Career Opportunities in a Bank as a Specialist Officer

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Opportunities in bank

Opportunities in Public Sector Bank for those candidates who appeared in the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) General Banking Officer preliminary examination have got their results and successful candidates should be getting ready to appear in the main examination but Now the opportunity has come for those who are keen to become specialist officers in public sector banks whose offices and branches are spread all over the country.

 

Who is a Specialist Officer?

 

We all know that banks require officers and clerical employees to offer their services to the public. In the case of officers, we mostly think of general banking officers as while visiting a bank branch, we’re most likely to come across such officers only. Specialist officers are usually posted in administrative offices of these banks and we don’t get to see many of them.

 

Banks have openings for both generalist and specialist officers. For specialist officers, you need to have studied the subject of specialization, whereas graduates in any discipline can apply for the generalists’ positions.

 

Another interesting thing to note that is while all those eligible for specialist officers are also eligible (in terms of qualification) for generalist positions but its reverse is not true.

 

Opportunity as a Specialist Officers in Public Sector Banks 

 

There are lesser vacancies for specialist officers but the number of applicants is also less. So, the level of competition is not much different in the selection process for general banking or specialist officers.

 

Becoming a specialist or generalist is a choice applicable in career and also in life. It depends on your aptitude, aspirations, and preferences. As regards career path for specialist officers in government banks, the opportunity to move to general banking is available after putting in a certain number of years as specialist officers, as per the policy of individual banks.

However, for a general banking officer, it is not always easy to move to specialized functions.

 

Micro Specialization

 

Now banks are also taking people with super and micro specializations. Such requirement is few and far between and talent pool for such positions is limited. Much more vacancies can be found in broad specializations like

  • Agriculture,
  • Human resource,
  • Information technology,
  • Law,
  • Marketing and Language.

 

Most governments owned banks have specialist positions of Agriculture officer, Human resource (HR) officer Information technology (IT) officer, Law officer, Marketing officer and Rajbhasha officer at entry-level i.e. in Junior Management Grade Scale I.

Eligibility requirement for Specialist Officers

Eligibility norms for these positions and functions of such officers are described below-

Agriculture Officer:

In some banks, this position has a nomenclature of Rural Development Officer, Agriculture Field Officer or Agriculture Development Officer. Agriculture is a vast subject and B.Sc. (Ag) is the most common graduate qualification in agriculture.

Of course, this qualification makes a candidate eligible for the post but many other qualifications are considered as well. These include a degree in Animal husbandry, Fisheries science, Horticulture, Veterinary Science, Forestry, Agri-forestry, Pisciculture, Food technology, Sericulture, Dairy Science/ Technology, Agriculture Marketing, Cooperation & Banking, Agricultural engineering, and Agricultural business management.

 

As we all know banks are required to play a significant role in the implementation of many government schemes particularly rural development schemes.

Banks have to make sure that a certain percentage of their credit goes to agriculture which is divided into many categories viz. direct agriculture, indirect agriculture, and activities allied to agriculture.

Then there is credit for agro-industries and agri-clinics. Agriculture officers look after this portfolio of a bank branch and later at an administrative level.

They visit rural households, farm/landed property, etc. to prepare an inspection report which is put with loan documents. Preparing and processing of loan documents, monitoring of loan accounts and recovery of loans are included in their responsibilities.

They also contribute to the formation of Self-help groups and promoting financial literacy.

 

Agriculture officers coordinate with business correspondents attached to their branches to make them play their roles effectively. With some experience, they can also be appointed as manager of a bank branch.

 

Human Resource Officer:

The requirement of Human resource or HR officers exist in every medium and large organization and so is with banks.

A personnel officer is also a designation given to these officers. Those who have chosen HR as specialization in their Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Management Studies (MMS) degree may apply for this specialist post in banks.

 

Postgraduate Diploma (PGDM) holders in Management with such specialization are also considered eligible. Other qualifications considered are Postgraduate Diploma in Personnel Management/ Industrial relations/Labour law. All these courses should be 2 years full time.

 

As an HR officer, you’ll work at any of the administrative offices of the bank and attend to regular HR work like transfer and placement, performance appraisal, salary/compensation and benefits, employee relations, training nominations, employee development, etc. Afterward, you may expect to head the HR function in a regional/zonal office.

 

Law Officer:

To apply for Law or legal officer, you need to have an LLB degree which is obtained after graduation (BA/B.Com. etc.) or as five years integrated course at National Law universities and other institutes. To become eligible, you should also be enrolled as an advocate at a bar council.

 

In banking business contracts are made with depositors, borrowers, and suppliers. The opinion of law officers’ matter when there is any breach of such a contract or legal dispute arises.

 

Employees and banks also form a legal relation and when needed you’ll be required to define and interpret such a relationship, prepare a draft of notices given to employees, etc. You also need to work in liaison with external lawyers engaged by your bank.

 

Marketing Officer:

For decades banks relied mostly on the walk-in business but now gradually these are turning into aggressive marketers. Any of the qualifications like MBA /MMS/PGDM with marketing as specialization makes you eligible to apply for the post of Marketing Officer. Here also the course duration of two years and its being full time are pre-requisites.

 

As a marketing officer, you’ll help the bank to achieve its targets in different segments of its business and selling of third-party products. You’ll be aware that now banks also work as agents of insurance and mutual fund companies to earn a commission.

