Graduate Unemployment Ė Avoiding the Statistics with Accounting
With the numbers of graduates unable to find work after leaving university now on a par with school leavers without a degree, prospects of finding employment are understandably bleak. The main difference between the two groups is that graduates have just spent an average of £30,000 to get themselves onto the jobless statistics which may, understandably, add to their frustration. However, despite the sluggish economy there are a number of options and some career prospects remain buoyant. Despite, or perhaps because of the recession, accountancy careers remain a viable option and the good news is that a degree is not an essential requirement. Even if you do have a degree most accountancy firms will accept a surprisingly broad range of qualifications and donít just limit their search to those with a maths based education.
Degrees of Education
It helps to have graduated with a degree that has some relevance to the business world; business management, administration and marketing are the obvious ones (as well as degrees in accounting practice, of course). While a degree in performance art may not be ideal, others including psychology or literature studies will not be a bar to finding work in the industry. The crucial qualifications that you will need are those offered by specific accounting organisations. These courses are widely available across the UK and there are different qualifications for different fields with the accounting profession. Itís possible to study these courses part time, or from home, while many firms will consider funding them for new employees. If you take the latter route youíll need to start off in an entry level position, which will mean doing the more menial tasks around the office and taking on study, in part, in your own time.
Roles in accountancy are varied and for this reason the professional qualifications come from a range of different, specialist, professional organisations. Entry level accountancy roles will often look for an accounting technician qualification and these are available from the Association of Accounting Technicians. The qualifications will allow you to perform support roles within accounting firms. For those looking to become certified accountants, the Association of Chartered Accountants offer the most appropriate qualification. The qualification will require three years of practice within the industry and is best suited to those already working in the industry. There are also industry bodies offering qualifications within specialist areas including Tax and Public Sector accounting and auditing, corporate finance, management accounting and within the field of Tax Advice. For more information on the most relevant qualifications the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants can offer information and advice.
Practice Makes Perfect (and some cash)
A little practical experience goes a long way in the accounting and bookkeeping industry. By trying out straightforward accounting software such as QuickBooks you can get a feel for how accounting software works. QuickBooks accounting software is a good system to get to grips with as itís built with the small to medium business sector in mind, and has a vast and growing number of users. For those particularly interested in working freelance, or setting up their own bookkeeping business, this type of software is one not to be missed as many small businesses are already using it. Accountancy and bookkeeping can offer a very lucrative and secure career for recent graduates Ė or for those looking to change career Ė and certainly catering to the small business sector can be a very profitable route. Small firms are amongst the strongest in the economy at the moment and the government is keen to see their success as itís believed they will be crucial to the recovery of the economy. Putting yourself at the service of this type of firm is likely to be one way in which to establish a very profitable firm of your own, whatever the economic climate brings.
Despite the bleak outlook for many graduates the accountancy profession can still offer opportunities for those leaving university. Working towards an accountancy based qualification will help to find employment in the industry or learning to use Quickbooks accounting software can help you to set up your own small business.
About the author
Carlo Pandian is a freelance writer based in London and blogs on business issues covering everything from tutorials on QuickBooks Online accounting software to organisational change. In his free time he likes cooking Asian and Italian food and inviting his friends for dinner.