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B.Com vs Actuarial Science: Check Eligibility, Course Structure, Syllabus, Career Scope

Rajneesh Shukla
Rajneesh ShuklaUpdated On: September 29, 2022 11:01 pm IST

Debating between B.Com and Actuarial Science courses? Here are some differences and similarities between the courses which include the course structure, eligibility criteria, career scope and more.

Differences Between B.Com and Actuarial Science

In India, there is a huge demand for courses in commerce, banking, and finance, and there are many students pursuing these courses in schools all throughout the country. The three-year Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) programme, which trains and educates students in the various facets of commerce, banking, finance, accounting, etc., is one of the most popularly chosen degrees.

Actuarial Science, on the other hand, is a much less popular topic of study that instructs students in the use of various statistical and mathematical techniques to evaluate the magnitude of financial risks. Actuarial science analyses and resolves the financial circumstances of uncertain future events using probability analysis and statistics.

In this article, we'll discuss the differences between the two courses, B.Com and Actuarial Science, including the curriculum, eligibility criteria, admission procedure, potential career paths, and more.

About B.Com Courses

Bachelor of Commerce, or B.Com, is a three-year undergraduate degree. With the goal of preparing students for employment in the fields of banking, accounting, insurance, and finance, B.Com studies teach analytical skills, financial literacy, business acumen, business laws, taxation understanding, etc.

Top B.Com Colleges in India, like Shri Ram College of Commerce, Hindu College, Ramjas College, Loyola College, etc., provide B.Com admissions based on merit and a variety of entrance examinations. IPU CET, CUET, NPAT, BHU UET, and others are some of the main entrance tests held for enrolling students in B.Com programmes.

Aspirants for the three-year B Com degree will study fundamental commerce courses including finance, economics, accounting, business management, etc. while also learning about general business principles.

A class 12 or equivalent exam score of 50% is the basic minimum necessity for admission to B.Com programmes. The most popular and desired course among students majoring in commerce is B.Com. Taxation, Economics, Accounts, and other related topics are covered in-depth in the B.Com syllabus. The B.Com course's most popular subjects are from B.Com (Honors).

The average course fee for B.Com ranges from INR 2500 to INR 65,000 and the average annual salary of b.com graduates ranges from INR 2,50,000 to INR 5,00,000.

About Actuarial Science Courses

Actuarial science courses cover topics including calculating insurance risk, insurance premiums, and using economic and mathematical analysis to make decisions about investments in insurance, financial planning, among other topics.

In simpler terms, Actuarial science is like a weather forecast, which predicts the weather based on formulas and presumptions. Based on statistics and probability, actuaries advise businesses and individuals about the risks investors may experience in the future.

There are several levels of actuarial science courses available, mainly in the management stream. Actuarial science courses, such as B.Sc Actuarial Science, M.Sc Actuarial Science, and PG Diploma in Actuarial Science, are offered by colleges like Amity University, Aligarh Muslim University, University of Mysore, Mumbai University, and others.

AIMA UGAT, SET, AUCET, and other entrance exams for undergraduate and graduate programmes are used to determine admission to the universities that provide actuarial science programmes.

A few of the key information about actuarial science courses that students should be aware of before enrolling in actuarial science courses is provided below.

At the UG and PG levels, students can pursue an Actuarial Science degree with Actuarial Science as one of the specializations.

For students interested in actuarial sciences, certificate, diploma, UG, and PG level courses are available.

Coursera, Udemy, and EdX all offer a variety of short-term certificates in addition to full-time degree programmes online.

The length of actuarial science courses may vary depending on the degree level, whether it’s an undergraduate degree, postgraduate degree, diploma, or a certificate course.

The average cost of pursuing actuarial sciences courses is between INR 2,000 and INR 1,80,000.

Graduates of actuarial science programmes can find employment as financial analysts, risk managers, budget analysts, economists, auditors, cost estimators, and more. The average annual salaries provided for these job types range from INR 3.5 lakhs to INR 12 lakhs.

Why study B.Com? 

One of the most well-known commerce degrees is the bachelor of commerce, or B Com. Professionals with a Bachelor of Commerce degree are in high demand both domestically and globally and have access to rewarding employment prospects.

