Academy of BFSI,

Banking Specialist vs Generalist: The Better Career Path

Going for an MBA in Finance is the logical next step after pursuing a banking Diploma such as the one from Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). There is, however, one more choice to be made after this – choosing the electives for your specialization in the MBA program. This is crucial as it will not only provide a head start to your career but will also set the direction of your career trajectory. But how do you decide which banking subject/elective is right for you?

As the roles in the BFSI industry become more diverse, there is an increasing need for specialists who have in-depth knowledge in various areas. According to the Future of Jobs in India: A 2022 perspective report, 20% to 25% of the existing generalist banking jobs such as data entry operator, data verification personnel, bank teller, cashier and underwriter are under existential threat, and new banking job roles that demand high expertise will be on the rise.

Let’s look at three trends of the finance industry that make the case for why you should aim to become a banking specialist rather than a banking generalist.

Increased hiring of specialists to drive growth

BFSI sector’s growth has resulted in the rise of careers such as forex trading, credit management, risk management, etc. which are highly technical in nature. Financial firms are looking to hire specialists who are equipped to manage the current industry challenges such as reimagining business models to stay relevant to the next generation of investors and figuring ways to embed disruptive technologies like AI and ML in customer experience and decision making. From commercial to state-owned lenders such as Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank and State Bank of India, banks are eyeing specialized talent to meet the skill demand of the new-age banking careers. They are aiming to on-board talent for niche functions like wealth management, strategy, digital marketing, and customer service – across hierarchies. This is because in-depth area expertise is a must to grow the bottom line amidst the massive technological revolution in the industry. Even global financial institutions such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs prefer to hire investment specialists and client advisors to manage their high net worth individuals (HNWI) clientele.

Data and analytics will be at the core of banking functions

Big data has emerged as one of the key trends across all industries, including BFSI. Digital transformation and automation are opening up opportunities for more strategic roles with deep expertise in banking subjects. The 2019 Banking and Capital Markets Outlook published by Deloitte reveals that this year, the focus areas for financial institutions (FIs) will be mastering data management, modernizing core infrastructure, embracing AI, and migrating to the public cloud. Data-driven marketing is another area where financial institutions are going to invest heavily in the coming years. This makes banking related courses such as Data Analytics, Banking Analytics, Marketing Analytics and Digital Marketing a top-notch choice for banking professionals who are looking to upgrade their career in banking jobs.

Customizing user experience will be a priority

Given the high rate of competition in the finance industry, FIs are focusing heavily on enhancing customer experience and increasing personalization. According to the Econsultancy’s 2018 Digital Trends in Financial Services report, 28% of about 700 industry leaders agreed that optimizing customer experience was the “single most exciting opportunity”. Even other industry reports such as Deloitte’s 2019 Banking and Capital Markets Outlook indicate a similar trend for FIs in terms of a huge emphasis on creating value for customers. Professional experts in wealth/portfolio management, risk management, credit management, etc. will be in high demand as these are highly personalized services sought out by today’s well-informed customers.

Assessing the latest skill demands of today’s banking jobs, especially in commercial bank careers, MAHE has designed a curriculum that offers a wide range of banking courses after graduation. Program participants can choose any three electives from nine specialization areas – Digital Marketing, Credit Management, Treasury & Forex Management, Trade Finance, Investment and Wealth Management, Risk Management, Data Analytics, Banking Analytics, Marketing Analytics.

Specialized banking programs equip you with the skills needed for the modern jobs that are not only more engaging but high paying as well. So choose the right one for you by combining your interests and experience with predicted job trends.

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