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    (Original post by davidr123)
    Sorry if that all came across as too attacking - but the reality is grad schemes are really for selecting candidates who meet the firms "core competencies" to put on training schemes to do the mundane leg-work - the degree itself is utterly meaningless and not needed.

    Grad recruitment is a competition - but the actual degree isn't what employers are interested in.

    All firms look for the following to be evidenced then pick the students they thought were best "fit":

    1. Ability to pass professional exams
    2. Workplace experience
    3. Social and client-facing skills
    4. Commercial awareness
    5. Discipline in the face of boring work

    That is about it. Back in the...hmmmn...80's you could not do professional qualifications like ACA without a university degree - but its all changed.

    Now having self studied and passed the ACA/ACCA you will clearly evidence 1,4 + 5 and put yourself £10000 better off for a firm if they pick you over any other grad - there is also teh guarantee you will not fail and have to be let go or need any time off.

    If you do AAT in a small firm you'l have clearly evidenced all points 1-5 and can transition into a bigger firm to complete the ACA.

    This is what you need to think about when selecting the degree - just doing maths, maths and more maths is completely pointless.

    If you look at PWC grad scheme - there are roughly 1000 places - 300 go to placement year students who did a year at PWC whislt doign a degree, 300 will go to those studying degrees with exemptions from teh professional qualifications, leaving 400 posts for the other 16,000 applicants - graduates + career switchers....

    How do you stand out?
    Everyone has good a-levels, everyone has a 2:1

    My sister went to Imperial - maths, 2:1 - got nowhere with any firm and now teaches. My friend was a straight A student and went to LSE - wanted to do law and got nowhere.

    The point is getting commercial awareness and client-facing skills on the CV counts for more than any academic qualification.

    THey do not select candidates as
    maths>engineering>languages or
    oxbridge>russell group>others

    The CEO of PWC went to a polytechnic and did English.

    How do you differentiate yourself from other students? Hwo can you add value to the firm ahead of everyone else?

    IF you honestly think you are being head hunted for your superior intelligence for doing a "hard" maths degree you are completely deluded - they are looking for people to do the leg work and represent the firm in client facing roles - they'd rather take on a rugby captain (proves team leadership and well liked socially) who got dodgy a-levels but spent a year working for his dad's marketing agency doing client pitches (commercial awareness, can represent the firm)....
    It's not a big race to be ACA-qualified by 21! Most people who are 17/18 now will be working until they're 68 (if not 70)...may as well spend 3 years learning a subject you're really passionate about with tutors and other students, rather than sitting in a room on your own cramming for the ACA!

    You said yourself that PwC's CEO studied English - would you have advised him to skip studying a subject he likes but isn't really related to accountancy just to get 3 years ahead of other people?
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    (Original post by davidr123)
    Sorry if that all came across as too attacking - but the reality is grad schemes are really for selecting candidates who meet the firms "core competencies" to put on training schemes to do the mundane leg-work - the degree itself is utterly meaningless and not needed.

    Grad recruitment is a competition - but the actual degree isn't what employers are interested in.

    All firms look for the following to be evidenced then pick the students they thought were best "fit":

    1. Ability to pass professional exams
    2. Workplace experience
    3. Social and client-facing skills
    4. Commercial awareness
    5. Discipline in the face of boring work

    That is about it. Back in the...hmmmn...80's you could not do professional qualifications like ACA without a university degree - but its all changed.

    Now having self studied and passed the ACA/ACCA you will clearly evidence 1,4 + 5 and put yourself £10000 better off for a firm if they pick you over any other grad - there is also teh guarantee you will not fail and have to be let go or need any time off.

    If you do AAT in a small firm you'l have clearly evidenced all points 1-5 and can transition into a bigger firm to complete the ACA.

    This is what you need to think about when selecting the degree - just doing maths, maths and more maths is completely pointless.

