Careers through SSC & Bank PO – a comparison!

Dear PagaLGuY readers,

There are a lot of misconceptions about SSC vis-a-vis Bank PO. General perception is that SSC is better than PO. But that’s not necessarily true. But first I want to make it clear that I am not prescribing anything to anybody. I am just giving an objective analysis. You can still hold a contrary view and take your own decision.

Here is my analysis:

1. Growth prospects: You should always think in terms of long term, not short term. In long term, does SSC provide better career than PO. Obviously not. Think for yoyrself. Does a post in SSC gives you an opportunity to reach to the top i.e. Secretary to the Govt of India. Never. All top posts in your department or ministry will be occupied by UPSC Direct Recruits. You will always be junior to them throughout your career. There is no way to surpass them in seniority.

Now look at the PO. PO is the highest level of entry in any banking organisation. It gives you opportunity to reach to the top i.e. CMD. In-fact all CMDs were once a PO.

(i) Ever heard of Mr S S Mundhra, DG, RBI? He started his career as Probationary Officer in Bank of Baroda.

(ii) Ever heard of Mr Yogesh Agarwal, Former Chairman, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)? He started his career as Probationary Officer in State Bank of India (SBI).

Many senior Govt officers used to work under him. There are many such examples. Does that make you feel positive about PO? Don’t think in short term that you will have to handle cash or cross-sell insurance. Think what you can do in 30-35 years of your career.

2. Money / Earnings / Emoluments: Again don’t think of starting salary. Think of entire career. PO offers more earnings than any SSC recruit. And if you are so desperate to earn more then work for 10-15 years in a PSB and switch to any of private banks. Many people in my knowledge have done that. There is no constraint if you are willing to go that extra mile. Is it possible for an SSC recruit? Think yourself.

3. Transfers / Postings / Settling in life: You will feel settles as soon as you join both PO and SSC. PO job is transferable but that should be considered its strength. Imagine of spending your entire career in 8-10 cities in different parts of India. What kind of experience and contact will you develop? If you are a Branch Head in a small town or a class-2 city, you will have a good network in the town.

4. Social Status / Gazetted status: Well, in our society Govt services are exaggerated. Social status is just a game of mind. I don’t feel and neither should young generation like ours should feel proud if we have authority to ‘Attest the Photocopies’. Come on. A career and a job is much more than that.

5. Workload: Yes, now you have to bear the consequences if you want high growth. PO job is much more demanding and time consuming than SSC jobs. SSC will give you much more peace of mind and better work-life balance. But we are in an organisation to work hard, not to take rest. All you need is develop a passion for the job. You may take a call.

6. Job security: Again, it’s more in a Central Govt post than in PSB or PSU for that matter. But all PSBs have considerable job security as long as you work honestly and efficiently. Banks don’t expel its employees for fun.

7. Exposure: By exposure I mean seeing various facets and colours of life. Bank PO provides much wider and more rich exposure than SSC posts or even insurance AOs.

A banker works in rural, semi-urban and urban areas. A bankers deals with Doctors, Engineers, Corporates, Govt. organisations and law enforcement agencies among many others, understands their requirements and provides financial solutions. Obviously you will have more headaches in the Bank as well.

I have compared both purely in terms of career prospects. If anyone wants a job to prepare for other exams, then this analysis does not hold true. I am not in favour of either SSC or PO, but still I believe that one should have a balanced view of the both. PO is much better than what people think of it.