Career Options in Banking


 Is it possible to think of a life without an ATM card in our wallet? All of us want an ATM card so that it helps us when we need cash. Amongst all careers, the careers which are demanding and lucrative are always interesting for young people. One of the careers which have attracted many people over the years in our country is banking. 

Banks play an important role in our day-to-day life as they are the organisations that take care of the money of individuals and organisations. After economic liberation, there has been progress in banking as many private banks, whether national or international, are being operated in our country. Establishment of banks means new opportunities for young people and all those who are qualified for banking.
In India, the banking system was introduced in 1786 with the establishment of General bank and the Bank of Hindustan, which are now out of date. In 1806, East India Company established Bank of Calcutta which later became Bank of Bengal, and Bank of Bombay and Bank of Madras in 1840 and 1843 respectively. These three banks were merged in 1921 to form the Imperial Bank of India and after independence, it was nationalized and became the State Bank of India (SBI), which is the oldest bank in India. 
The oldest Joint Stock bank in India, Allahabad Bank was started in 1865 and in 1894, the Punjab National Bank, the first complete Indian bank, was established. Thereafter, a number of banks came up such as the Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Indian Bank and Bank of Mysore between the years 1906 and 1913. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was set up in 1935 and as per the Central Banking Authority, the RBI has got the powers for the supervision of banking in India. Apart from government or nationalised banks, there are also private banks which are operating in many parts of India.
Banking has grown exponentially as there has been a lot of progress in the field of information and technology. Now since things are done through technology, technical people are also required in the banking sector apart from banking professionals. Banking is a career with great opportunities. Candidates after 10+2 of any stream can take up banking as their career, but graduates specialized in Commerce, Mathematics or Economics; postgraduates, Chartered Accountants and Chartered Financial Analysts get more preference. Communication knowledge and ideas related to technology always helps those candidates who are aspiring for a job in the banking sector in the country or abroad.
Nationalized banks recruit candidates through competitive examinations while private banks recruit candidates with MBA degree or Chartered Accountants directly. Selection depends upon the qualification of the candidates. International banks usually go for experienced candidates for managerial posts. Public sector banks recruit graduates at the entry level (as probationary officers) on the basis of an All India Level examination. All India Test for professionals (for senior post) who wish to enter the banking profession is being conducted. Bank Clerical Grade Examination is held for the clerical posts in banks. The Banking Service Recruitment Boards recruits for various posts in nationalized banks (including State Bank of India) in their respective regions. The Reserve Bank of India, the topmost financial institution in India, conducts tests for three types of entry level positions like clerical grade, Grade I officers and Grade II officers.
SBI Probationary Officers: This is the Junior Management Level direct entry point for dynamic young graduates in SBI. A probationary officer gets exposed to challenging assignments and also gets the opportunity to get involved in pioneering technological and financial activities for the Indian Banking industry.
SBI Junior Associate: Young graduates are recruited as Junior Associates in the clerical cadre. The Bank offers fast track growth opportunities wherein Junior Associates are eligible for promotion in Officer Cadre on completion of 3 years of service.
IBPS: The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection, also known as IBPS, is a recruitment body that was started with an aim to encourage the recruitment and placement of young graduates in public sector banks in India (except SBI). It also provides standardized systems for assessment and result processing services to organizations. Aspirants may look at the details on the website of IBPS.
Some of the courses related to banking are M.B.A Banking; M.Com. Banking and Insurance, Post Graduate Diploma in Banking, Insurance and Financial Services Management. Apart from this there are other diplomas and certificate courses which help the candidates for a career in banking. Banking sector will progress more when there is a rise in population. Apart from all nationalised or foreign banks, there are also rural banks which are mainly for the progress of rural areas. Many state government tie-up with nationalised banks to manage the rural banks. These rural banks also bring possibilities for local young people. 
All those who want to work in the nationalised banks must prepare for the competitive examinations. Apart from SBI PO or IBPS process, there are some other selections in the private banks. Private banks also hire and engage dynamic young people in the banking sector.
Apart from fully nationalized banks, aspirants may also look into careers in banks like Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, etc. Generally most of us used to think that only students studying commerce or economics join banks later on in life. Nowadays, students from different academic backgrounds are also joining banks. We see mostly engineers joining different banks, whether they are nationalised or private. 
n Environmental Fellowships: The Harvard University Center for the Environment is awarding approximately six environmental fellowships for 2018. Fellowships are available in the Environmental program to enable recent doctorate recipients to use and expand Harvard's extraordinary resources to tackle complex environmental problems. Last date is 17th January.
n Scholarships at University of Reading in UK: The University of Reading is inviting applications from students in India and other developing countries. These scholarships are available for pursuing full-time MPhil/Ph.D. programme or Taught Masters programme in September 2018. Last date is 30th January.
n Sainik School Entrance Examination: Aspiring students may apply for the All India Sainik Schools Entrance Exam to be held on 7th January. Admission in Sainik School Goalpara is only in Class VI & IX and last date to submit application form is 5th December. Selection is made through an All India Entrance Examination followed by medical test and interview. Scholarships from government are also available for the students.
n Gates Cambridge Scholarships: The Gates Cambridge Scholarships are one of the most prestigious international scholarships in the world. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge including tuition fees, maintenance allowance, travel costs, etc. It also provides additional, discretionary funding such as academic development funding, family allowance, fieldwork, etc. Last date is 6th December.
Ranjan K Baruah is a social activist and career mentor who has conducted career awareness programme in different parts of Assam and Northeast India and can be reached at [email protected] or 98640 55558 for any career related queries