Can a B.Sc. Grad be Successful in Securities Markets

Graduates possessing a Bachelor in Science (B.Sc.) degree constitute a rich talent pool and need to be looked at with greater interest by the professional community, and the capital markets (also called securities markets) are no exception. The education and training received during the course of the B.Sc. helps in developing certain strengths and traits that are highly valued in the professional arena. There are several science graduates who been successful as bankers, cost accountants and even chartered accountants with distinction. It is most unfortunate that in India, science graduates are merely viewed as those who have not made it to engineering or medicine. Such prejudice is overdone and this article is in defence of science graduates, whose talent is potentially valuable to capital markets, for reasons provided below.

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Broadly, the B.Sc. offers specializations in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Botany. First and foremost, the entry requirements for a student into the B.Sc. degree are of a good quality, since the Class XII has mathematics as a compulsory subject. The Class XII mathematics curriculum includes equation-solving, calculus, geometry, trigonometry and statistics and is fairly vast to be covered across two papers. Most of the applications in capital markets need Class XII mathematics to serve the students in the take-off stage. This strong foundation of Class XII mathematics is further honed at the B.Sc. level.

Is a Career in Securities Markets better than MBA in Finance?

B.Sc. (Mathematics) is an extremely rigorous course and students develop competencies in high level-abstract thinking. Real Analysis finds valuable applications in the capital markets. B.Sc. (Statistics) comes closest to the requirements of the capital markets, since capital market transactions in terms of volumes and prices, offer reams and reams of data (Big Data Analytics) which, some ascribe as the profession of the decade to come. Today, trading in the stock markets is done through networks of computers – machines communicating with each other. A B.Sc. (Computer Science) graduate is valuable for the ability to design systems for capital market regulators as well as market participants, revolving around algorithms (Algorithmic Trading). Interestingly in USA, in the 1970s, many nuclear physicists approached Wall Street firms and offered to solve capital market problems. This created a fusion-area between the capital market’s financial economics and physics (called Econo-Physics). Those possessing a master’s or doctoral degree in physics became red-hot property in Wall Street firms! Terms like volatility, acceleration, white noise etc, became a part of standard finance terminology. Fisher Black, a physicist came up with the basic concept of the seminal Black-Scholes-Merton option pricing theory (with Economics Nobel-winning colleagues Myron Scholes and Robert Merton), whose formula was adopted by Texas Instruments to design a financial calculator. This brings the B.Sc. (Physics) to the forefront, rather than the backburner of talent-seekers. B.Sc. (Chemistry) is also not too far behind. Capital market theories are built around concepts that the price of a share behaves like the movement of an atom in free space. The ‘Martingale movement’ owes much of its origins to the field of chemistry.

Finance professors in India are increasingly of the view that a good B.Sc. is much more preferred in the finance classroom in comparison to a run-of-the-mill Engineer, for the sound conceptual base and analytical skill. This view is currently gaining ground on account of the ‘massification’ of engineering courses, at the expense of quality. Perhaps, engineering students get to the application phase a bit too early before their conceptual base is strong. Also, during the application phase of engineering, many students get disillusioned with a career in engineering and have set their sights on a generic MBA, thus losing focus even on engineering concepts.

A B.Sc (Biology/Botany) is well-versed with laboratory experiments, practicals, field trials and continuous experimentation. The recording and analysis of data hones them with skills in pattern-recognition. Aspects like pattern recognition, especially genetic algorithms are much sought-after in the trading rooms of capital markets, inasmuch as they are sought after in pharmaceutical firms. Those having skills in econometric analysis of clinical trials constitute a ready pool of talent for the capital markets.

To summarize, it may fairly be said that the education and training received during the pursuit of the B.Sc. is extremely valuable and finds several applications in the field of capital markets. This field beckons more strongly than the already-crowded field of general management.

Note: This is a sponsored article and has NOT been written by the PaGaLGuY Editorial Team. It is intended from an informational perspective only and it isup to the readers to research and verify the claims andjudgements in the article before reaching a conclusion.