BBA or BCom?

As a career counsellor one of the most common questions, I am faced with, especially by students who complete their Class 1 in commerce is whether they should opt for the BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) degree or the BCom (Bachelor of Commerce) degree at graduation level. Unfortunately, instead of making informed decisions, the common reasons for choosing one programme over the other is because of parents’ influence, depending on where one’s friends take admission, or still worse, just because one degree appears to be more glamorous than the other. In the Indian context, both BBA and BCom are popular undergraduate degree programmes in the field of commerce and business. While there are certain similarities, there are also some major differences between the two.


The BBA programme focuses primarily on management and business-related subjects like marketing, finance, human resources, operations, entrepreneurship, organisational behaviour and other general management courses. The programme focuses more on practical learning through internships in organisations, and on personality building of the student. A lot of emphasis is on making the student a good communicator with the ability to handle real organisational situations rather than just rote learning.

The BCom programme on the other hand provides students with an understanding of commerce and business with subjects like accounting, economics, business law, taxation, finance, and computer applications. It also offers specialisation options like accounting, banking, e-commerce, or international business. In a vast majority of colleges, this programme follows the traditional methods of lecture-based teaching with a greater emphasis on theoretical concepts.


Career prospects

The majority of graduates with a BBA degree often find employment in entry-level management and administrative roles in various organisations. The most common careers are in marketing, sales, human resources and finance. Some students with family businesses also find this programme to be useful to join and expand their existing businesses. At a post-graduate level, BBA students have the option of pursuing an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) for further career advancements. As a career counsellor, I have observed that the industry prefers a BBA graduate over other general graduates at entry-level management positions because of their superior communication skills and confidence levels.

BCom graduates typically find employment in fields like accounting, finance, banking, insurance, taxation, or auditing. They may also choose to pursue professional certifications such as Chartered Accountancy (CA) or Company Secretary (CS) which are highly lucrative professions. B.Com students also have the option to pursue MBA at the postgraduate level. As a thumb rule, if the student has an interest in accounting and wants a career in this field then it’s always advisable to opt for B.Com over BBA.


Skills acquired

The BBA programme focuses on practical learning, developing management skills, leadership abilities, problem-solving capabilities, the ability to work in teams, communication skills, and a holistic understanding of business management. Students often engage in classroom presentations, real-life industry projects, case study-based learning on real-world scenarios and group projects which helps in developing these skills.

BCom programmes provide a strong foundation in accounting, finance, and commerce-related subjects. Students gain analytical skills, financial knowledge, knowledge of business laws, proficiency in using accounting software like Tally, and a thorough understanding of the principles of economics.


Monetary considerations

The vast majority of BBA programmes are mostly run by private universities or by aided colleges in the self-financed mode. Hence, the tuition fees tend to be much higher as compared to the tuition fees in BCom programmes which are mostly aided by the government. While there is a lot of support which comes from various government schemes and flexible student bank loans to help students aspiring to pursue a BBA degree this can be a major factor to consider for a lot of parents who have financial issues. For students who have major financial issues but want to pursue a management degree, it’s always advisable to pursue a BCom degree at the graduation level and save money for a quality MBA degree at the post-graduation level.

In conclusion, the choice between BBA and BCom depends on your interests, career goals, and the specific skills and knowledge you wish to acquire. Monetary considerations can also be a factor when deciding on the right graduate programme. Both programmes have their strengths and cater to different industry needs. It is for the student to evaluate the career opportunities available by assessing their own strengths, interests and their suitability for a particular programme.



(The writer has a PhD and is a career counsellor, trainer and life coach at Career Crafters- Panaji. He has over two decades of experience dealing with students at the higher education level.)