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Commerce Careers

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*This article was updated on 11 November 2021. 

Careers you can pursue with a Bachelor of Commerce

The Bachelor of Commerce degree (BCom) aims to provide students with a broad understanding of commerce in a management context. Mandatory courses impart understanding in areas such as accounting, economics and business administration, with allowance made for specialisation in a chosen major/s to prepare you for your commerce career.

All BCom programs at South African universities have an identical first year, making it easy to change or add majors. Multiple majors are more common in BCom’s than in the Bachelor of Business Science degree, conceivably because BCom’s are 3-years, not 4-years like a BBusSc. The material covered in the BCom varies from major to major but generally centres on business administration, strategy and commercial conceptual understanding.

There are a huge variety of commerce careers – we have collected the details of a potential future career for you to decide which would be best for you!

FYI:

  • Subject requirements may differ slightly at each university.
  • Associated salary depends on which route you choose to take with your degree, the given associated salary is not completely accurate and is just to give you an idea of what to expect.

Degree: BCom (International Business)

Average starting salary at R19, 000 a month.

Possible Careers:

Work at Multinational Business Corporations in divisions:

  • Accounting
  • economy
  • import/export
  • compliance officer
  • banking
  • management analyst

What you need to do to study BCom International Business:

  • Write AQL and MAT NBT’s
  • NSC aggregate of 60%, excluding Life Orientation
  • Mathematics 60%
  • English Home Language 60% OR
  • English First Additional Language 70%

Degree: BCom (General)

  • Build up your own curriculum from a wide choice of subjects
  • Focal areas: agricultural economics, financial planning, investment management, public and development management

Average starting salary of R15, 000 a month.

Possible Careers

  • Agricultural economics: entrepreneurship, general management, financial management and logistics management.
  • Financial planning: financial advisors in banking, insurance and a number of other industries.
  • Investment management: International Chartered Financial Analyst, careers include Investment Analyst, Portfolio Manager, Securities Broker and Trade.
  • Public and development manager: management careers in public, non-government and development sectors such as general, strategic, financial, personnel, project or program manager. Development planner, community developer or specialist in policy and management research and consultation

What you need to do to study BCom General:

  • Write AQL and MAT NBT’s
  • NSC aggregate of a 60% minimum, excluding Life Orientation
  • Mathematics 60%
  • English OR Afrikaans Home Language 50%
  • Afrikaans OR English First Additional Language 50%

If you take Mathematics or Computer Science:

  • Mathematics 70%

Degree: BCom (Economic Sciences)

Focal areas:

  • Economics (econometricians)
  • Economics (economic and management consultants)
  • Economics (financial sector)
  • Transport economics

Average starting salary of R28, 750 a month

Possible Careers:

  • Economics: financial sector careers as economic/financial analyst of economic/management consultant.
  • Transport economics: plan and manage transport infrastructure, the formulation of transport policy and the control of transport systems for public enterprises and transport organisations.

What you need to do to study BCom Economic Sciences:

  • Write AQL and MAT NBT’s
  • NSC aggregate of 60% minimum, excluding Life Orientation
  • Mathematics 60%
  • English or Afrikaans Home Language 50%
  • Afrikaans or English first additional Language 50%

If you take mathematics or computer science:

  • Mathematics 70%

Degree: BCom (Management Sciences)

Focal areas:

  • Entrepreneurship and innovation

Financial management:

  • Human Resource management
  • Information systems management
  • logistics management
  • Marketing management
  • Quantitative management

Average starting salary of R19, 500 a month.

Possible Careers:

  • Entrepreneurship and innovation: teaches you how to create your own job opportunities and to make creative contributions to other businesses.
  • Financial Management: own business, investment analyst, financial manager or financial adviser.
  • Human resource management: personnel manager, market researcher, training manager, consultant or labour relations manager.
  • Information Systems Management
  • Logistics management
  • Marketing management: marketing manager, sales manager, client manager and advertising manager
  • Quantitative manager

What you need to do to study BCom Management Sciences:

  • Write AQL and MAT NBT’s
  • NSC aggregate of 60% minimum, excluding Life Orientation
  • Mathematics 60%
  • English Home Language 50% OR
  • English First Additional Language 50% OR
  • Afrikaans Home Language 50% OR
  • Afrikaans First Additional Language 50%

Degree: BCom (Mathematical Sciences)

Focal areas:

  • Computer science
  • Financial risk management
  • Mathematical statistics
  • Operations research

Average starting salary of R30, 416 a month.

