ThatAsianDude
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Hey guys,

Basically I am thinking of doing a career in accountancy - I naturally want to try to get the ACA and get into a company and practice. Hopefully eventually big 4.

My Credentials are:
- A-Level: 3A*s, Solid A*s at GCSE
- currently studying BSc Psychology and BA Philosophy at University (won't name but it's fairly recognized worldwide)

Given the fact that I'm doing an unrelated degree, what are the current routes into accountancy?

I know that graduate training contracts etc exist and there are programs. But how competitive are they for someone with an unrelated degree. I'm planning to apply to an absolute range of places (from big 4 to medium-sized). Do I stand a good chance?

Let's say I don't for whatever reason get into these schemes/contracts. What are my other options? Could I go to uni again?

Out of interest - any other finance/business related programmes with decent pay that don't require specific degrees?
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ajj2000
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(Original post by ThatAsianDude)
Hey guys,

Basically I am thinking of doing a career in accountancy - I naturally want to try to get the ACA and get into a company and practice. Hopefully eventually big 4.

My Credentials are:
- A-Level: 3A*s, Solid A*s at GCSE
- currently studying BSc Psychology and BA Philosophy at University (won't name but it's fairly recognized worldwide)

Given the fact that I'm doing an unrelated degree, what are the current routes into accountancy?

I know that graduate training contracts etc exist and there are programs. But how competitive are they for someone with an unrelated degree. I'm planning to apply to an absolute range of places (from big 4 to medium-sized). Do I stand a good chance?

Let's say I don't for whatever reason get into these schemes/contracts. What are my other options? Could I go to uni again?

Out of interest - any other finance/business related programmes with decent pay that don't require specific degrees?
Given the fact that I'm doing an unrelated degree, what are the current routes into accountancy?

Graduate training schemes either in practice or industry, plus government jobs, are the obvious place to start. There are other options but you should try these first.

But how competitive are they for someone with an unrelated degree.

For larger accounting firms the degree doesn't matter. For some positions in industry grad schemes there is a preference for business or numerate degrees.

Do I stand a good chance?

Probably - but you need to be good at the assessment tests, have something interesting to say for competency based questions and get some understanding of the profession to be a strong applicant. Nothing there you can't do.

What are my other options? Could I go to uni again?

There are other options but best to prepare for grad scheme admissions at this stage as it will help you learn about the work and career which would help with other routes. You could go to uni again but its almost certainly a bad move.

Out of interest - any other finance/business related programmes with decent pay that don't require specific degrees?

Lots of banking roles don't require specific degrees. Also loads of general management, grad rotation schemes. They tend to be competitive so its worth applying for a load of them if they appeal.
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ThatAsianDude
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Given the fact that I'm doing an unrelated degree, what are the current routes into accountancy?

Graduate training schemes either in practice or industry, plus government jobs, are the obvious place to start. There are other options but you should try these first.

But how competitive are they for someone with an unrelated degree.

For larger accounting firms the degree doesn't matter. For some positions in industry grad schemes there is a preference for business or numerate degrees.

Do I stand a good chance?

Probably - but you need to be good at the assessment tests, have something interesting to say for competency based questions and get some understanding of the profession to be a strong applicant. Nothing there you can't do.

What are my other options? Could I go to uni again?

There are other options but best to prepare for grad scheme admissions at this stage as it will help you learn about the work and career which would help with other routes. You could go to uni again but its almost certainly a bad move.

Out of interest - any other finance/business related programmes with decent pay that don't require specific degrees?

Lots of banking roles don't require specific degrees. Also loads of general management, grad rotation schemes. They tend to be competitive so its worth applying for a load of them if they appeal.
- not to be annoying but could you give an example of government grad schemes?
- so are medium sized firms more focused on the degree? I've noticed things like PwC don't care
- i guess taking some accountancy classes are a good idea.
- any idea on what the university option would be like (backup of course), most post-grad courses seem to require accountancy/econ/math undergrad.

