A-Level Results Day 2018… forget university – why not earn as you learn and become an AAT qualified accounting technician?
Nervous, stressed, worried, sleepless nights…and this is probably just the parents and siblings of those who have just received their A-Level results! Along with the reforms to the A-Level structures it’s a very nervous wait for students where the emphasis changed from a focus on coursework to exams, meaning revision and the end examination has become very important to the overall grade.
For those who have worked so hard to navigate through their A-Levels… good luck from everyone here at Accountancy Learning; we really do hope that you received the results you so very much deserved.
Some of you may have planned your next steps…watching the news yesterday, it’s all about the university route and of course the all-important clearing.
For some careers, university is the only option – if you want to be a doctor or lawyer, it’s pretty clear you need to save those pennies, pack your bags and head off to university. However, for others university is not the only route, in fact there is a far cheaper alternative where you actually get paid to study (yes that’s right, you get paid, you earn and learn and then come out with a very well respected and internationally recognised qualification).
Reading the news, it seems many students are realising there are other options and are most likely put off by the sky high university fees (backed up by latest figures from UCAS reporting a fall in applications across the UK).
For those of you reading this post who are unsure of the alternatives, we encourage you to research a number of options as explained below. All options focus on earning a living while learning, ensuring you achieve the all-important experience which can be a major sticking point for students fresh out of university with no real life work experience.
The Apprenticeship scheme: Join a company as a paid apprentice
Becoming an apprentice used to have a little stigma surrounding it, however the tides are turning. There are some very key companies out there increasing their apprenticeship take up. Recently at this year’s AAT conference, it was quoted that KPMG are actively planning on reducing their graduate intake in favour of increasing their apprentice intake.
You may also like to know that there are some famous faces who started life out as an apprentice such as David Beckham and Jamie Oliver.
It seems they really were ahead of the game in terms of understanding how valuable the apprenticeship scheme can be and where it can take you.
For those who wish to become an Accountant, we would recommend taking an apprenticeship within an accounting practice. The apprentice is paid a wage and encouraged to study for a relevant qualification with full tutor support. Having a tutor who mentors and encourages students throughout the course really can make the difference between a pass and a fail.
Our students work for a number of very well respected firms and study for the AAT qualification. Students study either within agreed study days or in their personal time dependant on their contractual agreement.
The student achieves a qualification and experience which is focused around building the relevant skills deemed necessary to become a successful accountant. The student is also paid a salary and therefore does not build up a student debt!
To understand more about the apprenticeship scheme please see the link below:
Study support while working: Join a company who provides study support
If by now, you have decided to pursue a career in accounting, it is very important that you start getting yourself some experience. To enhance your experience and to ensure you can complete the necessary tasks required of those within a financial role, it is also important that you take on a qualification. Our students start with AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) and if you look around our website we have a number of options to choose from, dependant on your experience and aspirations. After AAT, many students head into further studies to become a specialist in their chosen area of accounting, such as a tax accountant or chartered accountant. This is something that will be easier to decide upon once you have some experience – something which may be harder to think about if studying at university with no direct experience.
If for example you chose to start with AAT, at the point of applying for a job it is worth asking the hiring manager whether they include study support as part of the overall package.
Study support can come in a variety of forms, financial is always the preference, as this would help your personal cash flow. However, you may find that not all companies offer this, so it is worth asking what their internal policy is regarding offering study time on top of your normal holiday allowance.
It could also be that while the role initially does not offer support, after a year or service your line manager may be able to offer something, so it is worth asking.
Distance learning / tutor supported studies: Find a job, pay for studies and study at your own pace
It could be you have actually found your dream job role, yet the company are not in a position to support your studies? This should not be a sticking point resulting in you turning down the job – not at all! This is where you should start researching options for study. Again if accounting is your chosen field we offer study packages to suit your pockets and personal circumstances.
If you wish to study solo with no tutor support, you should sign onto one of our basic packages where you would have access to our online platform full of learning materials to take you through to exam success.
Studying via distance learning means that you can study at your own pace and in your own free time. Given you can access materials online, you could even study at work during your lunch break!
It is worth also asking about current deals
P.S. There are lots of different types of accountant, so you might find our article “How to become an accountant” a really helpful read too!