    If you look at PWC grad scheme - there are roughly 1000 places - 300 go to placement year students who did a year at PWC whislt doign a degree, 300 will go to those studying degrees with exemptions from teh professional qualifications, leaving 400 posts for the other 16,000 applicants - graduates + career switchers....

    How do you stand out?
    Everyone has good a-levels, everyone has a 2:1

    My sister went to Imperial - maths, 2:1 - got nowhere with any firm and now teaches. My friend was a straight A student and went to LSE - wanted to do law and got nowhere.

    The point is getting commercial awareness and client-facing skills on the CV counts for more than any academic qualification.

    THey do not select candidates as
    maths>engineering>languages or
    oxbridge>russell group>others

    The CEO of PWC went to a polytechnic and did English.

    How do you differentiate yourself from other students? Hwo can you add value to the firm ahead of everyone else?

    IF you honestly think you are being head hunted for your superior intelligence for doing a "hard" maths degree you are completely deluded - they are looking for people to do the leg work and represent the firm in client facing roles - they'd rather take on a rugby captain (proves team leadership and well liked socially) who got dodgy a-levels but spent a year working for his dad's marketing agency doing client pitches (commercial awareness, can represent the firm)....


    I just got offered a job with a global consultancy after passing the SHL psychometrics and all other competency assessments including interview.

    I started this thread a few weeks ago and was insulted left right and centre by TSR geeks but this just goes to show that one doesn't have to go to a top 10 uni to get a good graduate role.

    Edit:

    Oh yeah, one of the interviewers asked questions around my ability to cope with boring work as you mentioned in point five.

    They also asked a lot about how I work with others and whether I can cope working alone.
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    "It's not a big race to be ACA-qualified by 21! Most people who are 17/18 now will be working until they're 68 (if not 70)...may as well spend 3 years learning a subject you're really passionate about with tutors and other students, rather than sitting in a room on your own cramming for the ACA!"

    >>>> Er, right - delusional - 3 years at uni studying any subject is drinking, sleeping around, doing a bit of reading and getting into debt whilst working in bars/restuarants.

    "You said yourself that PwC's CEO studied English - would you have advised him to skip studying a subject he likes but isn't really related to accountancy just to get 3 years ahead of other people?"

    >>>>> Ah yes, back in 1970 - 80's when there were no student fees, a yearly bursary payment for going into higher education and they paid you a maintenace grant for room and board!!

    He probably went to Uni to avoid work and hang around with young girls so picked English.

    -

    No offence but you are really naive and have been brainwashed by the "uni crowd" - non-professional parents, teachers and Uni careers advisors...


    The best way to get a job digging holes is to dig holes - not spend £30k and 3 years justifying a bunch of quacks salaries to read books and write essays on digging holes.

    If you enjoy reading about digging holes - why not buy a book on holes or go to college part time to learn about them - instead of wasting £30k and 3 years of your life?

    Too much effort to develop well rounded skills for employment- I'll just study really hard go to Imperial and do maths for 5 years, because then my life will be sorted...whenever I go for an interview they'll think I am better than everyone else....lol.

    You may as well sod maths and do arts subjects - you'll meet much more interesting people that way than a bunch of squares who think they are the intellectual elite of society but are in fact doing something completely pointless no one cares about - especially employers - who will probaly think you're socially inept!

    Its all about meeting the core competencies....

    If you don't you end up in teaching or public sector duping the next bunch of kids to go to Uni and get in debt to score on your a-level league tables...but convincing yourself you really are "better" than everyone else and you broadened your mind and get satisfaction from doing it "for the kids".
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    (Original post by babygirl110)


    I just got offered a job with a global consultancy after passing the SHL psychometrics and all other competency assessments including interview.

    I started this thread a few weeks ago and was insulted left right and centre by TSR geeks but this just goes to show that one doesn't have to go to a top 10 uni to get a good graduate role.

    Edit:

    Oh yeah, one of the interviewers asked questions around my ability to cope with boring work as you mentioned in point five.

