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Advice?? Go to university or stay in employment?

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    I am aged 20 working full time as an accounts assistant on 14,000 P.A.
    I am AAT qualified and have no a levels, due to leaving school and going into employment.
    I have now been working almost 4 years.

    Upon completion of the AAT my employer stated that they were unwilling to fund additional training (I had asked for CIMA funding), so therefore I looked at my options.

    I applied to university and have recently firmed Nottingham Trent to do accountancy and finance (uni choices were limited due to no A levels). I am exempt from the 1st year making it 2 years to complete, 3 years with a year work placement.

    I have been saving for the last year, and am on target to save £8000 by September when my course starts. I will also qualify as an independent student which makes me entitled to maximum student finance.

    I recently told my employer that I was looking at going to university. They have since come back to me with an offer to try and keep me there. They offered to raise my salary to £16,000 and fund half of CIMA, with the condition that CIMA is done in my own time.

    Now I really can’t decide whether I should still go to uni or stay in employment?
    I have been looking forward to going to university, mainly due to the social side and due to the fact that you need to have a degree to get a graduate job. After 4 years working full time, I feel that I will thoroughly enjoy it at university and it will be a great experience. I will also have enough money to see me through the 2 years.

    I don’t want to regret not having the experience and the opportunity to make new friends. I feel like I missed out on this as I didn’t go college.

    My only concern is that I won’t get a graduate job and end up working for less than I earn now, or worse, no job! Hopefully my 4 years work experience, AAT and a degree would help me stand out though!

    If I stay at work and study towards CIMA it will be hard work having to work full time on top of all the studying.

    Studying for CIMA will be stressful and hard work, however I know I will be happy at uni.

    On the plus side I will have my saving of £8000, to spend or put towards a mortgage.

    Sorry to ramble on, but I need to make my decision in the next week or so!

    Any input and opinions will be appreciated
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    (Original post by duane)
    I am aged 20 working full time as an accounts assistant on 14,000 P.A.
    I am AAT qualified and have no a levels, due to leaving school and going into employment.
    I have now been working almost 4 years.

    Upon completion of the AAT my employer stated that they were unwilling to fund additional training (I had asked for CIMA funding), so therefore I looked at my options.

    I applied to university and have recently firmed Nottingham Trent to do accountancy and finance (uni choices were limited due to no A levels). I am exempt from the 1st year making it 2 years to complete, 3 years with a year work placement.

    I have been saving for the last year, and am on target to save £8000 by September when my course starts. I will also qualify as an independent student which makes me entitled to maximum student finance.

    I recently told my employer that I was looking at going to university. They have since come back to me with an offer to try and keep me there. They offered to raise my salary to £16,000 and fund half of CIMA, with the condition that CIMA is done in my own time.

    Now I really can’t decide whether I should still go to uni or stay in employment?
    I have been looking forward to going to university, mainly due to the social side and due to the fact that you need to have a degree to get a graduate job. After 4 years working full time, I feel that I will thoroughly enjoy it at university and it will be a great experience. I will also have enough money to see me through the 2 years.

    I don’t want to regret not having the experience and the opportunity to make new friends. I feel like I missed out on this as I didn’t go college.

    My only concern is that I won’t get a graduate job and end up working for less than I earn now, or worse, no job! Hopefully my 4 years work experience, AAT and a degree would help me stand out though!

    If I stay at work and study towards CIMA it will be hard work having to work full time on top of all the studying.

    Studying for CIMA will be stressful and hard work, however I know I will be happy at uni.

    On the plus side I will have my saving of £8000, to spend or put towards a mortgage.

    Sorry to ramble on, but I need to make my decision in the next week or so!

    Any input and opinions will be appreciated
    Hey,

    LOTS to consider there. It sounds like your employer thinks that you're good and are scared that you'll leave. However, you need to focus on what you want to do rather than what your employer wants you to do - they're just marketing this idea at you, remember. Yes, if you stay working with them now you'll earn £2000 more a year (which after tax etc is more like £1500) and they'll pay for half of the CIMA but you'll still have to pay for half of it, so the extra money they are paying you will just go on the fees for the course that you have to do in your spare time. But what then? You get the CIMA and then where do you go? Would you then reconsider uni again?

