Who wins in Generalization vs Concentration?
Bachelors of Commerce or B. Com is an undergraduate degree in commerce (or business) and related subjects. It’s a 3-year programme with 2 semesters every year (6 semesters in total). The course is designed to provide students with a wide range of managerial skills and understanding about streams like Finance, Accounting, Taxation and Management. In addition to this, students are exposed to general business principles with courses in Business Management, Human Resources (HR), Marketing and Economics. Programmes may also require Business Statistics, Elementary Calculus and Information Systems.
On the other hand, BAF/B. Com (A&F) i.e. Bachelor of Accounting and Finance/ Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Finance is an undergraduate programme which was introduced by the University of Mumbai in the year 2003-04. It is a 3-year self-financing degree course spread across six semesters i.e. two semesters a year, focusing on the domains of Accounting and Finance. It also provides opportunities to gain a broader insight into the financial aspects of Business and Management. The objective of introducing this course was to enable self-employment and provide skilled professionals in the field of Accounting & Finance to organisations.
Difference in syllabi:
BAF or B. Com (A&F) is a subset of B. Com. It is a focused and more concentrated form of B. Com which aims towards a specialization in the discipline of Accounts and Finance while B. Com is a general overview, which focuses on all elements of Business such as Accounting, Business Administration, Law, Taxation and Finance.
|B. Com Subjects||BAF Subjects|
|Accounting & Finance Management||Financial accounting|
|Cost management||Cost accounting|
|Human Resource||Business Law|
|Export Management||Business communications|
To be eligible for admission to the 3-year degree course leading to the Bachelor of Commerce degree must have passed the Higher Secondary School Certificate (10+2) Examination conducted by different Divisional Boards of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.
Must have passed the Higher Secondary School Certificate (10+2) examination with vocational subjects/ minimum competency-based vocational courses conducted by various Divisional Boards of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.
Must have passed an examination of another University or Body recognized as equivalent to Higher Secondary School Certificate (10+2) Examination.
To be eligible for admission to BAF, the candidate must have passed the Higher Secondary School Certificate (10+2) Examination conducted by different Divisional Boards of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education or its equivalent and secured not less than 45% marks in aggregate at first attempt (40% in the case of reserved category students).
The above criteria difference clearly shows that it is easier to secure admission in B. Com than BAF with there being a 10% gap in the minimum marks required to be eligible for the two (35% or passing marks for B. Com while 45% for BAF). Students from Vocational courses can also opt for B. Com while BAF is not inclusive of such students.
Scope of B. Com vs BAF:
B. Com is intrinsically general in nature which gives a wider gamete of post-graduate courses to enrol oneself in as well as a greater number of job opportunities. Historically, generalized courses have had weak starting packages but that is slowly changing with jobs becoming more demanding, employees are expected to have a general understanding of everything pertaining to their field and then more. At the same time, BAF graduates will also see a rise in employment with employers looking for people with specific skill sets to work in the Finance and Accounting departments and hone those areas of the company.
So, what should I choose, B. Com or BAF?
There is no one correct answer to this question. But it is a valid question which needs to be addressed.
B. Com is for students who are basically good at accounting but are also open to having a plethora of subject choices for higher studies like Economics, Industrial Psychology, Human Resources (HR), Import-Export, etc. While BAF is for students who are determined to make a career in Accounting & Finance. Students looking at a career as a Chartered Accountant (CA) are recommended to take up BAF because it acts as a great foundation builder for a career based on Accounting and Finance like in the field of Chartered Accountancy.
Another major difference between the two is in the rigidity in the thing which is every college student’s worst nightmare- Attendance. With B. Com the attendance is a bit more flexible but with a self-financing course like BAF, there is bare minimum to no flexibility with attendance. BAF students need to meet their attendance criteria which are generally higher than the criteria for its generalized parent- B.Com.
Introspect, analyse and make an informed decision. As someone who is looking at a career in fields pertaining to business, I’d suggest a classic business-decision making tactic— ‘Do a SWOT Analysis.’ If you don’t know what that is, don’t fret. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. List down your Strengths and Weaknesses, look at the Opportunities and Threats in both B. Com and BAF and then tally them with your Strengths and Weaknesses. You’ll realize where it is that your skill set will serve better.
And if you’re highly confused between the two then my suggestion would be B. Com, simply because of the generality of its nature. BAF is for the students who know that they are in it for the long haul and are dead sure about where they want their career to be.
In the end, it all boils down to who you are as an individual, what your aspirations are and how are you planning to substantiate your ideas.