    They also asked a lot about how I work with others and whether I can cope working alone.
    Nice one! Good luck!!
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    (Original post by R00)
    Nice one! Good luck!!
    Thanks! It's all happened so fast, I can't believe I'll be going back to work soon.
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    (Original post by babygirl110)
    Thanks! It's all happened so fast, I can't believe I'll be going back to work soon.
    It is a great feeling when you've been offered a job! When do you start and what kind of role is it?
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    (Original post by R00)
    It is a great feeling when you've been offered a job! When do you start and what kind of role is it?
    I start at the beginning of April, I'll be working as a survey analyst
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    Sweet! Enjoy your time off while it lasts lol
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    (Original post by Overmars)
    Correlation vs. causation and all that...Math grads tend to be brighter to begin with
    STFU
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    True story.

    Speech and Language Therapy is where the real talent is.
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    (Original post by Overmars)
    Correlation vs. causation and all that...Math grads tend to be brighter to begin with; it's not the knowing about mathsy **** that gets many jobs.

    But yeah, maths grads are better placed than any other.
    just maths? what about physics and maths joint honours
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    (Original post by davidr123)
    "It's not a big race to be ACA-qualified by 21! Most people who are 17/18 now will be working until they're 68 (if not 70)...may as well spend 3 years learning a subject you're really passionate about with tutors and other students, rather than sitting in a room on your own cramming for the ACA!"

    >>>> Er, right - delusional - 3 years at uni studying any subject is drinking, sleeping around, doing a bit of reading and getting into debt whilst working in bars/restuarants.

    "You said yourself that PwC's CEO studied English - would you have advised him to skip studying a subject he likes but isn't really related to accountancy just to get 3 years ahead of other people?"

    >>>>> Ah yes, back in 1970 - 80's when there were no student fees, a yearly bursary payment for going into higher education and they paid you a maintenace grant for room and board!!

    He probably went to Uni to avoid work and hang around with young girls so picked English.

    -

    No offence but you are really naive and have been brainwashed by the "uni crowd" - non-professional parents, teachers and Uni careers advisors...


    The best way to get a job digging holes is to dig holes - not spend £30k and 3 years justifying a bunch of quacks salaries to read books and write essays on digging holes.

    If you enjoy reading about digging holes - why not buy a book on holes or go to college part time to learn about them - instead of wasting £30k and 3 years of your life?

    Too much effort to develop well rounded skills for employment- I'll just study really hard go to Imperial and do maths for 5 years, because then my life will be sorted...whenever I go for an interview they'll think I am better than everyone else....lol.

    You may as well sod maths and do arts subjects - you'll meet much more interesting people that way than a bunch of squares who think they are the intellectual elite of society but are in fact doing something completely pointless no one cares about - especially employers - who will probaly think you're socially inept!

    Its all about meeting the core competencies....

    If you don't you end up in teaching or public sector duping the next bunch of kids to go to Uni and get in debt to score on your a-level league tables...but convincing yourself you really are "better" than everyone else and you broadened your mind and get satisfaction from doing it "for the kids".


    I disagree. I think many who go to university go there to study a subject they are passionate about. Yes some choose their degree with future employment in mind, but not many people manage to do well in a degree they're not particularly interested in. And the structure, the lecturers and the equipment that a university offers not to mention the presence of other equally passionate students offers more to those who are particularly interested in a subject than simply reading a book. So my point is no not all people go to university to waste time and socialize. Many truly enjoy their subject.
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    Okay,

    first off - the orignal poster wants to work in finance but is thinking of doing maths degree as a back up plan and teach if she can't get in.

    My point is - simply meet the core competencies of the big 4 or top 20 firms that offer ACA training and you are in, there is no need to have a degree or a back up plan.

    -

    People who don't go to university to socialise but to study a subject (not career specific - medicine etc) are morons - they waste £30k and 3 years learning outdated crap from people who are not currently working in their field - more often than not its just crap out of a textbook.

    Sorry but that is true - you can get all the books on the subject and academic papers from libraries and learn the 3 year course in 2 months.

