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Does my degree discipline matter?

Hi

I am a science grad currently training in accountancy, but I'm not sure if this is something I want to be in forever. I am considering other areas of business/ management.

But i am concerned about my career prospects in the future. Although my employer took me on without a finance/ business/ economics/ maths background, I'm concerned this will hold me back in the future?

Is there a possibility we'll get 20 years down the line and employers will be requesting degrees in finance, business etc. for progression and I therefore won't be eligible for senior roles?

At the moment most senior roles don't specify a degree course really, but some do. So I am not sure if this is something which is more likely to increase in the future?

Obviously more people hold a degree now so they'll have a good selection to choose from? I'm worried that although my degree discipline is not holding me back now, it may in the future.
Original post by davieslucy367
Hi

I am a science grad currently training in accountancy, but I'm not sure if this is something I want to be in forever. I am considering other areas of business/ management.

But i am concerned about my career prospects in the future. Although my employer took me on without a finance/ business/ economics/ maths background, I'm concerned this will hold me back in the future?

Is there a possibility we'll get 20 years down the line and employers will be requesting degrees in finance, business etc. for progression and I therefore won't be eligible for senior roles?

At the moment most senior roles don't specify a degree course really, but some do. So I am not sure if this is something which is more likely to increase in the future?

Obviously more people hold a degree now so they'll have a good selection to choose from? I'm worried that although my degree discipline is not holding me back now, it may in the future.

What sort of work or impact do you want in your ideal career? If you're not sure if the career is something you want to do further down the line, it might imply it doesn't quite meet the needs that you have.

No, no career in business or finance would specifically require you to have a specific background. Certain backgrounds will have an advantage in specific roles such as quants, actuary, or economics. However, most roles in business rely on skills concerning people and use a lot of common sense; skills and capabilities that most people should have, hence probably why they did not specify a certain degree requirement if at all. They do however bias people with certain personalities as far as I know.

Senior roles mostly look at your experience and skills. Your degree should be of little relevance unless it qualifies for certain qualifications that you can't get otherwise for compliance reasons. Other than that, your degree subject shouldn't be held against you.
I have came across a number of people who did completely random degrees that have no relevance in business, maths, economics, and finance and still manage to secure senior roles in accounting, finance, and management. For one, I have come across a history graduate who is a senior accountant/head of finance after spending 10-15 years in accounting.
Original post by Anonymous
What sort of work or impact do you want in your ideal career? If you're not sure if the career is something you want to do further down the line, it might imply it doesn't quite meet the needs that you have.

No, no career in business or finance would specifically require you to have a specific background. Certain backgrounds will have an advantage in specific roles such as quants, actuary, or economics. However, most roles in business rely on skills concerning people and use a lot of common sense; skills and capabilities that most people should have, hence probably why they did not specify a certain degree requirement if at all. They do however bias people with certain personalities as far as I know.

Senior roles mostly look at your experience and skills. Your degree should be of little relevance unless it qualifies for certain qualifications that you can't get otherwise for compliance reasons. Other than that, your degree subject shouldn't be held against you.
I have came across a number of people who did completely random degrees that have no relevance in business, maths, economics, and finance and still manage to secure senior roles in accounting, finance, and management. For one, I have come across a history graduate who is a senior accountant/head of finance after spending 10-15 years in accounting.


Thank you for your response. I'm looking into various roles outside of accountancy like consulting, banking, general management roles and perhaps working in public health/ health policy. I suppose I'm just worried that in the future things might change in terms of entry for senior roles and they might put more pressure on relevant degrees. I feel like at the moment there's less requirement for specific degrees because the people applying for senior roles who are in their 50s/ 60s might not have a degree as it was a lot less common back then.
Original post by davieslucy367
Thank you for your response. I'm looking into various roles outside of accountancy like consulting, banking, general management roles and perhaps working in public health/ health policy. I suppose I'm just worried that in the future things might change in terms of entry for senior roles and they might put more pressure on relevant degrees. I feel like at the moment there's less requirement for specific degrees because the people applying for senior roles who are in their 50s/ 60s might not have a degree as it was a lot less common back then.

You don't need qualifications to go into consulting and management, unless it's in a highly regulated industry or the product you're selling is highly regulated. Then and only then should you need to look into specific degrees and courses, if they are even necessary or beneficial at all. In other words, your degree shouldn't matter here.

Banking would require specific professional qualifications for specific roles for compliance purposes. Your degree subject will mean squat as far as I know. See the following:
https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/finance-accounting/job-profiles
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-categories/business-and-finance
https://www.libf.ac.uk/study/financial-education/my-financial-career/a-z-job-profiles
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/jobs-and-work-experience/job-sectors/accountancy-banking-and-finance/finance-qualifications
https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/job-descriptions
Most of the professional qualifications in banking would not require a degree or any prior qualifications, so you should be able to study them without issues. Should they require a degree e.g. CFA, you should be able to do them with an undergrad in any subject i.e. you're fine.

The most difficult area to get into would be public health/health policy. See the following:
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/jobs-and-work-experience/job-sectors/healthcare/public-health-careers
https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/working-health/working-public-health/public-health-regulation-registration-and-membership https://www.careers.ox.ac.uk/public-health#collapse1526326
https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/public-health/faqs-public-health#How%20do%20I%20get%20into%20a%20career%20in%20public%20health?
I don't know which area of public health you intend to work in (it's a wide area), but if you intend to work in a specific area where you would require a specific degree, you will likely need to do a second bachelor's. On the other hand, a master's in public health (which you should be eligible to do if you have high enough grades in your current degree) should help you in general areas of public health. I would first look at the specific roles that you want to go into first.
Should you need to do a second bachelor's, check to see:

if the degree needs to be approved by certain regulatory bodies (e.g. nursing and midwifery by NMC) before doing them.

If you need to take either further A Levels or further Level 3 courses in order to qualify for the course (for nursing for example, you can do with 3 random A Levels which you should already have; for biochemistry, you would need A Level Biology and Chemistry/foundaiton year related to biochemistry/Access course with 15 credits in biiology and 15 in chemistry).



I haven't seen the need for people to push for relevant degrees for senior roles asn you often go into senior roles due to having the relevant experience and skills. You ultimately want someone capable of doing the job, not necessarily having the credentials (unless it was for a specific technical role in say nursing, engineering, etc.). However, I am not in a position to opine this, and neither is anyone really since my prediction of the future is arguably as good as anyone else's.

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