Some advantages of enrolling in a bachelor of commerce programme are listed below:

Numerous Work Opportunities: The financial market, banking industry, accountancy businesses, etc. are all experiencing a surge in job opportunities. The job opportunities for graduates of bachelor's in commerce programmes are growing as these businesses expand daily.

Higher Education Options: Higher education opportunities are available to those who have completed a Bachelor of Commerce programme. These opportunities include skill upgrades and employment with high-paying companies. CMA, CA, CS, MBA, and other advanced degrees are some of the alternatives available after completing a Bachelor of Commerce programme. Moving up the hierarchy is made easier by these courses.

Good Pay: Graduates of the Bachelor of Commerce programme can expect to make between INR 2,50,000 and INR 5,30,000 LPA depending on their talents, skills and experience.

Establishing a startup: After completing the Bachelor of Commerce programme, students have the choice to use their degree and newly gained skills to work on their own and launch their own companies.

After completing their B.Com degree, students might get employment in the banking and finance industries. Following their B.Com degree, many students pursue lucrative careers in finance. With experience, the finance department in all industries has a tonne of potential for B.Com graduates. There is also tremendous potential for students who desire to stick with the business or marketing domain. By 2025, the Indian Fintech business would be worth INR 6.2 trillion, opening up numerous chances for those in the financial industry. In addition to the expanding fintech industry, mutual funds and insurance also provide a variety of alternatives for B.Com graduates.

Why study Actuarial Science? 

Most actuaries adore their careers because they can put their skills to good use and make a real difference. I like to think that I'm assisting people, I assist them in obtaining quality medical treatment and helping them prepare for old age. I'm stimulating economic expansion, as one actuary put it. But there are a tonne of other fantastic reasons to think about becoming an actuary:

Highly Ranked Career Option: One of the best careers in most countries including India. Actuarial Science course has constantly been rated highly and is one of the most respectable professions of all times.

Awesome Head-Start: The first five years of an actuary's career can see a salary double.

Job Stability: In uncertain times, actuaries like their certainties. As the globe faces risk, our services are constantly in demand.

Stunning impact: Actuaries take part in important corporate decisions and offer practical solutions across all sectors.

Work-life Equilibrium: Being an actuary offers you more than a rewarding career; it also enables you to maintain a low-stress, highly desired work/life balance.

B.Com vs Actuarial Science Eligibility Criteria

The necessary B.Com and Actuarial Science eligibility requirements must be met by applicants who want to enroll in either of the two programmes. There are general requirements that must be satisfied by all applicants, even if the college delivering any of the courses will determine the eligibility requirements.

B.Com Eligibility Criteria

Some of the standard eligibility requirements for B.Com admissions in 2022 are included below because different universities have varying requirements.

  • Candidates must have successfully finished class 12 or an equivalent exam from an accredited board.
  • Candidates must have acquired a minimum aggregate percentage of 50%(for general category) in their class 12th from a recognized board in India with a relaxation of 5% in the required minimum aggregate percentage (for SC/ST/PwD categories). 
  • Each college has a different cutoff percentage for admission to the B.Com programme. The cutoff for B.Com admission at Delhi University is around 99%, whereas it might be as low as 45% at other institutes.
  • Students from any stream whether science, humanities, arts, or commerce  are eligible to apply for B.Com admission.
  • A few of the reputed institutes hold entrance exams for B.Com admissions. Based on their performance in such entrance exams, candidates are admitted to either three-year undergraduate B.Com or B.Com (Hons.) courses.

Actuarial Science Course Eligibility Criteria

The qualifying requirements that must be met in order to enroll in an actuarial science course are listed below:

For Undergraduate Courses

Following are the minimum requirements for admission to an undergraduate actuarial science course:

  • The candidate must have completed 10+2 with Math as a compulsory subject
  • There is no upper age limit for applicants to apply for the actuarial science undergraduate course
  • A minimum cumulative grade of 50% in 10+2 with math as a compulsory subject is required. Candidates must note that the minimum aggregate percentage requirement differs from institute to institute.

Note: If candidates pass their 10+2 exam and then submit an application for admission to the undergraduate course, their acceptance will depend on the verification of the necessary paperwork.

