The stock markets have come a long way in the past two decades. There has been a lot of turbulence caused by global events—the Asian financial crisis in late 1990s, the DotCom bubble in 2000, the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, the European Debt Crisis in 2011, and the Chinese slowdown since the last few years. Despite these, the stock markets have stood the test of time and are not far off from their historic highs, as is the case in India.
During the initial few years of Indian markets, participation was limited and the number of companies offering services related to investments in a stock market were few, and consolidated at the hands of a few brokers. But since the 2008 crisis, the stock markets in India have expanded. Besides traditional way of buying stocks in the cash market, a lot of instruments are now available for trading and investing. For instance, the derivative instruments on stocks and indices have risen rapidly over the last few years, opening door for various participants such as hedgers and speculators.
The mutual fund industry in India has witnessed a spectacular growth, with assets under management (AUM) rising by more than five times in just over a decade. Other products such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs), tax savings funds, etc, have also attracted a lot of interest.
As a stock market is one of the key barometers that represent the health of any economy, the growth story of India coupled with the current low rate of penetration in the stock markets suggests that there will be increased demand for professionals in this sector. For instance, one could work with a buy-side firm such as a mutual fund, hedge fund, pension fund, etc, or with a sell-side firm such as a broker, an advisory firm, an investment bank, etc. Apart from the diversity of companies that employ people willing to work in the stock markets, the positions for which these companies hire are also just as diverse.
An MBA in finance or capital markets is generic and essentially a study in financial markets, corporate finance and portfolio management, with an emphasis on equity, bonds, foreign exchange, and their derivatives markets.
These specialisations help one in charting a rewarding career path in the world of stocks and investments.
In a nutshell, a career in the stock markets is both rewarding and challenging. With India aiming to become a $5-trillion economy in the coming years and with the current rate of participation being quite low, the potential for making a successful career in the stock markets is quite high. With right qualifications and a strong skill set, one can make a successful career in the diverse world of the stock markets.