom. But that’s not the most popular choice after Bcom. Many students opt for CA, CS, CMA, CFA, etc after Bcom. In fact, Bcom and CA have formed an inseparable partnership in the last decade. But that’s not all. You can even go for MBA after Bcom if you wish to get into management.
Sadly, you won’t have many choices after BBA. If you’re planning to go for post-graduation, it’s an MBA for you. It doesn’t mean you can’t go anywhere else, but that’s not recommended. MBA is the best postgraduate course after BBA for students who wish to get into business management. Other than that, you can go for a Postgraduate diploma in management (PGDM) or Masters in management studies (MMS) after BBA. If that’s not your cup of tea, why did you even take BBA in the first place? You knew it’s about getting into the corporate field, right?
Then, another question pops up. Even after BCom, you can get admission for MBA. It gives you a wider range of choices as well. Then, what’s the point of going for BBA? The answer is simple. You will have an edge over others during the MBA program if you go for it after BBA. BBA is the undergraduate course of MBA and it gives you a basic understanding of what you’re going to learn during your MBA. You will be gaining more knowledge on what you already know. You don’t have to start anything new. I think that settles it.
Bcom courses train you for various roles that come under the commerce field. So, you will have plenty of options if you are looking for a job right after BCom. The most common career fields include commerce, accounting, finance, banking, and insurance. Students work as Accountants, tax consultants, bankers, employees in BPOs and KPOs, auditors, stockbrokers, financial consultants, insurance consultants, export and import managers, market researchers, economists, etc. after Bcom.
You will have plenty of options after BBA as well. You can opt for jobs in Finance & Accounting Management, HR Management, Marketing Management, Supply Chain Management, Tourism Management, etc after BBA. But it’s always recommended to go for an MBA after BBA. You will get entry-level marketing jobs after BBA. But if you really want to go big, it’s better to go for an MBA.
BBA vs BCom: Salary
Both Bcom and BBA graduates earn around the same if they go for a job right after graduation. The average starting salary for a BBA or BCom graduates ranges from 3-4 lakhs per year in India. The salary range can be different in other countries. For both the courses, further studies will surely add a few more zeros to your paycheck. An MBA graduate or Chartered accountant earns double or triple the amount someone with just a Bcom or BBA earns.
BBA vs BCom: College or course
As I said earlier, Bcom programs are designed to provide a theoretical understanding of subjects that comes under the field. As it’s more theory-oriented, I would say the course or the type of Bcom program is more important than the institute. You need to choose the college on the basis of the course structure they offer. That doesn’t mean ‘college’ doesn’t matter at all. Of course, it does. What I meant to say is, don’t join a college for Bcom just because the college is famous. For example, Christ University offers various Bcom programs. Just because the university holds a high reputation, don’t take up any program that has vacant seats. Maybe another reputed college like St Josephs will have seats for the program you want to be.
It’s just the opposite for BBA. Here the college matters a lot. As it requires practical exposure, the name of the college will easily get you internships and industrial experience. And also, they will be able to bring in more and better resources from the industry. Again, both ‘course’ and ‘college’ are important. But college has a slight edge here.
BBA and BCom are two popular undergraduate programs. While BBA instills an in-depth understanding of commerce and related concepts, BBA equips students with the necessary skills to thrive in the management field. The choice depends on the individual’s goals and aspirations. Always remember that you make your own destiny. Make sure that you invest time and thought before making your life-changing decisions. I hope the illustrated analysis have powered up your insights and have widened your perspectives.