For Postgraduate Courses

The minimum requirements to be met for admission to the postgraduate actuarial science courses are mentioned below:

  • Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree in statistics, mathematics, or actuarial science.
  • The required minimum aggregate score is 50 to 60% in graduation.
  • It is mandatory for the candidates to have studied statistics and mathematics in their graduation.

B.Com vs Actuarial Science Entrance Exams 

There are a few popular entrance exams held by various reputed institutes to admit candidates to B.Com and Actuarial science courses. Let’s take a course-wise look at them.

B.Com Entrance Exams

A few of the popular B.Com entrance exams are as mentioned below in the table.

CUET

BHU UET

IPU CET

NPAT

SUAT

AIMA UGAT

CUCET

-

Actuarial Science Entrance Exams

A few of the popular entrance exams for actuarial science undergraduate and postgraduate courses are as mentioned in the table below:

For UG Courses

For PG Courses

UPSEE

ACET

IPU CET

KU PGCET

SET

SKUCET

AIMA UGAT

AUCET

Only the Institute of Actuaries of India offers a formal actuarial science course (IAI). IAI administers its own Actuarial Common Entrance Test, a university-level entrance examination (ACET). Three times per year, in April, June, and December, ACET is administered. Three stages of the exam are CT, CA, and ST. To receive IAI recognition of one's credentials as an actuary, one must pass all three phases. After clearing 10 examinations, a candidate becomes an Associate of IAI, and after passing 13 exams, they become a Fellow of IAI.

Note: As it is required for qualified students, candidates must register for membership within three years of passing the ACET.

Course Structure and Syllabus: B.Com vs Actuarial Science

Among the major differences between the two courses lie in the course structure and syllabus of the courses. While B.Com is a full-fledged 3-year undergraduate course offered in B.Com colleges across India, Actuarial Science operates more on the lines of Chartered Accountancy, however, there are differences between CA and Actuarial Science.

While on one hand, to graduate B.Com, students are required to clear all of their semester exams and subjects within a stipulated time, those pursuing Actuarial Science would be required to clear a series of examinations and subjects. The Actuarial Science course does not follow a set pattern of a degree course.

As per the course structure of Actuarial Science, candidates are expected to clear 15 subjects in order to become a Fellow Member of the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI). On clearing all 9 exams, the career prospects become highly lucrative. However, unlike B.Com, candidates will be able to pursue a career in Actuaries after clearing 2-3 examinations themselves. While it is possible to pursue a career, the issue of the dearth in the number of qualified and skilled qualifications remains unsolved.

Those interested in checking out the differences in the subjects and topics that are covered between B.Com and Actuary Sciences, then check out the following table.

Actuary Science

B.Com

Mathematics

Financial Accounting

Statistics

Micro & Macro Economics

English

Direct and Indirect Taxes

Data Interpretation

Banking and Insurance

Logic

Fundamentals of Financial Management

Cost Accounting

International Business

Financial Markets and Institutions

You can check out the detailed articles that have been covered on Actuarial Science and B.Com separately if you wish to learn more about the Syllabus that must be covered by students of either of the courses.

B.Com vs Actuarial Science Top Colleges

B.Com Top Colleges

In India, there are over 8,840 B.Com colleges, including private and government institutions. A few of the reputed colleges hold undergraduate level entrance exams to admit candidates to either B.Com (General) or B.Com (Hons.) undergraduate degree courses. The course fee for most of the B.Com colleges in India ranges from INR 10,000 to INR 60,000.

Below we have provided a few of the top B.Com colleges as per the NIRF ranking 2022.

NIRF Ranking 2022

Institute Name

1

Shri Ram College of Commerce

2

Lady Shri Ram college for Women

3

Chandigarh University

4

Loyola College

5

Woxsen University

6

Hindu College

7

Jain University

8

Hansraj College

9

Kalinga University

Actuarial Science Top Colleges

A few of the top colleges for the actuarial science undergraduate and postgraduate courses are mentioned below in the table.

