Accountancy can be a great career choice with many benefits. An accountant’s main role is to prepare a business’ accounts, which can then be used to give an overview of their financial status. You can advance into the industry through an apprenticeship, on the back of a degree and various higher education courses.
You might be pleased to know that you don’t need a degree to get into accounting. Apprenticeships can be a great way to get into the industry. You gain valuable work experience whilst studying to expand you knowledge, all whilst earning a wage.
In order to start an apprenticeship you must be 16 or over and not in full-time education. The current minimum wage for an apprentice is £3.50 per hour and applies to apprentices under the age of 19 and apprentices aged 19 or over in their first year.
To find out more about apprenticeships check out the government’s apprenticeship guide.
To find an apprenticeship in the UK you can search the following websites by region and type of apprenticeship:
- England – uk and GetMyFirstJob: you can sign up to the service to receive details of apprenticeships in your area
- Northern Ireland – NI Direct and JobCentre Online NI
- Scotland – Scot and My World of Work
- Wales – com
If you are a graduate looking for your first accounting job, step one is to update your CV and produce a cover letter to send out to potential employers. The more employers you send it to the better, even if they’re not advertising to hire staff. Your CV should highlight any relevant skills and experience. Having experience in your relevant field is crucial and will set you apart from other candidates.
For the an advantage over the thousands of competing graduates, visit as many recruitment events as soon as possible. These events are great for networking and getting connections you could perhaps use in the future. It is also a good idea to contact any accountants you know, if they aren’t hiring they might know someone who is.
Be sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date as it is the easiest tool for connecting to potential employers. You’re missing out on a wealth of opportunities and connections if you stay offline.
It is never too late to start a career in accounting, whether you have just finished school, college or you have been working in another industry for years. You do not need to have taken specific BTECs or A-levels to start an accountancy career.
As a new starter you could choose either of the options listed above as there is so age limit of doing either. It is often not achievable to move from full time employment to an apprenticeship, therefore part-time higher education courses are more beneficial.
There is a range of qualifications you can take to become an accountant. The AAT qualification is the minimum level of qualification required for most kinds of accountant. You can then choose to take a higher level qualification like ACA, ACCA or CIMA which will allow you to become a chartered accountant. Most of these qualifications can be studied part time or full time so there is something to suit everybody. You can find out more about these qualifications at the following sites: