AggaD
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I've recently decided that I wanted to do an apprenticeship rather than go to uni, mostly because there are more pro's in doing an apprenticeship then going to uni, also there are a lot more cons when it comes to uni.

I want to go into accounting, and I was thinking of applying for the big 4 accounting firms (PWC, Deloitte, EY, KPMG), and what I wanted to know is, how hard is it getting into one of these firms? and would I stand a chance?

I'm currently in year 12 doing my A-Levels, and I study Maths, Art and BTEC Business, and I'm predicted an A for maths, an A for art and a Distinction for business. I also got a 7 (A) for GCSE Maths, and a 7 for English Literature and a 4 (C) for English Language.
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Gent2324
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to get a sense of how difficult it is to get into b4 apprenticeships, most offices take in 5-15 people depending on office size, for each area. and theres usually 3-4 assessment centres with around 15 people in each one. Mid tier is a similar pattern with less places and less people applying.

its definitly doable, just make sure you apply to loads of places so you can improve.
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tmr19
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Getting into a B4 is hard, and to be honest, I think there's a bit of a luck element involved - there are so many different tests/assessments in the recruitment process that, even if you're very intelligent and interview well, there are so many opportunities for you to slip up and lose the position.

I got apprenticeship offers from a couple of places, including a B4 where I start in September. Even though I think I deserve my position as I really worked for it etc, restrospectively, there were so many instances I know that if I'd done something slightly differently during recruitment that I might not have got my B4 offer.

I don't think grades actually make a huge impact on the application from what I've seen. I applied with AAA predicted, but I've been speaking to some others starting in September, and a few have much lower grades than me (i.e. BBC). As long as you meet a baseline academic standard (which isn't that high), lot more weight goes into your interviews and their own testing.
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AggaD
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(Original post by Gent2324)
to get a sense of how difficult it is to get into b4 apprenticeships, most offices take in 5-15 people depending on office size, for each area. and theres usually 3-4 assessment centres with around 15 people in each one. Mid tier is a similar pattern with less places and less people applying.

its definitly doable, just make sure you apply to loads of places so you can improve.
Oh that does seem pretty challenging and apprenticeship are becoming as a more popular route each year. Realistically, I don't want to move too far from my home, I live in east Midlands so I wouldn't mind moving to places around 2 hours or less from my home, such as Birminghan. Milton Keynes etc. London is an option but I'm not really sure if I want to go there,
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bingbong9214
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(Original post by AggaD)
I've recently decided that I wanted to do an apprenticeship rather than go to uni, mostly because there are more pro's in doing an apprenticeship then going to uni, also there are a lot more cons when it comes to uni.

I want to go into accounting, and I was thinking of applying for the big 4 accounting firms (PWC, Deloitte, EY, KPMG), and what I wanted to know is, how hard is it getting into one of these firms? and would I stand a chance?

I'm currently in year 12 doing my A-Levels, and I study Maths, Art and BTEC Business, and I'm predicted an A for maths, an A for art and a Distinction for business. I also got a 7 (A) for GCSE Maths, and a 7 for English Literature and a 4 (C) for English Language.
Can I ask what were your pros and cons for Uni or Apprentiship?
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AggaD
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(Original post by tmr19)
Getting into a B4 is hard, and to be honest, I think there's a bit of a luck element involved - there are so many different tests/assessments in the recruitment process that, even if you're very intelligent and interview well, there are so many opportunities for you to slip up and lose the position.

I got apprenticeship offers from a couple of places, including a B4 where I start in September. Even though I think I deserve my position as I really worked for it etc, restrospectively, there were so many instances I know that if I'd done something slightly differently during recruitment that I might not have got my B4 offer.

I don't think grades actually make a huge impact on the application from what I've seen. I applied with AAA predicted, but I've been speaking to some others starting in September, and a few have much lower grades than me (i.e. BBC). As long as you meet a baseline academic standard (which isn't that high), lot more weight goes into your interviews and their own testing.
That does seem scary not going to lie, knowing you could be the perfect candidate but because of a mistake, it could cost you from being accepted. But at the end of the day, it does make sense considering they would be funding your tuition for roughly 5 years.

Would you have any tips that I could potentially use or develop which would help me with my application to make me stand out from other candidates? Anything which you thought made you appear desirable from the others?
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tmr19
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(Original post by AggaD)
That does seem scary not going to lie, knowing you could be the perfect candidate but because of a mistake, it could cost you from being accepted. But at the end of the day, it does make sense considering they would be funding your tuition for roughly 5 years.

Would you have any tips that I could potentially use or develop which would help me with my application to make me stand out from other candidates? Anything which you thought made you appear desirable from the others?
I think I might've overplayed the luck part, but when they have hundreds (even thousands at early stages) of people to pick from who all have similar grades and no meaningful work history, they have to get really picky and start weeding people out on relatively minor things to thin out the pool of candidates. It may come down to picking someone who got 35/40 vs 34/40 on a maths test, or maybe they stumbled over their words a bit during a video response etc.

If you want to DM me I'm happy to give you advice as you go through the recruitment process; it's probably easier than a back and forth over this
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AM.TSR
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(Original post by AggaD)
I want to go into accounting, and I was thinking of applying for the big 4 accounting firms (PWC, Deloitte, EY, KPMG), and what I wanted to know is, how hard is it getting into one of these firms? and would I stand a chance?
It's quite hard. The application process is long with many different forms of assessments. You would definitely stand a chance but they tend to be very competitive.
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Gent2324
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(Original post by AggaD)
That does seem scary not going to lie, knowing you could be the perfect candidate but because of a mistake, it could cost you from being accepted. But at the end of the day, it does make sense considering they would be funding your tuition for roughly 5 years.

