If you like all things money and you have a knack for numbers, then studying accountancy and finance could be the choice for you. Even if you just like the idea of being involved in business – accountancy and finance can give you an excellent start.
By taking an accountancy and finance course, you will develop commercial awareness, problem solving, analytical, as well as communication and negotiation skills. You can even learn a language so you can work for international companies.
Universities offer a wide range of accounting and finance-related degree courses designed to meet many different career routes. Most courses allow you to take broad subjects without having to commit to a specific area until the end of your first year. This range of choice gives you time to sample different topics so you can select your degree scheme as your tastes and interests evolve.
Most courses offer: work placements; help with the application process; interview practice; and other practical support. You don’t have to be on your own to work out how to start finding a job.
When looking at universities, it is important to look at what they have to offer. Going to an Open Day gives you an opportunity to ask questions like:
- What are the specialisms and experience of the faculty?
- What types of courses are offered?
- Is there flexibility in choosing subjects and is there the opportunity to change?
- What support is offered for finding work as work placement or an intern or on graduation?
- What resources are available?
Deciding where to study depends on many factors – think about whether you are ready for the university experience or would prefer to attend your local college. Many colleges offer business and accountancy courses including: technical courses, apprenticeships, Foundation Degrees and HNDs (Higher National Diplomas). Taking one of these courses can lead to going to university where you can top-up your qualifications to a BSc (Hons). Some colleges are now able to offer the full pathway themselves.
With the right qualifications, you can go to university. It is important to know your predicted grades. The next step is to look at the universities’ entry criteria for the course you want to do. Top universities will usually expect you have achieved a minimum of a B in GCSE Maths, and some will specify which A-levels they expect. Many universities offer these types of courses and so it is worth doing your homework to match your ability with university requirements. Some businesses even offer sponsored degrees.
If you are just keen to get a job straight after secondary school, then you may wish to consider a Higher Apprenticeship. You can gain experience while you are learning and still get a degree. Higher Apprenticeships are relatively new and very competitive. You may need very high grades to be considered.
Worried you don’t have the best marks, but still keen to get stuck into the world of business? The many other alternatives to consider include: school leaver programmes, apprenticeships and internships.
The skills you will develop by studying accountancy and finance are useful for all sorts of careers in addition to pure accounting and banking like: journalism, law, advertising, marketing, public relations and IT.
Check out university websites to find what they offer and their specific requirements. A good place to find further information and live opportunities is www.directions.org.uk