Whether you choose to work in the private or public sector, there are plenty of opportunities to pursue. Recent reports show that an additional 80,000 jobs will be created in the accountancy field over the next three decades.

If you have the right skills, you’ll need to choose the right specialism you want to enter. We’ve put together some steps for you if you wish to qualify as an accountant in the UK.

Get qualified

You can apply to an accountancy role with any degree, but a relevant degree will be a clear advantage. Alongside a degree, there are a number of qualifications awarded by the industry’s leading professional bodies that will help you progress in your career.

  • AAT: typically the minimum level expected of an accountant. Made up of four qualifications across three levels.
  • ACCA: comprise of two levels: Fundamentals and Professionals.
  • AIA: the highest award, by completing this, you can achieve qualified accountant status.
  • ACA: 450 days of practical work experience and 15 exam modules.
  • CIMA: for those who wish to pursue a career in management accounting and require you to already have the postgraduate level CIMA qualification.

Our Accounting with Management programme is a brilliant first step to take and is accredited by the ICAEW, CIMA, and ACCA.

Get specialised

Now you’ve got your qualification, it’s time to decide what to specialise in.

Accounting careers are typically split into two areas: financial or management accounting. Financial accounting provides financial information to external stakeholders while management accounts provide information to people within an organisation.

A lot of people enter the field through financial accountancy which can lead to specialisms in areas such as:

  • Forensic Accounting
  • Audit
  • Tax
  • Corporate finance
  • Business recovery

Get experience

Many large financial companies such as Deloitte or KPMG offer summer internships and work placements. Whilst highly competitive, they are a great way for you to gain professional experience.

Another option is to secure a graduate scheme in accounting, business, banking, or finance. There are schemes within these fields that enable you to work whilst you study for the relevant qualifications you need, such as the ACA.

If you don’t have a degree, there are alternatives available such as apprenticeships through the AAT. Securing an apprenticeship means you can gain practical skills and earn a wage, while still studying to achieve the relevant qualifications. Additionally, apprenticeships are a great way to fast-track your career and achieve chartered accountant status.

Whatever route you choose, you’ll be in for a very rewarding and fulfilling role. Your analytical skills paired with your business acumen will be the driving force for many financial decisions in both the private and public sectors.

Don’t miss out and apply to our Accounting with Management programme to kick-start your career!