Banking, in the modern world, has transformed itself into one of the most attractive career choices for students. An essential part of our daily lives, banks these days perform innumerable functions that go beyond their remit of conventional services. Originally designed to safeguard the money of people, banks have gone beyond their traditional operations and now offer a wide range of services like investment banking, mutual funds, insurances, online share trading etc. Such a wide spectrum of operations means that banks have become the ideal opportunity for a beginner to step into the world of finance and economics.
With the growing stature and spread of banks across different services, clearly a career in banking is a huge opportunity these days. There are a number of reasons which make a career in banking a very attractive option. Job satisfaction, above average salary packages, perks and time for family are some of the major pulls of this sector.
A key aspect that needs to be kept in mind is that the banking field is open to all and people from all backgrounds are employed in this field. With the IT revolution in banking, and increasing competition among banks, banks employ students from a variety of fields and value diversity in their workforce.
Currently, there are a total of 81 scheduled banks in India that have more than 53,000 branches. Considering the growth prospects of the country, it is estimated that nearly 7.5 lakh employment opportunities will be created in the sector in the coming 5 years. The openings in the banking sector cover the complete spectrum and include posts such as probationary and bank officers, IT officers and bank clerks. Apart from these, there are number of openings for those with professional degrees such as MBAs and CAs.
How to enter the world of Banking?
There are a number of ways through which you can gain a foothold in the banking world. Following are some of them:
You can join private sector banks, which follow their own recruitment process and on a number of occasions, hire students through campus placements.
The Public sector and government banks can be joined through entrance exams. 19 public sector banks accept IBPS scores. These banks are Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Dena Bank, Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Syndicate Bank, Union Bank of India, United Bank of India, UCO Bank and Vijaya Bank.
State Bank of India conducts separate tests like SBI PO, SBI Clerical and so on for their selection procedure.
In general, IBPS and other entrance exams for banks follow a similar pattern. These include sections on Reasoning, English Language, Quantitative Aptitude, General Awareness and Computer knowledge and a separate descriptive paper on English comprehension. Apart from these main areas, some test feature questions on topics such as managerial/clerical aptitude/office knowledge and some descriptive questions. On the basis of the scores obtained in the written examinations, candidates are called for interviews and some banks conduct personality assessment tests, such as group discussions, as a part of their entrance procedure.
The Future of Banking
The last few years have seen a proliferation of IT enabled services in all sectors of the Indian economy. This trend is only bound to continue, and its effect will be seen in the world of banking as well. With the Government planning on the expansion of roles of Banks, and including services such as subsidy transfers in their remit, the banking sector is all set to see a flip in the future. All those interested in this field would do well to plan a career in this growing field.