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Dear Mentor:

Instead of accountancy, what about finance?
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I shall complete my CA shortly, but I have lost interest in accountancy and no longer wish to do the routine work of auditing. I want to do something creative and interactive. Can you tell me what are the interesting avenues available to me in the field of finance? I am also interested in the Oracle finance course. Please advise.

Thinking Creative, India

Dear Thinking Creative:

Changing careers is not a short-term proposition; such changes are not easily achieved by taking one course here or there. It requires hard work, dedication, perseverance, time, and patience. There is no magic bullet in life, only rewards for hard work and talent. You have taken most of your life to become a CA (Chartered Accountant, similar to Certified Professional Accountant [CPA] in the US), but now you want to do something different. You must either gain work experience in the new field or gain formal education. To gain experience in the new field, finding opportunities would be difficult, and you may have to start from the bottom, not withstanding your higher education. You have to prove your skills and abilities, and gain experience, before you can expect employers to offer you greater opportunities. You may wish to read another Dear Mentor question, in which we addressed the issue of career change.

You must define and keep the endgame in mind: decide what you want to do before outlining a course of action. Looking for solutions, such as an Oracle course, before the goal is defined, is premature. If you don't have a specific destination in mind, every path can get you "there," except that we do not know what "there" is. Every course you come across, that is different from accounting, would hold some promise. But, is this the promise you seek? You must define the problem first, before judging the viability of choices.

As you know, we answered an earlier question from you. Putting the past information together with your current inquiry, we feel that you really want to pursue something in computers that would leverage your education to-date. There are basically two paths: on-the-job training and formal education. For on-the-job training, you must seek employment in your current field but such employment should offer, during your progression, opportunities to leverage computers extensively. You can then augment your knowledge in computers by doing limited duration, targeted courses in required areas, on an as-needed basis. Alternatively, you can pursue formal degree education in Computer Science. We wish to reiterate what we said in response to your earlier question: we do not feel that taking certificate/diploma courses are of much value, unless you want some low-level job. However, doing such courses as a target remedy, given your employment situation, could be very effective.

Now let's address the issue of doing an Oracle finance course. There is no The Oracle Finance Course. There are many courses offered by Oracle in finance; for example, Oracle offers Oracle Financial Applications: Financial Management Rel. 11, Oracle Financial Applications Procurement Rel. 11, Oracle Financial Applications : Order Fulfillment Rel. 11, and so on. Which one(s) you should do and why, can not be answered until you define the endgame.

Oracle is a company whose bread & butter is database management. Oracle developed applications to leverage their database technology. Oracle offers dozens of courses. Most of these cases are highly technical, and they offer technical development education. You need a substantial level of proficiency in computer software and hardware to be able to apply the knowledge.

We come back to our original assertion: doing formal degree education in computers would be our choice, rather than doing multiple applications courses that do not introduce fundamentals of computers systematically and thoroughly.

The choice is yours, as always. All we can do is offer you our opinion. We hope that some of our opinions are helpful to you. We wish you success in your chosen endeavor.

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