If you cannot join an engineering college or a medical college, there is no need to despair. Better life is available in banking: good office, job security, decent salary and career prospects to reach the Top.  Remember that BEs / B Techs / IITians also join Banks.

Do you know Mr. O P Bhat, Retired Chairman, State Bank of India (SBI) was MA in Literature? One MD of SBI was a Civil Engineer, one MD of State bank of Travancore was a M Sc (Physics). If you are a member of LinkedIn, you can see the qualifications of professionals. They are quite varied.

Whatever you are doing now (I year or III year of graduation), on the side, start preparing for banking competitive examinations. Keep learning everyday about all happenings around. If you join a bank as probationary officer at 20/21 years of age, and if you shape yourself well in a professional way, there are chances of you becoming the Chairman. The goal is not so much in job titles (of becoming Chairman /MD/ Deputy Governor) per-se but the contribution you make (to the Society and to the Bank) will provide you expanded opportunity towards senior-most level in the bank. You add value to yourself thereby adding value to the Society.

SBI comes out with an advertisement every year. Recruitments to other public sector banks also happen frequently. Apply for Probationary Officer position. For other public sector banks, IBPS (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection) is the Government autonomous recruiting body, both for Officers and clerks. (See ibps.in) The highest position is MD &CEO.

For joining RBI as an officer, the examination is conducted by RBI Services Board. A career in RBI provides excellent opportunities for personal and professional growth. One can reach the level of Deputy Governor in RBI. RBI offices are only in state capitals.  You can see opportunities.rbi.org.in.

Join a coaching institute, buy concerned journals/ books for the exams and compete. Coaching improves your competitive ability. For coaching for the competitive exams of SBI and PSBs,  JS Institute of Banking and Finance based at Jayanagar, Bangalore and Race School in Chennai seem popular, but there are many such institutes, possibly one close to you.. See jsinstitute.co.in for details.

ICICI Manipal Academy for Banking and Insurance is a joint venture between ICICI and Manipal Global Education Services (MaGE), set up to train selected personnel of ICICI Bank in order to ensure they are ‘Industry Ready’ at the time of completion of the programme (in 12 Months).

See: ima.manipal.edu for details.

Similarly, recruitment of probationary officers (PO) to Bank of Baroda is done through Baroda Manipal School of Banking. Successful completion of 9 months campus programme leads to appointment as PO. The selection process is done by the Bank through online exam. The fees for the 9 months course is about 3.5 lakhs to be paid by the student. Educational loans are granted by the Bank at a lower rate of interest, repayable in 7 years. After completion of 5 years of active service in the Bank, the course fee of Rs 3.45 lacs is reimbursed by the Bank as Loyalty Bonus. See: bank of baroda.in/baroda-manipalschool for details.

General advantages in the banking career:

  1. You get the job on your own merit. No bribe to anyone.
  2. You have a decent office.
  3. You have a decent living with all types of perks: newspaper, rent, furniture, petrol reimbursement etc. (Varies from bank to bank)
  4. You will be transferred all over India; You can see different people, and places.
  5. You can be posted abroad (SBI & some PSBs)- all over the world for 3/4/5 years. (Under COVID 19, this has a taken a twist).
  6. Training is imparted at periodic intervals and one can learn a lot.(only for promising officers and not for ‘passengers’)
  7. Honest persons  can have a career in a honest system
  8. Great learning and varied experiences: Credit (Agriculture, MSME, Corporate, Retail), Foreign Exchange, Treasury, IT, Risk Management, Economics, HR, Data Analysis, Audit, Teaching in Staff Training Colleges, …..You can cover many areas in your postings.

Risks:

  • Transfers – School education for children will be varied and admission is a trying time
  • Dealing with money is risk – it can be managed with care, vigilance and discipline. Carelessness will lead to suspension/dismissal.
  • One should be meticulous in the job.
  • While handling credit portfolio, borrowers can cheat/ defraud the bank and your name can get involved. But, with meticulous compliance of laid down systems, due diligence and honest dealings, one need not worry.

Requirements for career progression:

  1. Learn, Learn, Learn from circulars, RBI website, professional magazine/s, daily (ordinary and business) newspaper, book throughout your career
  2. Get certifications in many areas from Indian Institute of Banking & Finance. Finish your CAIIB immediately (Part I &II).
  3. Develop your IQ and EQ
  4. Play fair

All the above are possible for a goal oriented, self-motivated, determined person.

Midway, some executives jump to private sector banks / NBFCs/ IT companies.

After retirement at very senior level, you can be a Director on a company’s Board, Consultant, Guest Faculty in Training College, or join an IT company.