    University was relevant 30, maybe 20 years ago - but not anymore at the costs these days- a quote from Bill Gates stating the obvious where it is all going from last year:

    "Five years from now on the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world. It will be better than any single university"

    The ONLY reason to go to university is to enjoy being young and socilaize.
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    Outdated mathematics...

    Interesting.
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    I'm referring to legislation and research findings in subjects at Uni., things change constantly.

    Maths - you can learn it all out of a textbook why even bother studyign that at Uni? Why not just do a OU degree in it if you love leqarnign maths - it will carry the same weight.

    Having a maths degree does not make you automatically employable - if you look like the back end of a cow and have the social skills of a leper - you'll never beat well rounded grads from other subjects to grad jobs - even those you think would demand sound maths skills as the main focus.

    Much so now, you'll soon notice a lot of big financial firms/banks/business advisors and even small high street accountants simply outsource all the back-end maths stuff to India.

    Employers are looking for client facing skills and the core competencies....not a maths degree.

    If you want to use your superior maths skills to problem solve for big firms or do financial modelling - move to Delhi or Chennai! You probably won't get in as you'll be nowhere near the standard or work ethic of the locals!!
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    (Original post by angelmxxx)
    What do you want to do as a job? If you want to go into teaching/accountancy/audit/actuarial job/general graduate scheme etc then a BSc is fine, absolutely fine. You only need an MSc if you want to go into research/something academic. (Eg the maths equivalent of working in a Biochemistry lab, if such a thing exists!)
    Its more general than "academic". For example an MSc is the entry level qualification for a statistician, and statisticians work in a wide range of industries (eg pharma, market research, manufacturing) as well as the public sector. Also an MSc (or as I said above sometimes an MMath) gives you the opportunity to be hired directly to a specialised role rather than a graduate training scheme. This could be in mathematical modelling, scientific computing, or some kinds of quantitative analysis (full blown "Quants" in investment banks usually have a PhD but there are a range of that type of job).
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    (Original post by davidr123)
    Okay,
    Sorry but that is true - you can get all the books on the subject and academic papers from libraries and learn the 3 year course in 2 months.
    ....

    University was relevant 30, maybe 20 years ago - but not anymore at the costs these days- a quote from Bill Gates stating the obvious where it is all going from last year:

    "Five years from now on the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world. It will be better than any single university"

    The ONLY reason to go to university is to enjoy being young and socilaize.
    Really exceptional people can and do learn maths on their own through books. I am struggling to think of anyone in history who could learn the material in a maths degree in two months, not even Galois.

    The OU is great and it is good to see MIT maths lectures on line, but to think that viewing the lectures on line is the same as doing a maths degree misses the point. A mathematical training is a kind of cultural transmission - mainly you learn to be a mathematician by being around mathematicians and doing maths with them, and having your work scrutinized. It is not even clear exactly how this works - but it has for hundreds of years.

    One of the big accountancy and management services firms in Manchester has been saying to us repeatedly over the decades "We like your graduates, they are trained to think".
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    A good maths degree from a top uni opens the door to top paying jobs, it makes it easier to get interviewed - then it's down to you.
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    Okay I've been a bit OTT saying you can learn an entire maths degree in 2 months - but the point is you can learn it in a year - not drag it out over 3.

    I'm a part qualified ACA - we've done 12 exams covering more material than during my whole 3 year degree in 1 year whilst working!

    Universities and maths teachers will crap on about doing maths degrees until they are blue in the face - they have a vested interest in getting you to sign up to their courses to pay their salaries.

    The original poster wants to work in finance - maths degree/masters etc + tons of debt is NOT the best choice for this field - the best way into a finance career is commercial awareness and contacts or a degree from a top business school.

    However a far better way of doing it (in terms of money) is the Big 4 ACA route

    The reason being is if you work in audit for them you will have exposure to clients and gain practical experience you cannot get in any academic institution that is relevant to the actual job.

