If you have completed the 10+2 examinations or about to sit for your 12th board examinations, you must be familiar with the common dilemma faced by students to choose the next best course for undergraduate study.
Commerce is one of the most coveted fields after science. With comprehensive courses provided by the universities in the country, students can have very good career prospects in India and even abroad.
There are also good scopes for higher studies in this field. Many students who have chosen the commerce stream for their 10+2 are interested in pursuing management careers.
Courses like BBA and BCom can be the stepping stones to a career in management or other fields like Chartered Accountant or Cost Accountant.
However, there is a huge debate on which one of the two courses has better prospects. So in this detailed post, we are going to discuss the similarities and differences of BBA and BCom as undergraduate courses and which one of them fares better when future prospects are considered.
Basic Comparison of the courses
BBA or Bachelor of Business Administration is a three-year undergraduate program focussing on the fields of business and management.
It is a professional course that prepares the students to enter a career in management with the necessary skills like managerial skills, operational and marketing knowledge and related expertise.
The curriculum involves subjects like Marketing Management, Operations Management, Business Policies, Behavioral Techniques, Capital Markets, etc.
Students also learn about International Business, Human Resource Management, and Finance. It is a course tailored to make the students industry-ready.
BBA can be a good foundation for students interested in pursuing an MBA or Masters in Business Administration, an extremely prospective career path. Several B-Schools and universities in India and abroad offer BBA Degree for undergraduates.
Students from almost all streams are eligible for a BBA course after their 10+2. Some of the institutes may require students to have Mathematics in their 12th standard. There is usually an entrance examination for admission to BBA courses.
BCom is Bachelor of Commerce, a course which is offered by many universities across India. It is a three-year undergraduate course and can be studied as an Honours course.
The curriculum covers the fundamentals of the field like Accountancy, Finance, Industrial Policy, Economics, etc. The course offers comprehensive knowledge of the field, focussing more on the theoretical aspects.
After graduation students may choose to pursue MCom or Masters of Commerce or pursue different fields like MBA, Chartered Accountancy, Cost Accountancy, etc.
Few students may also pursue postgraduate courses in Law, International Studies and other varied fields.
BCom is usually pursued by students from commerce streams and science streams as Mathematics is an important eligibility criterion for admission. Admission to the universities for BCom is based on merit or admission tests.
BBA vs BCom
Similarities in the Course Structure
BBA and BCom have several similarities in the course structure. However, BCom focuses on the theoretical aspects more than the professional and real-world applications of the subjects.
On the other hand, BBA involves practical applications and students may learn with the help of projects and case studies. Here we have presented the course structure of both BBA and BCom for students to compare.
- Principles of Management
- Business Mathematics and Statistics
- Business Economics
- Operations Research
- Financial and Management Accounting
- Production and Materials Management
- Personnel Management and Industrial Relations
- Marketing Management
- Business data processing
- Business Laws
- Business Organization & Management
- Business and Industrial Laws
- Business Mathematics and Statistics
- Computer Applications in Business
- Business Environment
- Accountancy (Financial and Cost Accountancy)
- Financial Management
- Company Law
- Marketing Management
- International Trade
- Human Resource Management.
For BCom students may choose Honours subjects and additional subjects depending on their interest.
Prospects for Higher Studies
Students pursuing BBA can pursue MBA or Post Graduate Diploma in Management for better career prospects. A major advantage of a BBA graduate pursuing an MBA will be that they will be studying subjects they are already familiar with, only in details.
To be eligible for an MBA course, students can appear for different management entrance examinations conducted in India like CAT, XAT, NMAT, MAT, CMAT, SNAP, etc. or can pursue an International MBA by clearing GMAT.
Students can opt for one among the two types of MBA courses – Generalized MBA and Specialized MBA.
Generalized MBA – It has a curriculum that usually covers subjects like Accounting, Financial Management, Funds Management, Marketing strategies, Operations Management, Human Resource Management,etc.
Specialized MBA – It involves the study of the fundamental principles of management similar to the Generalized MBA course along with an emphasis on a core subject. The most popular subjects that are chosen by MBA students are Human Resource or HR, Finance, Marketing Management, Information Technology or IT, International Business among others.
- MBA in HR – A student pursuing an MBA in HR is trained in the field of employee management, which deals with hiring and training employees and planning strategies for managing the employees of an organization
- MBA in IT – An MBA in IT will provide the students with the necessary skills to manage the technology associated with the business. It is one of the most coveted fields and is crucial to the growth of an organization. The course covers aspects like System Analysis, Information Security and the latest technological changes in the field of business.
- MBA in Finance – Students joining an MBA Program specializing in Finance will learn about the economic and financial aspects of a business. This course will be especially beneficial to students who are good in Mathematics or are interested in numbers. The course covers different aspects of local and global economies, investments and strategies, mergers and acquisitions, etc.
- MBA in Marketing Management – An MBA in Marketing Management will focus on the aspects of the marketing department of an organization. Students will learn about marketing management, develop operational skills and soft skills necessary for a career in the field.
Students also have options to enter courses like LLB, CFA, Marketing courses, Certification Programs, Human Resource courses, etc. after completing their BBA.
A large number of students pursue an MCom after completing their Bcom. MCom course involves providing more detailed knowledge of the subjects like Business Administration, Accounting, Economics, etc.
However, there are other scopes for higher studies after a BCom degree[i] as well. Some of the popular choices are –
- Chartered Accountancy (CA) – It is one of the most coveted career paths for BCom graduates who are interested in crunching numbers.