For UG Courses

Institute Name

Location

Average Course Fee

Jamia Millia Islamia

Delhi

INR 8,800

Manipal Academy of Higher Education

Manipal

INR 1.6 Lakhs

Bharathiar University

Coimbatore

INR 46,100

Amity University

Noida

INR 52,500

Gujarat University

Ahmedabad

INR 37,600

Bangalore University

Bangalore

INR 84,200

Calicut University

Malappuram

INR 18,000

For PG Courses

Institute Name

Location

Average Course Fee

Banaras Hindu University

Varanasi

INR 30,767

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

Coimbatore

INR 40,200

Calcutta University

Kolkata

INR 2,314

Jamia Millia Islamia

New Delhi

INR 7,900

Aligarh Muslim University

Aligarh

INR 72,400

University of Madras

Chennai

INR 25,000

Osmania University

Hyderabad

INR 32,800

Mahatma Gandhi University

Hyderabad

INR 20,200

Amity University

Gautam Budh Nagar

INR 80,000

Career Scope and Future Prospects: B.Com vs Actuarial Science

One of the major motivation behind pursuing any course is the career opportunities that will open for the graduates. Similarly, the career scope for both B.Com and Actuarial Science is equally lucrative and promising. While B.Com graduates are required in almost all the different industries, Actuarial Science or rather the urgent need for qualified and skilled Actuaries has been rising, thus bursting open huge opportunities for all those who clear the exams.

Career Scope and Job Profiles of B.Com

A graduate of a B.Com course always has a number of job opportunities waiting to be filled in at some point. Whether it is a government or a private sector, the number of vacancies available for a B.Com graduate are numerous, yet limited. B.Com graduates have the opportunity to join in any industry including banking, marketing, finance, public accounting, consultancy and much more.

Here are some of the job profiles and areas of employment that are available to the B.Com graduates in India.

  • Job Profiles:

    • Accountant

    • Company Secretary

    • Finance Officer

    • Tax Accountant

    • Chief Financial Officer

    • Chartered Accountant

    • Business and Finance Consultant

    • Auditor

    • Stock Broker

  • Employment Areas:

    • Educational Institutions

    • Government and Private Banks

    • Foreign Trade Companies

    • Investment Banking Institutions

    • Merchant Investment Institutions

    • Working Capital Management Institution

    • Budget Planning

Along with these profiles and areas of employment, graduates will be able to apply for different profiles that require expertise in the fields of Commerce, Banking, Finance, Taxation, Investment, Management and the sorts. With newer technologies and new fields emerging, the need for full-fledged skilled commerce professionals will keep on rising.

Career Scope and Job Profiles of Actuarial Science

While the popularity of the course might be undoubtedly lower than that of a B.Com course, the career scope of an Actuarial Science graduate is equally impressive and lucrative, if not more. This is possible majorly due to the lack of qualified and skilled professionals in the field. While companies are still able to Actuarial Science professionals who have cleared a couple of papers, it is rare to find professionals who have been able to clear all 15 exams of the Institute of Actuaries of India.

Here are some of the job profiles and areas of employment on offer for Actuarial Science graduates.

  • Job Profiles

    • Life Insurance Actuary

    • Health Insurance Actuary

    • Enterprise Actuary

    • Property Casualty Insurance Actuary

    • Pension and Retirement Benefits Actuary

  • Areas of Employment

    • Chartered Accountant

    • Finance

    • Risk Analysis

    • Life Insurance

    • Health Insurance Companies

    • Scientific and Technical Services

In both cases, graduates will be able to find lucrative jobs and career paths in different fields. The skills earned by graduates of both B.Com and Actuarial Science are valuable to recruiters in different industries.

However, the biggest difference between B.Com and Actuarial Science graduates is the option of pursuing higher education. Those who complete and pass a B.Com course in India, have a wide range of courses which can be pursued at the postgraduate level. Among these options include M.Com, MBA / PGDM or any other course which accepts B.Com as a qualifying degree. In the case of an Actuarial Science graduate, since qualifying for the course requires you to complete a set of papers and can be pursued right after completing one’s class 12 board exam, the opportunities are restricted. Unless and until an Actuarial Science student pursues an undergraduate course, the options for pursuing a postgraduate degree/course remain less, if they wish to pursue any PG degree.

This concludes some of the major differences between B.Com and Actuarial Science and which course is seeingly better. However, it is up to the students to decide which career seems to line with their aspirations. One should keep in mind their interests, strengths and weaknesses when making such a decision as these decisions will affect the rest of their career path.

