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Non-relevant degree but want a career in accountancy

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    Hi

    I have realised I want to pursue a career in the financial field, particularly the accountancy sector. But I am a first year student doing a degree in History. I have tried to get a payroll or an account clerk job part-time but all of the advertisements I have seen want between 12 - 24 months experience in role. What should I do?

    Also is it possible to do A levels at night school? I'm considering taking A Level accounting to help me with graduate scheme applications. :confused:

    Extra Info:
    At college I achieved the grades BBBcc at A level.
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    Most accounting graduate schemes don't expect you to have experience in accounting. They only ask that you meet the academic criteria (2.1 and your ucas is OK for most roles) and show a genuine interest in the area (commercial awareness - read newspapers).

    I'm joining one of the big4 in a few months and I do not have an accountancy degree or accountancy experience. They are far more interested in how you come across in interview (partner interview can be quite gruelling), how you perform on tests / exercises and how you match the competencies (all the usual, examples of teamwork, leadership etc..). Absolutely do not feel put out or even disadvantaged over not having an accountancy degree, they train you after all!

    That said, decent experience was a huge help to me. I didn't have experience in accounting, but I did have a year in industry within a professional setting to talk about. So I'd advise you to definitely keep working on gaining experience!
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    Perhaps you can get onto a finance Masters course? I think degrees that have at least some aspects of maths or statistics helps but I think many only want a 2.1 degree.
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    Apply for 2013 grad schemes, your A-Levels and degree qualify you and lesser roles in accounting will require experience. They test your maths during the process anyway so you have the opportunity to show your ability. I'm a history graduate joining a top 10 firm in September.
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    Don't do a masters unless you have no other option. It's a waste of money for accountancy as people want the professional qualifications rather than a masters. Your only problem will be your UCAS grades. They take the top 3 and I believe in most circumstances require 320 points. However, most of the Big 10 (rather than Big 4) will take 300. There's more than enough opportunities to move firm after your training contact too.
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    (Original post by Kemik)
    Don't do a masters unless you have no other option. It's a waste of money for accountancy as people want the professional qualifications rather than a masters. Your only problem will be your UCAS grades. They take the top 3 and I believe in most circumstances require 320 points. However, most of the Big 10 (rather than Big 4) will take 300. There's more than enough opportunities to move firm after your training contact too.
    Audit and Tax within PWC and Deloitte are 300 UCAS
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    (Original post by Kemik)
    Don't do a masters unless you have no other option. It's a waste of money for accountancy as people want the professional qualifications rather than a masters. Your only problem will be your UCAS grades. They take the top 3 and I believe in most circumstances require 320 points. However, most of the Big 10 (rather than Big 4) will take 300. There's more than enough opportunities to move firm after your training contact too.
    What are the prospects with just BBC at A Level
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    (Original post by The Doggfather)
    What are the prospects with just BBC at A Level
    Even though I am a first year, I have looking at the requirements for various companies and their grad. schemes on the ICAEW website.
    Other than the top 4 and few select others, you should be at no disadvantage when it comes to applying with BBC (280 UCAS)

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    (Original post by U.Ahmed)
    Even though I am a first year, I have looking at the requirements for various companies and their grad. schemes on the ICAEW website.
    Other than the top 4 and few select others, you should be at no disadvantage when it comes to applying with BBC (280 UCAS)

    Great, nice one

    I knew having BBC at A Level would mean no chance with the big 4 or some others, but I'm wondering what the average salary would be with any other firm, like 10-20 rank? I can't find any statistics on this, do you know?
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    (Original post by The Doggfather)
    Great, nice one

    I knew having BBC at A Level would mean no chance with the big 4 or some others, but I'm wondering what the average salary would be with any other firm, like 10-20 rank? I can't find any statistics on this, do you know?
    Well, top 4 offer around 28k as a starting salary fro grad schemes.
    Average graduate accountant salary is around 21k.
    So for a top 10-20 firm, your probably looking at low to mid 20's.
    There aren't any stats on this though, so I have just had a bit of a guess, but I dont think I will be too far off.
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    (Original post by U.Ahmed)
    Well, top 4 offer around 28k as a starting salary fro grad schemes.
    Average graduate accountant salary is around 21k.
    So for a top 10-20 firm, your probably looking at low to mid 20's.

    There aren't any stats on this though, so I have just had a bit of a guess, but I dont think I will be too far off.
    The above is for London salaries. Regional big four is around 21k. Top 10 to 20 would probably be a couple of thousand less.
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    btw going to uni is all about the experience
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    (Original post by Zacho)
    The above is for London salaries. Regional big four is around 21k. Top 10 to 20 would probably be a couple of thousand less.
    Good point, sorry about that.
    I am from London so I have only researched London salaries.
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    (Original post by The Doggfather)
    What are the prospects with just BBC at A Level
    http://www.accountancyage.com/static/top50-this-year

    Look at the firms on this list, I know Baker Tilly only requires 260 UCAS points and a lot of them are around the 260-280 points too. It's only really the big 4 firms that want 300.
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    Points come from AS and A levels...
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    Most top firms specify 3 A levels, first sitting.
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    (Original post by accountant-future)
    Points come from AS and A levels...
    As above, this is wrong when applying for grad jobs. Never seen any ask for anything other than UCAS from top 3, most of the time first sitting.
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    When you say first sitting, does that mean 'first exam mark' or final mark from 'first year of sitting that subject'? For example, if i did Maths A level and at A2 C3 i did in January and got 69, but re-sat that summer and got 85, does the final mark count as a second sitting?
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    (Original post by delasandro)
    When you say first sitting, does that mean 'first exam mark' or final mark from 'first year of sitting that subject'? For example, if i did Maths A level and at A2 C3 i did in January and got 69, but re-sat that summer and got 85, does the final mark count as a second sitting?
    Yes that would be a resit. Essentially they are asking for your A-levels not including any resits, so you might have to calculate them yourself. They'll ask for proof (transcripts) so it's worth being truthful, as however crappy it might seem that you can't apply because you resat a paper 4 years ago, it'll be worse still if you do all the application procedure, get a job, then get rejected when they check your transcripts!
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    (Original post by M1011)
    Yes that would be a resit. Essentially they are asking for your A-levels not including any resits, so you might have to calculate them yourself. They'll ask for proof (transcripts) so it's worth being truthful, as however crappy it might seem that you can't apply because you resat a paper 4 years ago, it'll be worse still if you do all the application procedure, get a job, then get rejected when they check your transcripts!
    I don't think it means module resit. I emailed PwC and they said as long as it was obtained in 2 years (the whole A Level), its fine.

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