Finance and Accountancy Careers Content Blocks
Many would go ahead and upgrade to an accounting qualification, which I recommend you do. The one I would be going for is the ACA, which gives you a number of exemptions from the AAT. You will get exemptions for the ACCA and CIMA though. I am not sure about other accounting bodies. Your choice of qualification may also be determined by your employer, but I'd go for ACA where possible.
Should you wish, you can use the AAT qualification topped up to degree level (I think you can go straight into 2nd year or 3rd year), but the choice of degrees can be limited depending on the university. You can also use the qualification to start an accounting degree from scratch with some universities, although I wouldn't recommend that.
Economically, I think it's cheaper to go straight into the professional accounting qualification.
Once you're a qualified accountant, I think that's as high as you can really go, unless you want to specialise in either tax or audit. If it's tax, you can do a CTA which comes after you have done your accounting qualification (any as far as I know, but do check). If you want to specialise in audit, you will need to do further qualifications to do the job.
If you're working in industry, you're mostly concerned with climbing the corporate ladder once you have got your qualification.
I think you should be able to teach AAT at colleges as well, but I'm not sure what the particulars are e.g. do you need a teaching qualification, teaching experience, etc.?