Would you have any tips that I could potentially use or develop which would help me with my application to make me stand out from other candidates? Anything which you thought made you appear desirable from the others?
personally id suggest doing some projects on anything with friends / a group, showing teamwork, you can do anything really, make a website together, do something for charity, the point im getting at is that you need to do more than just school. they will ask you a lot of competency questions and if you talk about school for everyone you probably wont get the job.

but more importantly, just apply to as many places as possible, by the time you go to your 5th assessment centre you will be confident and it will really help
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Chris2892
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(Original post by tmr19)
Getting into a B4 is hard, and to be honest, I think there's a bit of a luck element involved - there are so many different tests/assessments in the recruitment process that, even if you're very intelligent and interview well, there are so many opportunities for you to slip up and lose the position.

I got apprenticeship offers from a couple of places, including a B4 where I start in September. Even though I think I deserve my position as I really worked for it etc, restrospectively, there were so many instances I know that if I'd done something slightly differently during recruitment that I might not have got my B4 offer.

I don't think grades actually make a huge impact on the application from what I've seen. I applied with AAA predicted, but I've been speaking to some others starting in September, and a few have much lower grades than me (i.e. BBC). As long as you meet a baseline academic standard (which isn't that high), lot more weight goes into your interviews and their own testing.
(Original post by tmr19)
I think I might've overplayed the luck part, but when they have hundreds (even thousands at early stages) of people to pick from who all have similar grades and no meaningful work history, they have to get really picky and start weeding people out on relatively minor things to thin out the pool of candidates. It may come down to picking someone who got 35/40 vs 34/40 on a maths test, or maybe they stumbled over their words a bit during a video response etc.

If you want to DM me I'm happy to give you advice as you go through the recruitment process; it's probably easier than a back and forth over this
Some very good points, it’s true that employers are quite flexible on grades. Education is very black and white, but personal qualities and strengths are much more unique. The emphasis on individual qualities is a lot more ironed out than you’re suggesting. You’ll find that interviewers most likely know your strengths better than you do.

I recently completed a degree apprenticeship and sometimes assess group exercises for graduates. I’ve seen some amazing CV’s but there’s much more that makes the perfect applicant.

An applicant has to align with the business ethos and values, demonstrating skills that would complement the team/project. This is before even looking at relevant experience.

i recommend the OP takes an insights assessment to identify their unique strengths. This is what sets you apart from other applicants. Gallup’s CliftonStrengths is a good shout, my supervisor recently bought me this and I feel a lot more confident with the unique strengths I bring to a team.
Last edited by Chris2892; 4 weeks ago
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Toastedshoes12
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(Original post by AggaD)
I've recently decided that I wanted to do an apprenticeship rather than go to uni, mostly because there are more pro's in doing an apprenticeship then going to uni, also there are a lot more cons when it comes to uni.

I want to go into accounting, and I was thinking of applying for the big 4 accounting firms (PWC, Deloitte, EY, KPMG), and what I wanted to know is, how hard is it getting into one of these firms? and would I stand a chance?

I'm currently in year 12 doing my A-Levels, and I study Maths, Art and BTEC Business, and I'm predicted an A for maths, an A for art and a Distinction for business. I also got a 7 (A) for GCSE Maths, and a 7 for English Literature and a 4 (C) for English Language.
Hi there,

I am glad you see the benefits of doing an apprenticeship over a degree, i am sure you are aware of the cons so i wont define them.

I have recently been accepted onto Accenture's popular apprentice program and i have to say it was very difficult to get in due to the sheer amount of people applying in comparison to the relatively small intake for this year. However, nothing worth doing is easy so if you want the value of an apprenticeship you have to be willing to put the work in. I am sure other people have already spoken about the multiple assessments, interviews and tests that you have to go through to be shortlisted for a place which is not only time consuming but difficult, but not without reason. It is simply to ensure only the 'elite' or the best join the company.

Speaking on personal experience my recruitment experience with Accenture was very enjoyable and i was supported by their team every step of the way and i am so glad i initially applied and focused all my efforts into standing out in front of other candidates.

However, due to small intakes you will have to apply to lots and lots of different companies so that you stand a chance of getting in, i certainly had to. There will be times when it comes time for you to apply that will get rejected which is inevitable but one piece of advice i would give is just stick with it, because had i not i would have not got my place. Simply be persistent until you get your foot in the door.

So you definitely do stand a chance, it is not impossible but i think difficult is the more appropriate term because if it was easy everyone would do it.

Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn if you have any other question you can DM me your user if you want a chat.

All the best,
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AggaD
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(Original post by bingbong9214)
Can I ask what were your pros and cons for Uni or Apprentiship?
I haven't written a very detailed analysis and most of these are just from the top of my head but considering both uni and apprenticeship, in my position I feel apprenticeship is more appealing to me.

Apprenticeship - Pro's

•Earn a salary while studying
•Gaining experience over time
•Tuition fee's is payed by employer
•Once training is finished, your most likely to be employed straight after

Con's

•Can be quite challenging to both work and study at the same time
•Depending on what industry you go into, you would typically need to think about moving in order to find a good apprenticeship
•It is quite hard to be accepted into a program

University Pro's

•Given a loan (Can be seen as both a pro and con)
•Only studying towards a degree
•Since you are still a student, do would have some free time to enjoy yourself

Con's

•Would be in student debt, but you do not have to pay back until you start earning over 25k I believe, but on average people do pay this until they are 50, and also there is interest on the loan every year
•Once you graduate, it can be hard looking for a job and it does take sometime
•For some, you would need to look for a part time job in order to have some savings to help yourself in terms of financial capabilities
•Most of your loan typically goes towards accomodation, which is mainly why you would need to find a part time job.
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