How do I get a job in the Banking Sector in India?

According to estimates by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), by 2022, the banking sector will add 1.6 million skilled workforces. That is in addition to the 1.38 million already employed by the banking sector as of March 2018. This is great news for those exploring careers in the banking sector or BANCA (bancassurance or selling insurance through banks). 

The banking sector continues to grow and is providing exciting job opportunities even post COVID. And if you consider the benefits of banking jobs, such as job stability and loans at discounted interest rates, it is undoubtedly an excellent sector to make a career. A common question is how one gets a job in the banking sector. Let us try and answer this question in detail.

Decide Whether Banking is the Right Choice for Your Career

While the banking sector offers many opportunities, the first step is to determine whether banking is the right choice for your career. Some of the basic banking job requirements are excellent numerical skills, a high degree of attention to detail, and good communication skills. Also, one should have a keen interest in finance and banking related subjects. If you enjoy the subjects related to banking, it can be immense fun. If not, banking can be a wearisome career for some.

Understand the Eligibility Criteria

The starting point is to understand the eligibility criteria to get started in banking. In terms of educational qualifications, for public sector banks, graduation is a minimum requirement. Candidates need to have anywhere between 55-60% in their final year (depending on whether they fall under the reserved or unreserved category). Depending on the position applied for, candidates need to be between 18 and 30 years. Private sector banks tend to prefer MBAs with knowledge of finance and banking.

Crack Entrance Exams (for Public Sector Banks)

For employment in public sector banks, one needs to appear for a banking exam. These exams are conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) and State Bank of India. Some of these exams are as follows:

  • SBI PO (Probationary Officer)
  • SBI SO (Specialist Officer)
  • SBI Clerk
  • IBPS Clerk
  • IBPS RRB (Regional Rural Banks)
  • Reserve Bank of India Officer Grade B
  • Reserve Bank of India Officer Grade C

Each of these exams has a different pattern. Typically, these exams involve testing candidates on reasoning ability, quantitative aptitude, English language skills, and general awareness of the economy and banking.

There are lots of books and courses available for preparing for these exams. Depending on your skills, you may need up to 6 months (6 to 8 hours per day) to prepare for IBPS exams. However, the actual preparation time may vary. For example, engineering graduates may require less time to prepare for the mathematics part of the exam.

Understand Requirements on Job Portals

Private sector banks list their requirements as well as on job portals. Those aspiring to get jobs in the banking sector should spend a great deal of time on job portals and various banks’ career sections. Requirements vary by the role. For example, in a sales-related role, one would require a basic knowledge of products and excellent convincing skills.

If it is a more technical role, such as an audit specialist, one needs technical knowledge of finance and accounting. One should also be able to make reports and presentations. Private banks also recruit through campus placements.

Network with People from the Industry

Like every other industry, networking is a great way to open new doors. One should leverage their network within family and friends and talk to people working in the industry. Even if they do not have a job, they may share insights about the skills required to enter the industry. One can also meet people from the banking sector in job fairs or through their alumni network.

Make the Right CV

The CV for a job in the banking sector will differ from one for a job in, say, a creative field. The banking industry places a lot of emphasis on professionalism. You should highlight your analytical skills and financial literacy, and acumen wherever possible (through test scores in finance-related subjects or if you have completed any finance-related projects).

It will help if you highlight any extra-curricular activities related to communication (such as writing or speaking) or any projects related to quantitative skills or data analysis. Including a professional picture on your CV can be an added advantage.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

You should update your LinkedIn profile with the right headline and right content suited for the banking industry. One should also join groups related to BANCA careers to know more about the requirements of this sector. Additionally, follow people from the leading banks’ HR departments to stay updated on any requirements from their side.

Invest in Quality Banking Education

One way to enter the banking industry is by investing in a professional banking course. For example, an MBA in banking is a lot different from a general MBA. Banking is a huge industry and has its unique educational requirements. upGrad offers advanced courses in digital finance and banking. 

upGrad’s MBA in Digital Finance and Banking has been designed specifically for the banking sector. upGrad has developed the curriculum of this course in close coordination with members of the banking industry. The course covers all the essential banking and finance-related subjects.

The course also covers the latest developments in banking and finance, including artificial intelligence in banking, digital finance, blockchain and cryptocurrency, and digital fraud. The course also covers case studies, real-world projects, mock interviews, peer-to-peer networking, and much more. The course is highly appreciated by leading players in the BFSI space who partner with education partners such as upGrad to provide jobs.

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