    The ACA is also the best of the best - universites pass everyone - they are paying clients, the ACA fail the bottom 25% percentile of exam takers every sitting - the exams are difficult - no university course can compare not even Oxbridge. You can also get kicked out the ACA for any mistake or face unlimited fines at their whim - so you have to keep an ongoing high standard. People get kicked out for drink driving.

    Everyone in the professional marketplace knows this.

    So given that - how do I get into a big 4 scheme:

    Core competencies and commercial awareness - NOT maths degrees.

    All they are looking for is audit slaves - not the free-thinking leaders of tomorrow or maths geniuses - so the better you differentiate yourself from the rest of the 2:1 grads the better.

    Clearly passing the professional exams or transitioning from AAT to ACA beats a maths or any other degree hands down in that respect.

    You'll also be able to move to audit senior in no time as everyone else in your intake is stuck at Kaplan doing training for exams - you'll be fast tracked on more jobs as you have less exams to do.

    The UK finance career path for those without rich parents to pay for business schools/contacts is:

    School>Big 4 ACA trainee>Associate at bank

    There is no need to squeeze in Uni + £30k debt - you'll be better off taking a couple of years out and travelling/enjoying your time off...

    -

    If you are doing a degree just to get an interview - why not save £30k and just self study the ACCA/ACA over the same period? You'll put yourself ahead of all the other applicants, trainees when you start and fast track yourself.

    Or listen to the maths lecturers who'll tell you how important it is to get into massive debt to justify their jobs...
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    (Original post by davidr123)
    Okay I've been a bit OTT saying you can learn an entire maths degree in 2 months - but the point is you can learn it in a year - not drag it out over 3.

    I'm a part qualified ACA - we've done 12 exams covering more material than during my whole 3 year degree in 1 year whilst working!

    Universities and maths teachers will crap on about doing maths degrees until they are blue in the face - they have a vested interest in getting you to sign up to their courses to pay their salaries.

    The original poster wants to work in finance - maths degree/masters etc + tons of debt is NOT the best choice for this field - the best way into a finance career is commercial awareness and contacts or a degree from a top business school.

    However a far better way of doing it (in terms of money) is the Big 4 ACA route

    The reason being is if you work in audit for them you will have exposure to clients and gain practical experience you cannot get in any academic institution that is relevant to the actual job.

    The ACA is also the best of the best - universites pass everyone - they are paying clients, the ACA fail the bottom 25% percentile of exam takers every sitting - the exams are difficult - no university course can compare not even Oxbridge. You can also get kicked out the ACA for any mistake or face unlimited fines at their whim - so you have to keep an ongoing high standard. People get kicked out for drink driving.

    Everyone in the professional marketplace knows this.

    So given that - how do I get into a big 4 scheme:

    Core competencies and commercial awareness - NOT maths degrees.

    All they are looking for is audit slaves - not the free-thinking leaders of tomorrow or maths geniuses - so the better you differentiate yourself from the rest of the 2:1 grads the better.

    Clearly passing the professional exams or transitioning from AAT to ACA beats a maths or any other degree hands down in that respect.

    You'll also be able to move to audit senior in no time as everyone else in your intake is stuck at Kaplan doing training for exams - you'll be fast tracked on more jobs as you have less exams to do.

    The UK finance career path for those without rich parents to pay for business schools/contacts is:

    School>Big 4 ACA trainee>Associate at bank

    There is no need to squeeze in Uni + £30k debt - you'll be better off taking a couple of years out and travelling/enjoying your time off...

    -

    If you are doing a degree just to get an interview - why not save £30k and just self study the ACCA/ACA over the same period? You'll put yourself ahead of all the other applicants, trainees when you start and fast track yourself.

    Or listen to the maths lecturers who'll tell you how important it is to get into massive debt to justify their jobs...
    Doing a degree is just signalling to the employer that you can work independently, and keep focused over three years. I don't think it's the subject matter as such.

    On another note - what's the difference between the ACCA and the CA? It takes three years (I think) to qualify as a CA but does it bring additional benefits above a ACCA?
 
 
 
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