chichi619
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I would like to know if it's really necessary to have the CIMA or CPA to improve your career in order to advance in your career with an Msc in accounting and financial management.

I am French so I may not have the same conception of things as you but I consider that as soon as you graduate, you are sufficiently qualified for the job.

Am I wrong?
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DrBin
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Based entirely on what you've written being your situation - yes you're wrong.

Having a professional standard qualification - ACA, ACCA, CPA, CIMA or CTA - will give you many folds chance to gain lucrative employment. This is due to the fundamental requirement that is certified experience. Each qualification I just stated takes 3 years because you need roughly that amount of work experience otherwise even if you got 100% on all the 10+ exams each - otherwise you are not qualified.

Those professional qualifications are constructed to an industry standard - whereas university courses are a lot more flexible in what they can put in their degree package; and because of this firms cannot validate potential candidates ability based on their degree. Hence why the qualifications are far more desirable - even putting aside the work experience.

There are accounting degrees that give you " exemptions " from doing some test papers for qualifications like the ACA or ACCA. But if you go into an industry graduate scheme, and ask to be trained up as a qualified accountant for the firm who hires you - a lot of them will make you do ALL the exams regardless. Simply because they do not know if your course that offered exemptions missed anything.

This always seemed funny to me because the professional bodies backing the certifications have to approve the exam exemptions given to universities. But universities can apply for certain module or courses to act as professional exam exemptions as long as they match up to a minimum of 80% in course or module content. But I digress.

There are also masters degrees wherein although you do your own thesis or research paper; instead of appropriate modules for accountancy, they just give you a slightly concentrated version of the last 4 professional level papers - which are the hardest ones for ACCA. Even then when you get to professional work, unless you self study the qualification - those exam exemptions can still be thrown out by your employer at their digression.

What you can do with a bachelors or MSc in masters is apply to any business role that is at either beginner or one step up from beginner and then proceed to work your way up whilst either self studying or obtaining sponsorship. It is extremely unlikely that you will be able to progress in an accounting or similar finance based field without professional qualification - or at least odds are you won't get as high.

It was recommended to me that after I got out of university ( I studied accountancy BSc) that I go and get myself certified however I wanted, and then if my employer wants me to - they will pay for my MSc. Doing it beforehand would be pointless. Now this is anecdotal - but I have to agree with their opinion.

As someone with a 2:1 in accountancy, with 8 ACCA exemptions and 4 ACA exemptions - I applied for over 70 jobs before I got a job as an accounts assistant. All jobs I applied for were either as a "junior" or "assistant" in some finance role that I most definitely have the theoretical knowledge to complete. But the lack of relevant experience was the biggest chain in my search. I am planning to self study the ACA qualification myself - the only help I'd get from work is letting me take exam days off.

If I could turn back time, id slap myself in the face - study something else or find an apprenticeship that could make me qualified by now. But there's no pill for regret.

Good luck in your endeavours.
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chichi619
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Wow!

Well thanks! I've to admit it I do not really know what I should do for my future.

I want to be a multidisciplinary individual who can work in several areas.

I was accepted in several Msc in international management and accounting and financial management and as well an MBA in Global Business at Coventry University London.

I've just a 2-years technical degree in accounting and management and a bachelor degree in Global Business.

The fact is I don't really know what I want to do with my life. And I don't want to be bothered by passing exam and certification to progress in my field.


I just want a good paid job and travel around the world.
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DrBin
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So maybe instead of being an " accountant " , you may want to look into international business consultancy or business analytics. So this would focus more specifically on things like management accounting, finance, a bit of tax, economics, marketing and operations management - including being familiar with systems as well as project management. Obviously once you've got your foot in the door, you can choose to specialise in whatever you find interesting. Becoming a jack of all trades would not be a great idea; but having fundamental knowledge of all is kind of a requirement at first.

I'm sure you know the core point of accountancy is to either sort out a firm's financial statements or other paperwork, or provide advice. But consultancy focuses a lot more on providing the advice. It would be a case if you going over to the firm you get hired by, spending a few weeks there - telling them how to improve or telling them what their problems are. So an international consultant would be right up your alley.

consultants are always well liked. But consultants who are fluent in foreign language(s) are much more liked. Now if you studied in France - i'd assume you know your french. If you know your french you can learn Spanish and Italian much faster because there's a lot of overlap / cognates due to language families. Spanish directly opens you up to potentially learning Portuguese - The joys of knowing a " language of love". Each language mentioned above has at least 70% similarity but can have big difference in pronunciation or syntax - but the core vocabulary is still closely related. Now Spanish is like the 4th most spoken language in the world, English is 2nd - so if you have these under your belt, you will be extremely valuable in terms of skill set.

What some business firms do is instead of hiring business students, they hire people who know a foreign language or two - and just teach them business on the job anyways - or send them to college for half their days before they are up to date enough to learn on the job anyways. Accounting firms also do this - I learned Audit from someone who studied foreign languages at Cambridge and then went to KPMG right after they graduated.

What I would do if I was you next, would be to look around for jobs for any sort of consultancy or business analyst first. It doesn't matter what it is or where you go, but you need a year of experience under your belt for three reasons: (1) you know you want to do the job, (2) you become much more employable to any other consultant firm. (3) You need to create a network of contacts. If you've got any friends in business, now would be a great time to ask if they can put in a good world for you - or help you get an interview. Sadly a lot of business opportunities come through nepotism or recommendation, so getting that first job can be a pain in the ass. Whilst doing the first job, make sure your languages are in training or good enough to put on your cv i.e. fluent in X. Then once you've got that experience, start applying for international firms or international businesses in industries - then grow from there.

Hope this helps.
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chichi619
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Thank you! I will try to follow your recommendations.

I have some base in Spanish, and I will maybe try to work further on this.

I will choose between an msc in international management at Royal Holloway and an MBA Global Business. And at the same time find a part time job as a business analyst junior or consultant ro gain knowledge and experience.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by chichi619)
I would like to know if it's really necessary to have the CIMA or CPA to improve your career in order to advance in your career with an Msc in accounting and financial management.

I am French so I may not have the same conception of things as you but I consider that as soon as you graduate, you are sufficiently qualified for the job.

Am I wrong?
You may well not be wrong in France (and a load of other countries). In the UK (and others) the professional qualification is more important than having a degree and masters for careers in accountancy. You probably need to consider where you might work in the future.
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DrBin
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Definitely back ajj on this. The professional certificates are far more valuable than any MSc. The job experience will get you through the door, but the professional certificates are required to even get up to middle management / decent clients. Without professional qualifications you'll probably remain in an assistant or analyst role; rather than an active travelling consultant - who travels and earns the big bucks that you want.
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