Possible Careers:

  • Computer Sciences: Programmer in any environment
  • Financial risk management: financial quantitative analysts, financial risk managers, portfolio managers and financial instrument dealers
  • Mathematical statistics: statistician, data miner, data manager, statistical analyst
  • Operations research: find mathematically-based solutions for problems that have high complexity, uncertainty and conflict in factories, businesses, banks and the mining and agricultural sectors

What you need to do to study Bcom Mathematical Sciences:

  • Write AQL and MAT NBT’s
  • NSC aggregate of 60% minimum, excluding Life Orientation
  • Mathematics 70%
  • English OR Afrikaans Home Language 50%
  • Afrikaans OR English First Additional Language 50%

Degree: BCom (Actuarial Science)

Average starting salary of R34,833 a month.

Possible Careers:

Actuary

  • Before you can practice as an actuary you need to pass fifteen examinations of the professional body and have sufficient work experience
  • Successful university studies can exempt you from many of these exams.

What you need to do to study BCom Actuarial Science:

  • Write AQL and MAT NBT’s
  • NSC aggregate of 70% minimum, excluding Life Orientation
  • Mathematics 80%
  • English or Afrikaans Home Language 50%
  • Afrikaans or Afrikaans First Additional Language 50%
  • 60% is required for at least one of the language subjects

Degree: BCom (Financial Accounting)

Average starting salary of R30, 250 a month.

Possible Careers:

  • Need to pass the examinations set out by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants to qualify as a chartered certified accountant.

What you need to do to study BCom Financial Accounting:

  • Write AQL and MAT NBT’s
  • NSC aggregate of 60% minimum, excluding Life Orientation
  • Mathematics 60%
  • English OR Afrikaans Home Language 50%
  • Afrikaans OR English First Additional Language 50%

Degree: BCom (Industrial Psychology)

Average starting salary of R25, 916 a month.

Possible Careers:

  • Psychometrist.
  • To practice as an Industrial Psychologist – Obtain BComHons in Industrial Psychology, six months internship and pass a professional board exam. Registration at the HPCSA is possible after MCom in Industrial Psychology, an internship of 12 months and a professional board exam.

What you need to do to study BCom Industrial Psychology:

  • Write AQL and MAT NBT’s
  • NSC aggregate of 60% minimum, excluding Life Orientation
  • Mathematics 60%
  • English OR Afrikaans Home Language 50%
  • Afrikaans OR English First Additional Language 50%

Degree: BCom (Accounting)

Average starting salary of R31, 333 a month (importantly, this after you have finished your articles). 

Possible Careers:

  • Financial management
  • Management accounting
  • Tax consulting
  • Charted accounting (to qualify for this, you first need to pass the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants examinations and/or the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors)

What you need to do to study BCom Accounting:

  • Write AQL and MAT NBT’s
  • NSC aggregate of 70% minimum, excluding Life Orientation
  • Mathematics 70% OR
  • Mathematics 60% and Accounting 70%
  • English Home Language 50% OR Afrikaans Home Language 50% OR Afrikaans First Additional Language 50% OR English First Additional Language 50%

Degree: BCom (Finance and Tax)

Average starting salary of R30,500 a month

Possible Careers:

  • Financial management
  • Auditor
  • Taxation specialist

What you need to do to study BCom Finance and Tax:

  • Write AQL and MAT NBT’s
  • NSC aggregate of 70% minimum, excluding Life Orientation
  • Mathematics 70% OR
  • Mathematics 60% and Accounting 70%
  • English Home Language 50% OR Afrikaans Home Language 50% OR Afrikaans First Additional Language 50% OR English First Additional Language 50%

Degree: BCom (Information Systems)

Average starting salary of R30,333 a month.

Possible Careers:

  • Business analyst
  • IT risk specialist
  • Systems analyst
  • Business systems developer
  • Business software project manager

What you need to do to study BCom Information Systems:

  • Write AQL and MAT NBT’s
  • NSC aggregate of 65% minimum, excluding Life Orientation

Degree: BCom (Management Accounting)

Average starting salary of R31,416 a month. (Please note this after you have fully qualified as a management accountant).

Possible Careers:

  • Need to pass the examinations set out by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants to qualify as a chartered management accountant

What you need to do to study BCom Management Accounting:

  • Write AQL and MAT NBT’s
  • NSC aggregate of 60% minimum, excluding Life Orientation
  • Mathematics 60%
  • English OR Afrikaans Home Language 50%
  • Afrikaans OR English First Additional Language 50%

Get funding to start your commerce career!

If you want to pursue a career in commerce, you have to start by applying and getting into university. Studying can be expensive, if you are struggling to afford a degree this can hinder you from pursuing your passion. At Fundi, we want to help! 

We help with funding for all of your varsity needs, apply for a study loan today! 

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