THANK YOU
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ajj2000
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(Original post by ThatAsianDude)
- not to be annoying but could you give an example of government grad schemes?
- so are medium sized firms more focused on the degree? I've noticed things like PwC don't care
- i guess taking some accountancy classes are a good idea.
- any idea on what the university option would be like (backup of course), most post-grad courses seem to require accountancy/econ/math undergrad.

THANK YOU
- not to be annoying but could you give an example of government grad schemes?

Bit tired at the moment so remind me tomorrow, but there are civil service/ fast stream accountancy graduate schemes, a local government one (there is a useful thread on this board), NHS etc. Local government work can be really interesting if you have some liking for public policy, psychology etc. Very different to a lot of more normal entry level accounting roles.

- so are medium sized firms more focused on the degree? I've noticed things like PwC don't care

I think it depends on what we mean by medium sized. Smaller firms tend to be more interested in relevant degrees - but with plenty of exceptions. There is no shortage of firms for you to apply to!

- i guess taking some accountancy classes are a good idea.

In theory your though process is fine but in practise accountancy classes will do you absolutely no good at this stage, might be harmful, and take time which you could spend doing things which would really help your applications.

- any idea on what the university option would be like (backup of course), most post-grad courses seem to require accountancy/econ/math undergrad.

Again, I can see that it looks from the outside as if it should be a good idea, but in reality its a pretty bad move in most cases. I'm assuming here that you are a UK resident planning on a career in the UK - this advice may not apply for some other circumstances.

If you get onto a grad scheme they will pay and provide all the training you need. A masters degree is very unlikely to be an advantage - at least if its an accountancy type masters degree. It will often be a hindrance - blowing money and wasting time are hardly desirable qualities in an accountant!

Perhaps think of it like this. Strong candidates from the UK do not really look for accountancy masters degrees. The bulk of students are from overseas, getting some international experience, exposure to speaking English and gaining a masters for countries where these are a benefit on their CV. The accountancy masters are just not aimed at the UK workplace for accountancy careers. There was one with Liverpool university which had a lot of merits but seems to have been discontinued. Conversion masters also have a very poor record when it comes to further professional exams.

If the grad scheme route doesn't work out there are different paths you can look at - including qualifications which employers look for and respect.
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ThatAsianDude
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(Original post by ajj2000)
- not to be annoying but could you give an example of government grad schemes?

Bit tired at the moment so remind me tomorrow, but there are civil service/ fast stream accountancy graduate schemes, a local government one (there is a useful thread on this board), NHS etc. Local government work can be really interesting if you have some liking for public policy, psychology etc. Very different to a lot of more normal entry level accounting roles.

- so are medium sized firms more focused on the degree? I've noticed things like PwC don't care

I think it depends on what we mean by medium sized. Smaller firms tend to be more interested in relevant degrees - but with plenty of exceptions. There is no shortage of firms for you to apply to!

- i guess taking some accountancy classes are a good idea.

In theory your though process is fine but in practise accountancy classes will do you absolutely no good at this stage, might be harmful, and take time which you could spend doing things which would really help your applications.

- any idea on what the university option would be like (backup of course), most post-grad courses seem to require accountancy/econ/math undergrad.

Again, I can see that it looks from the outside as if it should be a good idea, but in reality its a pretty bad move in most cases. I'm assuming here that you are a UK resident planning on a career in the UK - this advice may not apply for some other circumstances.

If you get onto a grad scheme they will pay and provide all the training you need. A masters degree is very unlikely to be an advantage - at least if its an accountancy type masters degree. It will often be a hindrance - blowing money and wasting time are hardly desirable qualities in an accountant!

Perhaps think of it like this. Strong candidates from the UK do not really look for accountancy masters degrees. The bulk of students are from overseas, getting some international experience, exposure to speaking English and gaining a masters for countries where these are a benefit on their CV. The accountancy masters are just not aimed at the UK workplace for accountancy careers. There was one with Liverpool university which had a lot of merits but seems to have been discontinued. Conversion masters also have a very poor record when it comes to further professional exams.