    Have you considered speaking to your employer to ask if they will keep you on part time whilst you're at uni (if you're currently living in the Nottingham area) or if they would take you on in the holidays? It would presumably make sense for them to keep a staff member they've known for 4 years so they don't have to train someone new. This would enable you to continue earning and not lose your ties at your current job but also study towards a degree.

    In terms of graduate jobs, you will have a lot more experience (and professional qualifications with the AAT) than other graduates which will stand you in good stead. Your current salary is rather low and as a graduate accountant you would be able to command a higher salary than what they are offering you at the moment. Getting a job is all about contacts, experience and transferable skills. With 4 years of experience in a relevant field before university you've proven that you're more than the typical graduate. I think you're worrying about things a bit too much as yes, getting a job is difficult, but if you continue the way you've been doing in terms of developing your CV over the next two years at university then you will be in a stronger position than most other graduates.
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    I would stay in employment, at least you've got a guaranteed job but can still get a qualification.

    Employers love experience these days
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    (Original post by Pawsies)
    I would stay in employment, at least you've got a guaranteed job but can still get a qualification.

    Employers love experience these days
    They also love qualifications too.
    That's why there are lots of graduate job offered by employers.
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    (Original post by non)
    They also love qualifications too.
    That's why there are lots of graduate job offered by employers.
    Yes obviously but there is also a lot more competition and no guarantee. I have come to learn that experience is very important in the selection process regardless of whether someone has the knowledge (which they would gain through experience anyway...)
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    (Original post by Pawsies)
    Yes obviously but there is also a lot more competition and no guarantee. I have come to learn that experience is very important in the selection process regardless of whether someone has the knowledge (which they would gain through experience anyway...)
    then why do so many jobs require degrees if you can gain it from experience anyway?
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    (Original post by non)
    then why do so many jobs require degrees if you can gain it from experience anyway?
    To reduce number of applications. Clearly they can choose to have someone with more knowledge however it can also be easier to promote someone who has shown dedication to the company and knows the process etc.
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    (Original post by oxymoronic)
    Hey,

    LOTS to consider there. It sounds like your employer thinks that you're good and are scared that you'll leave. However, you need to focus on what you want to do rather than what your employer wants you to do - they're just marketing this idea at you, remember. Yes, if you stay working with them now you'll earn £2000 more a year (which after tax etc is more like £1500) and they'll pay for half of the CIMA but you'll still have to pay for half of it, so the extra money they are paying you will just go on the fees for the course that you have to do in your spare time. But what then? You get the CIMA and then where do you go? Would you then reconsider uni again?

    Have you considered speaking to your employer to ask if they will keep you on part time whilst you're at uni (if you're currently living in the Nottingham area) or if they would take you on in the holidays? It would presumably make sense for them to keep a staff member they've known for 4 years so they don't have to train someone new. This would enable you to continue earning and not lose your ties at your current job but also study towards a degree.

    In terms of graduate jobs, you will have a lot more experience (and professional qualifications with the AAT) than other graduates which will stand you in good stead. Your current salary is rather low and as a graduate accountant you would be able to command a higher salary than what they are offering you at the moment. Getting a job is all about contacts, experience and transferable skills. With 4 years of experience in a relevant field before university you've proven that you're more than the typical graduate. I think you're worrying about things a bit too much as yes, getting a job is difficult, but if you continue the way you've been doing in terms of developing your CV over the next two years at university then you will be in a stronger position than most other graduates.
    Yeah, the managing director at my current workplace has told me he doesnt want me to leave. He mentioned that they dont really want to fund CIMA as they think i will bvenefit more than the company from it, which is why they have only offered half. They said that if i finish in 2 years, ile be more than likely gone by 4.

    I am aware that the offer is pretty much the same pay, with all of CIMA paid for. CIMA will cost approx £4000 a year, which makes me think that after CIMA they would be wiling to pay £18,000.

