76% graduates and final year students who took the ‘Finance & Accounting Competency Test’ conducted by Masters’ Union, one of India’s leading B-schools, were found to be unemployable and lacking on several fronts when it came to skill requirements for early-stage finance roles. The F&A test, conducted on May 20, 2022 saw participation from over 5000 students from across the country, out of which only 24% could qualify across all parameters. On the other hand, demand for entry-level roles in the banking, financial services and insurance sectors has increased exponentially post the pandemic. According to Monster.com, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) has continued to remain the fastest sector witnessing job recovery with a 54% annual growth rate this year. Flush with funds, several fin-tech startups across the country have also been on a hiring spree. The Global Capability Centers (GCCs) which are expected to add over 2 lakh jobs to India this fiscal, have already added over 60,000 BFSI jobs this year and are expected to produce more in the coming months.
Some of the top entry level finance roles which are in-demand across industries include Financial Controller, Financial Accountant, R2R Financial Analyst, Financial Reporting Specialist, O2C Financial Analyst, and P2P Financial Analyst. The F&A Test was conducted to map the skill levels of students keeping these roles in mind. The test covered six key parameters – financial reasoning, logical reasoning, quantitative reasoning, data-based reasoning, verbal reasoning, and diagrammatic reasoning. While close to 60% students were found lacking when it came to quantitative skills, 36% were found lacking in data-based reasoning, 27% in logical reasoning, 25% in diagrammatic reasoning and an alarming 42% in verbal reasoning.
Pratham Mittal, Director, Masters’ Union said, “We are witnessing great demand for entry level talent in finance given the recovery being witnessed by BFSI companies, GCCs as well as startups. However, it is disheartening to note the massive skill gap that currently exists in the industry. One of the reasons for this is the lack of industry focused, application-oriented graduate courses in finance, like we do in engineering today. We need programs that integrate academics with real life projects and assignments, and train students on tools like SAP and Power BI, which are par for the course in the world of finance today. Then there is the massive learning gap due to COVID which has left students grappling with the basics. The need of the hour is for students to look at the role requirements of corporates and upskill themselves accordingly to bag these opportunities.”