If the grad scheme route doesn't work out there are different paths you can look at - including qualifications which employers look for and respect.
I appreciate this. I guess a backup could be to just try to work at an accountancy firm/ work towards AAT.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by ThatAsianDude)
I appreciate this. I guess a backup could be to just try to work at an accountancy firm/ work towards AAT.
Exactly - or join an accounting firm or some company and sit ACCA exams. Still, its worth having a decent go at the big firm training contracts if thats what you fancy. When do you graduate?
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ThatAsianDude
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Exactly - or join an accounting firm or some company and sit ACCA exams. Still, its worth having a decent go at the big firm training contracts if thats what you fancy. When do you graduate?
I'm doing a 4 year degree, and graduate in 2023
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ajj2000
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(Original post by ThatAsianDude)
I'm doing a 4 year degree, and graduate in 2023
Ah, you have ages - plenty of time to apply for work experience etc.
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Raja12
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(Original post by ThatAsianDude)
I'm doing a 4 year degree, and graduate in 2023
hate to put it in here, but investment banking doesn't require a specific degree too
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ThatAsianDude
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(Original post by Raja12)
hate to put it in here, but investment banking doesn't require a specific degree too
oh damn. I'll take a look. I was thinking of consulting too
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Raja12
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(Original post by ThatAsianDude)
oh damn. I'll take a look. I was thinking of consulting too
however, for investment banking, you do need to go to a semi-target or target university. Hopefully, you go to one of them. Also, you need to get internships and spring weeks. Are you good with numbers too, as they have some types of assessments, for internships at investment banks. You don't need to be a genius in maths but just being good with numbers will show your numerical competency.
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melody37
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Hi there! Will be starting in Sept at a Big 4 firm, and tbh Big 4 don't really mind what degree you do - I've seen offer holders with degrees like History, Chemistry, etc and some from non-Russell Group unis too. Medium-sized firms like BDO and Grant Thornton won't mind too but as someone else here mentioned, smaller firms may prefer related degrees.

I don't think a Master's degree would give you an advantage - for accountancy anyway. If you join a grad scheme/training contract, the firm will put you through a professional qualification (eg. ICAEW, ICAS) and that's already 12-15 exams lol. A master's in accountancy seems a bit unnecessary imo. The firm I'm joining is giving me a Level 7 apprenticeship in accountancy (equivalent to a Master's) along with my professional qualification.

Since you have until 2023 anyway, you have plenty of time to get experience, apply for internships, etc. I'm sure you'll be able to get at least a few weeks at your local (small) accountancy firm - though you do have a decent chance at bigger internships!
Last edited by melody37; 3 weeks ago
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kek6969
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You can do literally any degree as long as you do well, get some internships/work experience as well, my degree is completely unrelated as well as my work experience. Even if it's unrelated during the interview/application process you can link it to the job role
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FARAATC
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(Original post by ThatAsianDude)
Hey guys,

Basically I am thinking of doing a career in accountancy - I naturally want to try to get the ACA and get into a company and practice. Hopefully eventually big 4.

My Credentials are:
- A-Level: 3A*s, Solid A*s at GCSE
- currently studying BSc Psychology and BA Philosophy at University (won't name but it's fairly recognized worldwide)

Given the fact that I'm doing an unrelated degree, what are the current routes into accountancy?

I know that graduate training contracts etc exist and there are programs. But how competitive are they for someone with an unrelated degree. I'm planning to apply to an absolute range of places (from big 4 to medium-sized). Do I stand a good chance?

Let's say I don't for whatever reason get into these schemes/contracts. What are my other options? Could I go to uni again?

Out of interest - any other finance/business related programmes with decent pay that don't require specific degrees?
What year at uni are you in? I think youre doing a great degree subjective and they will love that.
Youre abit concerned about your degree subject however i think its really a massive benefit and theres so much you cna bring over the generic accounting economics degrees people have i like you r chances
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