Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular, in 2019/20, there were 719,000 people participating in an apprenticeship. The Association of Accounting Technicians is the world’s leading professional body for Accounting Technicians. Being an apprentice will allow you to skip the costs of university, having a debt-free route to employment within the accounting industry, this type of apprenticeship is perfect for those who are not 100% sure what area of accountancy they want to go into. Also, this allows you to have 3-4 year head start over university graduates, who will not have nowhere near as much experience as you, which is what most of employers look for. You can find out more about AAT accountancy apprenticeships here.
There are different types of accounting apprenticeships, each allowing you to train for different roles. The Intermediate level 2 which is the lowest level and equivalent to GCSE, these roles include accounts assistant and a cashier. Advanced level 3 which is equivalent to A-level the provides the skills to be an assistant accountant and trainee accounting technician role. Finally, a higher apprenticeship at level 4-7 and a degree level 6 and 7, this is a foundation degree and above and this will open you up to opportunities to be an accounts manager or accounts technician. The AAT Advanced Diploma is expected to take around a year, however, can be done as quick as 6 months and the professional diploma takes between 9-18months. A year to become a qualified accountant is no time at all compared to 3 years at university where you haven’t been paid, instead left with £50,000 debt. The center for economics and business research revealed that those who complete a higher/degree apprenticeship can increase their lifetime earnings by £150,000 which is huge figure, making it so much more likely for those to take their apprenticeships a level further.
The opportunities are endless, every business whether it’s a small start-up or a global brand they each require an accountant, either way you will have a chance to use the new technology as its developing over the years and to develop your skills. You could be earning £25,000 after you complete your apprenticeship and be able to go into a job with the skills and knowledge required. When you achieve your qualification, AAT for example is highly recognized by employers, giving you a competitive edge on your cv when applying for jobs. You will develop practical and technical skills, your tasks will vary dependent on the job, but they could include, filing and faxing, emailing, taking calls from clients, payroll, preparing financial reports and processing invoices.
Now more than ever employers are taking on more and more apprentices, it’s a productive and effective way to grow talent within teams. Employers can adapt their training to the needs of their business instead of hiring someone with already existing knowledge and them not working how they would like them to, 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their business and as there funded by the government this is very cost effective for them, especially when apprentices are offered a full time job after the completion of the course making all the money that went into the apprenticeship more valuable.
If you’re thinking about doing an apprenticeship in accounting, it’s a valid way of gaining qualifications while earning money and setting yourself up to becoming an expert within the field and there’s no better time to start than now.