In addition to contributing to the growth of a business, marketing officers help devise new schemes, organize business mobilization camps and take initiatives for brand/ image building

 

Information Technology Officer:

Now banking all over the world has gone digital with heavy use of technology and you need people to manage this technology. To get into the role of Information technology i.e. IT officer you need to be a graduate or post-graduate in Engineering or Technology in Computer science/ Computer applications/ Electronics and Communication or Telecommunication or Instrumentation/Information Technology. Graduates having passed DOEACC B Level examination are also eligible.

 

As an IT officer, you’ll look after the technology system in the bank either at a micro or macro level. You may have to play a role in the procurement of software and hardware, ensuring that outsourced technological services run well. You’ll be involved in computer troubleshooting and implementation of business continuity planning. Database management, cybersecurity is the other work areas.

 

Rajbhasha Officer:

Rajbhasha officers are also known as Official Language officers or Hindi officers. The prescribed qualification for them is a Postgraduate degree in Hindi with English as a subject at graduation level or Postgraduate degree in English with Hindi as a subject at graduation level. Those having done their Masters in Sanskrit and graduation with Hindi and English may also apply.

 

The positions of Rajbhasha officers exist in every Central government department and Public Sector Organization as an official language act is available to them. As Rajbhasha officer, you’ll be instrumental in facilitating this implementation. One major job would be a translation of documents etc. from English to Hindi and vice-versa. Organizing Hindi workshops and guiding employees to do their work in Hindi are other duties of Rajbhasha officers.

 

Selection Process:

All the eligible applicants will be first required to appear in a preliminary examination conducted online where you’ll be required to mark your answers on the computer screen.

 

For the posts of Law and Rajbhasha officer, the preliminary test will comprise of Reasoning, English language and General Awareness with special reference to the Banking industry.

 

For IT, HR, Marketing and Agriculture officer General awareness has been replaced with quantitative aptitude. Except for the segment of English, questions can be answered either in Hindi or English.

 

Though qualifying list for the main examination will be based on total score, it’s necessary to obtain prescribed cut off marks in each segment of reasoning, English, General awareness or quantitative aptitude, as the case may be.

 

The main examination covers only one segment which is professional knowledge in the area of specialization.

So applicants for the position of Law officer would be required to answer law-related questions and so on.

For Rajbhasha officers the segment will be divided into objective and descriptive parts, for others, there would be only objective questions.

The preliminary examination is only a qualifying examination. For interview candidates will be shortlisted only based on their score in the Main examination.

 

How to prepare for the preliminary examination?

 

Your initial focus should be to do your best in the preliminary examination as only then you’ll continue to be in the race.

 

Test of English language

Test of English language will cover comprehension, word meaning, synonyms, and antonyms, checking correctness or otherwise of sentences and identifying the part containing the mistake(s), arranging random sentences to form a meaningful paragraph, filling sentences with suitable words, etc.

A good book on general English covering these may be referred to for preparation. Go through solved examples of comprehension and then practice yourself.

 

Test of Reasoning

The test of reasoning may have the text and image-based questions. There are certain types of questions that are often asked and can be solved by adopting a particular method.

Take this question-Some juice are fruits, no fruit is a potato, some potatoes are cakes.

 

After this information, some conclusions will be offered and you’ll be asked to choose the conclusions that follow.

 

Questions are solved by drawing circles representing given information. You’ve to get into the core of questions and make sure that your attention is not diverted to irrelevant options. For example, in a question with information-Some leaders are honest. Satyapriya is a leader; the following options were given-

  1. Satyapriya is honest
  2. Satyapriya is dishonest
  3. Some leaders are dishonest
  4. Satyapriya is honest
  5. None of these answers.

The answer is some leaders are dishonest. Satyapriya doesn’t have to come in the answer just because being mentioned in the question.

 

General awareness

General awareness questions may relate to new developments in the business, economy, and banking, government initiatives, bank mergers, business books/ authors, national and global business summits, etc. Regular reading of at least one financial newspaper and the business magazine will keep you updated and help you do well in this part. Also, a general knowledge book is needed.

 

Quantitative aptitude

Quantitative aptitude questions may not be simple and straight and may need more than just calculation. In a particular type of question series of alphabets may be given and the question may be like- which is the fourth element from the third element when counted from left. Another type of question can be – 20 liters of water is added to 80 liters of pure milk. After selling one-fourth of this mixture, sufficient water is added to replenish the said quantity. What is the new proportion? You need to revise your understanding of basic maths to do well here.

 

Professional knowledge

As regards professional knowledge you’ve to refresh what you studied in your HR/Marketing/Law / Agriculture course, as is the case. More focus is to be given on common and popular theories. For example, in HR, questions may relate to motivation theories, industrial regulations (like Maternity bill, etc.). Your textbooks are the best resource here.

In the case of Rajbhasha, candidates need to be good in translation (English to Hindi & Hindi to English), comprehension, word knowledge, idioms and phrases and should know the constitutional provisions relating to languages along with Official Language Act & Rules.

If you can get hold of previous examination question papers, your job would be easier as you may prepare based on their pattern. These papers can be found in competitive magazines, websites, and guides.

Also, the information booklet provided by the examination conducting body should be studied carefully. Practicing and solving model question papers will improve your accuracy and speed which form the foundation of success in such examinations.

 

(The author is an academician. email artmumb98@gmail.com)

Source: Employment News 

 

 

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