Admission to CA course will require students to clear an entrance examination called CPT of Common Proficiency Test.
Passing this test will make the students eligible for the IPCC or Integrated Professional Competence Course, which covers the entire CA curriculum.
The IPCC will be a 9 months course after which students will be required to enroll for a 3-year internship.
Students can take the CA final examination in the last six months of internship and complete a General Management and Communication Skills Program.
- Cost Accounting – Students pursuing Cost Accounting learn how to prepare strategies and handle the finances of an organization.
The course involves three levels – Foundation, Intermediate, and Final. The curriculum covers four subjects Fundamentals of Economics & Management,Fundamentals of Accounting,Fundamentals of Laws & Ethics, and Fundamentals of Business Mathematics & Statistics.
- MBA – Students with a BCom degree can be eligible to pursue a post-graduate degree in management after clearing the entrance examinations and with a certain average percentage of marks in their qualifying examination.
Career & Job Prospects
The main difference between BBA and BCom is visible on the career prospects that are offered by each course. While BBA can direct the students towards a well-established management career, BCom can open a wider avenue with several career options like CA, Company Secretary-ships, etc.
Students pursuing BBA can find lucrative management jobs in the following fields –
- FMCG and Consumer Durable companies
- IT companies
- Advertising agencies
After completing BCom, students can enter a wide variety of fields in different industries like –
- Consultancy firms
- Tax Practitioner
- Junior Accountant
The career prospects can certainly improve for a student with a BCom degree after he/she has completed their MCom. Also, BCom graduates can enter the management fields after getting an MBA.
Here we have presented a detailed picture of the various career prospects presented by both degrees.
A student with a BBA degree can enter the management profession or the corporate workforce to perform the following roles in an organization, after completing their MBA. All the career paths after an MBA can lead to well-paid jobs in reputed organizations.
- Human Resource Manager – The role of a Human Resource Manager is quite vital in an organization as he/she will be entrusted with recruiting efficient employees and looking after employee interests. The Human Resource Manager can work towards the growth of the organization and improve the efficiency of the workers.
- Operations Team Leader – The Operations Team Leader is responsible for the services provided by the organization to the clients and is also responsible for maintenance of company assets and resources.
- Project Manager – Project Manager administers over the work of the employees and reports about the progress of the projects undertaken by the organization to the higher authorities.
- Solutions Applications Product (SAP) Consultant–A SAP Consultant guides the organization working with the help of SAP software. The consultant is also responsible for informing the company about the latest upgrades and technological advances in the field.
- Business Development Executive – A Business Development Executive is responsible for studying market trends and prepares strategies to help the business grow.
A graduate with a BCom degree can enter the following professions, after completing the relevant postgraduate courses.
Chartered Accountant – A Chartered Accountant is responsible for managing the accounts of an organization, auditing the taxes and providing financial advice to the firm. It is a very lucrative and valued position in any organization.
Cost Accountant – The role of a Cost Accountant is to plan the annual budget of the firm. It is also a very coveted career path that can lead to a very successful career.
Company Secretary – Company Secretaries, hold one of the most important positions in an organization. They are responsible for supervising day to day operations, administrative duties, legal functions, and other important functions to run the company. It is a very valued position in any firm.
Cost and Management Accountants (CMA) – The job profiles of CMAs involve preparing strategies for the development of the company and improve profits.
Financial Manager– A Financial Manager is responsible for looking after the financial resources of the company and the proper utilization of the funds. They are also responsible for the profits and losses suffered by the company.
So, both BBA and BCom degrees can help the students enter lucrative careers. However, both the degrees do not guarantee well-paid jobs with only Bachelor Degrees.
Students have to complete post graduation or specialized courses to be able to start a successful career.
Although students having BCom or BBA degree can appear for government examinations after completing their undergraduate courses, the career path may not depend much on their field of study.
BBA vs BCom – Which is better?
If you are a student who is interested in pursuing the field of commerce, wants to learn in-depth about various aspects of the field and is also interested in numbers, BCom can be a good choice for you.
If you are interested in a career in management and want to develop the required skills to enter the management profession only, BBA can be an easier choice.
BBA is a professional course where the curriculum involves more practical workshops and case studies. Thus it may appear to be an easier course for students to score a good percentage in their qualifying examination.
On the other hand, BCom provides in-depth knowledge about the field and prepares students to choose a variety of career paths related to the field.
Moreover, students with a BCom degree can enter the management fields and legal fields after post graduation courses in the same. But a student with a BBA degree cannot pursue an MCom, and his/her prospect for higher studies can appear limited.
When eligibilities are considered, BBA can be easier to get admission to, as students from almost all streams are allowed to take admission to the course.
Getting admission to a BCom (Hons) program can be difficult as the universities can have stricter eligibility criteria.
Both BBA and BCom can be good career choices if it matches your aptitude, skill, and interests. A good career is based on how much effort you put in rather than your field of study.
However, as seen from the comparisons. a student can choose BCom if they are interested in Mathematics and willing to learn the nitty-gritty of accountancy, economics and other related subjects that are needed to run an organization.
On the other hand, a student pursuing BBA may find it easier to pursue an MBA degree and enter the management profession equipped with the necessary skills they develop during their undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
So, before you can start choosing an undergraduate course after your 12th standard, you should determine your interests and career goals, whether you are intrigued by the numbers or whether you are more interested in knowing about the real world applications of business.