Graham Tait: University isn’t the only way to a professional career
THIS week, thousands of students from across Scotland have received their Higher and Standard Grade results. While many may have a clear idea about their next steps, there will be plenty who don’t.
It is a common belief that in order to enter a professional career you need a degree. However, this is not always the case. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, for example, does not require a degree for young people who want to enter our profession.
You can begin studying for a professional qualification immediately after completing your Highers, providing you have three Higher passes and two Standard Grade passes.
Studying for a professional qualification instead of an undergraduate degree can have a number of advantages. You can earn valuable practical experience while completing your qualification, which could put you three years ahead of your peers and, once completed, you will have a qualification that is equivalent to a masters degree.
Last year my organisation launched a new suite of entry-level qualifications, Foundations in Accountancy, which are perfect for those who want to start their career after completing their Standard Grades. Accountancy is not only a highly respected profession but it also highly desired and one of the most secure. All companies regardless of size need expert financial advice. Business owners, managing directors and chief executives look to their finance department, not just to make sure their balance sheets are accurate but to identify savings and opportunities for growth.
We work with employers across Scotland to ensure the knowledge and skills that the qualification arms you with are what employers are looking for to give you the best possible start in your career and put you on the road to success.
University experience could be an important part of your development, but it is always worth considering whether it is something you want to do, or are doing because you think it is the logical next step.
In today’s competitive job market, three years’ experience gained while studying for a professional qualification in accountancy could put you ahead of your peers.
• Graham Tait is ACCA Edinburgh and East of Scotland members’ network president.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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