    If i study CIMA, i would not then consider Uni after it. The 2 main reasons being that, 1. I will be like 24 and dont think i would enjoy it as much at this age. 2. CIMA is said to be equivalent to a masters degree.

    So if i dont go uni now, i will miss out on the whole experience.

    I dont currently work in Nottingham, so keeping my job is not an option. If i do decide to go Uni, i will however ask if i could work during the holidays.

    I probably am worrying about it abit too much, but after all it is a big decision.

    I would like to think that i could go to uni, come out with at least a 2.1 and be able to find a graduate job. If not i could always look for a lower paid job, such as purchase ledger clerk, as i already have alot of experience in this field.

    I would look at graduate jobs now, however they wont even consider my application, as i do not meet the minimum requirements of having a 2.1 degree.

    I am also concerned that if i study CIMA at my current workplace, i wont get any support or assistance on the course as they dont know much about it.
    Therefore i wont be getting the relevant practical work experience to excel and help my learning.
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    (Original post by Pawsies)
    To reduce number of applications. Clearly they can choose to have someone with more knowledge however it can also be easier to promote someone who has shown dedication to the company and knows the process etc.
    Thats kind of my point. Although i have work eperience, they wont consider my application as i do not meet the minimum requirement of a 2.1 degree.

    I know there is a lot of competition for graduate jobs, which is my main concern, however i would like to think that 4 years full time work experience with a degree would be an advantage. Compared to someone, for example, who has done their A levels, got a degree and only have part time work experence.
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    Personally, in your situation, I would go to Uni. This is because:

    - I would hope to be earning more like £24k + after graduation
    - Hopefully the employment situation will be better by the time you've graduated
    - Like you mentioned, the social element of Uni is really valuable
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    Just from reading the title: if you're an academic person, go to university.

    If you're motivated by making money, stay in your job.

    imo, uni should be there for more than just a way to make more money.
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    (Original post by duane)
    Yeah, the managing director at my current workplace has told me he doesnt want me to leave. He mentioned that they dont really want to fund CIMA as they think i will bvenefit more than the company from it, which is why they have only offered half. They said that if i finish in 2 years, ile be more than likely gone by 4.

    I am aware that the offer is pretty much the same pay, with all of CIMA paid for. CIMA will cost approx £4000 a year, which makes me think that after CIMA they would be wiling to pay £18,000.
    £18,000 isn't loads though in so far as salaries go - if you went into a graduate scheme as a graduate accountant without the years of work experience you would be starting on more than £18,000. If I were employing someone with 4 years of experience, professional qualifications and a strong undergraduate degree (which is the position you will be at in 2 years time) then I would pay them more than £18,000. Like £18,000 is fine, don't get me wrong and it's what a lot of graduates do start on, but I mean more that if you had a degree plus everything you have at the moment then in two years time you'd be in a strong position to command more than what your current firm would be paying you in two years time.

    In terms of graduate schemes etc, an employer will look favourably on someone with 4 years of experience, professional qualifications AND a degree. This will open more doors to you than without the degree as like you're finding a lot of employers have a basic requirement of a degree. As I said, jobs are difficult at the moment and people are struggling but you'd certainly be in a much more favourable position than the average graduate.

    You might be able to find a similar role in Nottingham to what you're doing at the moment if you did want to keep your foot in the work place whilst you were studying.
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    (Original post by duane)
    Thats kind of my point. Although i have work eperience, they wont consider my application as i do not meet the minimum requirement of a 2.1 degree.

