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Alternate Career Options For Students Unable To Crack CAT Exam

Here are a handful of career options you can consider if you couldn’t clear the CAT exam

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The Common Admission Test or CAT is amongst the top graduate national level management entrance exam conducted by IIM. It is attempted by students who dream to be a part of some of the top management institutes in India, namely Indian Institute of Management (IIM), MDI and others.  In 2017, more than 230,000 candidates have appeared for approximately 4,300 seats in 19 IIMs. The ratio stands at 1:53, which is needless to mention makes CAT one of the toughest exams to crack.

With such odds, it is only natural that many students fail to secure a seat for themselves, and as a result, feel clueless and get cold feet.

If you too are (or feel that you will be) one of them, worry not, because no success is complete without failure. Even though the path you were on resulted in a dead end, there are still many alternate paths that can lead you to success.

So, here are a handful of career options you can consider if you couldn’t clear the CAT exam.

1. Alternate Management Exams- If you are under impression that CAT is the only way to do Management courses then hold on and think again because, if you fail in CAT exam then there are alternate management exams like- CMAT/ XAT/ GMAT/ SNAP/ NMAT/ MAT/ IIFT/ IBSAT/ MICAT/ KMAT/ TISS NET/ MH- CET/ GRE/ JAM/ GATE which can be used to enroll in good management institutes.

2. Executive MBA- The 1-year Executive MBA program is ideal for those who have good undergraduate qualifications and several years of work experience. This course is gradually becoming popular in India for its part-time and online availability. India School of Business (ISB), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Xavier School of Management (XLRI) etc offer Executive MBA. 

3. Bank Exams- A career in banking services is one of the most lucrative and stable prospects for individuals who are enthusiastic about the field of commerce, management, and finance. One needs to be good with numbers and should enjoy managing finances.  In addition to the preparation done for CAT, one needs to work on Current affairs to sit for Bank exams. Few banks exams which can be considered are-

• RBI Grade A and B Exam/ SBI Bank Probationary Officers Exam/ Institute of Banking Personnel Selection, Probationary Officers Exam etc.

4. Luxury Brand Management- The fashion industry is growing at a fast rate due to a huge demand for luxury products. It is a specialized area of management which is associated with big brands. To pursue a career in this field one needs to enroll in the Masters/PG Diploma/MBA courses in luxury Brand Management after graduation.

5. Chartered Financial Analysts- Courses like Chartered Financial Analysts is an alternate career option for entering the field of Management. A Chartered Financial Analyst is a professional trained in areas of management accounting, financial management, and investment and deals with financial decisions and investment policies of big companies. Chartered Financial Analyst course can be pursued after graduation and typically takes 4 years to complete the whole course. 

6. Career shift- A few times students start walking on a career path without evaluating other options available.  Lack of awareness and exposure could push students to a field like management which is considered a must-do degree after graduation. With CAT preparation one can look at different Government Exams like Civil Services Examination/ State Services Examination/ Staff Service Commission etc. 

Just upgrading a skill by online certification can also help in career shift. Popular certifications are- Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, Virtual Reality, Big Data Analytics, 3D printing etc

Career or courses should be selected based on various factors such as – aptitude, interest, personality, working style and emotional intelligence. Finding the best fit is imperative for a successful career. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Prateek Bhargava is the Founder & CEO of MINDLER

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