In our last career changer blog post, we focused on 3 of the biggest myths most people believe will stop them from moving to a career in accountancy.
As January is now over (and we’re feeling more upbeat), we thought we’d look at some of the biggest reasons why so many people choose to retrain and become accountants.
Back in 2015, we surveyed 14,000 UK accountants and asked them just that. We found a massive 55% of responders had previously started out in a different career. And here’s the 3 biggest reasons why they decided to switch…
1. Better career progression
Almost half of our responders agreed that accountancy offers a wealth of opportunity for career progression. If you are brand new to accountancy, you may typically start out as an Accounts Assistant or Clerk. Whilst studying an entry level qualification such as AAT, you could quickly be able to work your way up the career ladder, picking up new skills along the way.
- 80% of Kaplan career changers are happy in their new accountancy career
- 55% started out in a different career, before making the change to accountancy
- 60% of people get financial support from their employer or training provider to fund their course
Once AAT qualified, you can then continue on to study a Chartered qualification such as CIMA or ACCA.
A qualification with CIMA will open up Management Accounting opportunities working in corporate finance. You could find yourself influencing product strategy at Google or helping make pricing decisions for new products at Disney!
Alternatively, you may decide to study ACCA and end up working for the likes of Deloitte, KPMG or another ‘Big 4’ accountancy firm. You might even find yourself flying around the world conducting audits for your clients as one of our students did!
2. Better earning potential
Not surprisingly, over a third of career changers were motivated by the prospect of earning a higher salary. A recent 2015 salary survey by AAT showed that qualified accountants earn on average 67% more than their unqualified colleagues. And with typical starting salaries of £18,400, rising to £37,000 with experience, there is plenty of scope for increasing your earnings.
But many of our responders also told us that you should go into the career with realistic expectations to start with. It’s unlikely you’ll be earning a fortune in your first month on the job. Like any career, it takes time and hard work to earn promotions and pay increases. But one thing they all agreed on was that getting your professional qualification will give you the edge over others in the office.
3. Enjoy working with numbers
Yes it’s true – accountants do like working with numbers! But it’s not just about punching numbers into a calculator all day, or collating massive excel spreadsheets to show your boss. The accountants we surveyed told us they love interpreting the numbers and understanding what they mean for their clients or business. Whether it be analysing the profitability of certain products or consulting on pricing decisions for your business, accountants contribution to the company stretches far beyond just reporting.
If you need any more convincing about how rewarding a career in accountancy can be, you can see the full results of our career change research here.