If you are interested in checking out a B.Com course in one of the many B.Com colleges in India, then they can also fill out the Common Application Form which is available on our website.

Related Article

Check out Why MBA is a Better Option after B.Com?

Check out What’s Better After B.Com: MA Economics vs M.Com

Here are the Differences Between BBI and B.Com

See What’s Better: B.Com or CS After 12th

We hope this article was helpful. For more such content stay tuned to CollegeDekho. In case of any query, feel free to head to our QnAZone. We'll be happy to help you. 

FAQs

Does B.Com involve math?

If you want to study commerce without taking math as a subject, then the B.Com degree is a fantastic choice. For those interested in pursuing this degree, having math as one of your 12th-grade subjects is not a must. To be qualified for this course, you merely need to have completed your 12th grade.
 

Does an Actuarial Science course have the same subjects as a B.Com course?

No, both the degrees are different and cover different subjects with a few commonalities like finance, insurance, and business research.

Core subjects in a B.Com course includes the following:

  • Commerce 
  • Economics
  • Business Law
  • Accountancy
  • Taxation and finance

Core subjects in an Actuarial Science course includes the following:

  • Calculus
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Mathematical Functions
  • Actuarial accounting
  • Foreign economics
  • Actuarial economics
  • General Insurance
  • Mathematics
  • Liability insurance
  • Business research
  • Global Business research
     

Which course is more expensive, B.Com or Actuarial Science?

Actuarial Science courses are a bit more expensive than B.Com courses because Actuarial Science courses are specialized courses involving complex mathematical calculations and statistical analysis to forecast various types of risks. Actuarial Science courses are provided by only a limited number of colleges as compared to B.Com courses. The undergraduate actuarial science course fee ranges from INR 90,000 to INR 4 lakhs in India and the postgraduate actuarial science course fee ranges from INR 9000 to INR 2 lakhs.

Is an actuarial science course available online?

Yes, candidates can pursue online certification courses in actuarial science. There are a few popular online education platforms like Udemy, Alison, edX, etc. that provide such certification courses in actuarial science.
 

Can I do B.Com in Actuarial Science?

Yes, there are a few institutes in India like RA Podar College that provide such a type of B.Com specialization. The study is aimed to make a learner combine skills from Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, and Finance to assess, evaluate and manage future financial risk, thereby addressing a wide range of practical challenges in long-term financial planning and management.

Which degree has a good career scope, B.Com or Actuarial Science?

A career in actuarial science has more scope than B.Com/ B.Com (Hons.). Actuarial Science is starting to gain recognition and popularity in India. Actuaries' employment is expected to increase by 24 percent between 2020 and 2030, which is substantially faster than the average for all occupations. Over the next ten years, there are expected to be 2,400 new job openings for actuaries annually.

Can a student of commerce pursue actuarial science?

If a candidate has completed their commerce stream with math as one of the subjects then they can most definitely pursue an actuarial science degree.
 

Which is tougher B.Com or an Actuarial Science course?

The actuarial exams are a little more difficult to pass than the B.Com/B.Com (Hons.) exams. Numerous statistical and mathematical skills are required for the actuarial studies. Actuaries can be chosen by anyone who is strong in math and statistics. They must, however, take in mind the amount of effort needed and the passing percentage.

What is a B.Com (Hons.) course?

A B Com Degree programme with a subject as a major is known as a B Com Honors course. Accountancy is the most popular major among applicants. B Com Honors is another three-year undergraduate degree programme in commerce that covers topics like accounting, taxation, economics, financial management, etc. The primary differences between B Com Honors and Bachelor of Commerce are in nomenclature and course content.

The majority of students choose to enroll in the B Com Honors degree because it makes it easier to study concurrently or later for certification examinations like the Chartered Accountancy (CA) exam.
 

Is it good to pursue an actuarial science course after completing B.Com?

B.Com being a commerce stream will definitely aid a candidate in pursuing an actuarial science course because a B.Com course equips you with the basic mathematics and accounting plus finance skills but candidates must have studied either statistics or math in their B.Com in order to pursue a postgraduate degree in actuarial science. It is always better to have an undergraduate degree in mathematics and statistics if your ultimate goal is to pursue a career in actuarial science as the course involves a lot of mathematical and statistical calculations for predicting and analysis.

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