    I know there is a lot of competition for graduate jobs, which is my main concern, however i would like to think that 4 years full time work experience with a degree would be an advantage. Compared to someone, for example, who has done their A levels, got a degree and only have part time work experence.
    Also consider that in 2 years you may be out of touch with the current system so you'll benefit from working whilst at uni if possible to ensure your experience is modern as it were?
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    Draw up a list of benefits and disadvantages of staying in your current job, and the same for going to uni. It will then make it a bit clearer in your head.
    Also think about your future. Where can you go in the future wit your current job, and where can you go in the future with a degree. Where do you want to be in 10 years time.
    Have you looked into going to uni and keeping your job part time?
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    (Original post by duane)
    Any input and opinions will be appreciated
    Are you based in London or within commuting distance of London? If so have you considered the BSc Accounting that is is done completely in the evening and you can gain entry using your work experience and AAT qualification. If it was an option then I'd say this would be a better option than both NTU or CIMA.
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    Have you heard of the Open Uni? You sound intelligent and that's all they require, they don't ask for any qualifications.
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    (Original post by duane)
    I am aged 20 working full time as an accounts assistant on 14,000 P.A.
    I am AAT qualified and have no a levels, due to leaving school and going into employment.
    I have now been working almost 4 years.

    Upon completion of the AAT my employer stated that they were unwilling to fund additional training (I had asked for CIMA funding), so therefore I looked at my options.

    I applied to university and have recently firmed Nottingham Trent to do accountancy and finance (uni choices were limited due to no A levels). I am exempt from the 1st year making it 2 years to complete, 3 years with a year work placement.

    I have been saving for the last year, and am on target to save £8000 by September when my course starts. I will also qualify as an independent student which makes me entitled to maximum student finance.

    I recently told my employer that I was looking at going to university. They have since come back to me with an offer to try and keep me there. They offered to raise my salary to £16,000 and fund half of CIMA, with the condition that CIMA is done in my own time.

    Now I really can’t decide whether I should still go to uni or stay in employment?
    I have been looking forward to going to university, mainly due to the social side and due to the fact that you need to have a degree to get a graduate job. After 4 years working full time, I feel that I will thoroughly enjoy it at university and it will be a great experience. I will also have enough money to see me through the 2 years.

    I don’t want to regret not having the experience and the opportunity to make new friends. I feel like I missed out on this as I didn’t go college.

    My only concern is that I won’t get a graduate job and end up working for less than I earn now, or worse, no job! Hopefully my 4 years work experience, AAT and a degree would help me stand out though!

    If I stay at work and study towards CIMA it will be hard work having to work full time on top of all the studying.

    Studying for CIMA will be stressful and hard work, however I know I will be happy at uni.

    On the plus side I will have my saving of £8000, to spend or put towards a mortgage.

    Sorry to ramble on, but I need to make my decision in the next week or so!

    Any input and opinions will be appreciated
    dude what are you saying?? if you had a degree and working for 4 years you would be earning at least 30,000 per year.... the only reason i came to uni is money... when i finish my course on my first year the less i will be earning is 27,000 per year and after 3-4years this would go to 60-70,000 per year.. {and all that if i am average,if i m good ,i could earn even more} 16,000 per year is too little in order to give up uni..
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    (Original post by Pawsies)
    Also consider that in 2 years you may be out of touch with the current system so you'll benefit from working whilst at uni if possible to ensure your experience is modern as it were?
    i will be making sure i get the maximum work experience i can if i choose uni. i will be constantly looking for internships, summer work experience, 2 week placements, part time jobs. Basically anything i can find, providing its relevant work experience and not just a part time job in burger king.

    I will even be willing to work for free providing i get relevant work experience to go on my CV and it will enhance my future prospects.
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    (Original post by purple-laugh)
    Have you heard of the Open Uni? You sound intelligent and that's all they require, they don't ask for any qualifications.
    no, not heard much about it. As far as i was aware its for entry into higher education?

    so not quite sure how it would benefit me
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    (Original post by Herr)
    Are you based in London or within commuting distance of London? If so have you considered the BSc Accounting that is is done completely in the evening and you can gain entry using your work experience and AAT qualification. If it was an option then I'd say this would be a better option than both NTU or CIMA.
    No, not in commuting distance of London. Currently located in Burnley, 30 miles north of Manchester.

    in all fairness, if i was to go for that route, it would be a lot of hard work, working full time and studying for a degree part time. This is one of the disadvantages of me studying CIMA rather than going to uni.

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