Route to Success??

melopita Registered Posts: 2 New contributor 🐸
Hi all,

My daughter is currently studying A'level Accountancy at school. She was all set to study Accounting to degree level and then complete her accountancy exams to become fully qualified.

She attended an event yesterday where the AAT fast-track route was heavily pushed and she is now thinking of not going to university.


1. What are your thoughts on both routes?

2. Will not getting a degree mean that her future earning power will be reduced?

I would appreciate your advice as I am unfamiliar with these issues and would like to offer the best advice to her.


  • X5wrangler
    X5wrangler Registered Posts: 170 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    Hi there,

    firstly can I say well done to your daughter on her chosen carrer path. Obviously we a will be biased on this forum!!! :001_smile:

    I think both routes are commendable but it sounds like her ultimate goal is the same whichever route she takes - to be a qualified accountant? If she takes a degree, she will be at college/university for the duration, this won't give her any work experience and could also land her with a student loan? If she takes the AAT route, she could get some work experience and the cost would be the course only. Going down either route will give possible exemptions for ACCA/CIMA etc so if that is how she is looking at it, then the earning potential won't change.

    Hopefully this has been some help :001_smile:
  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654 Epic contributor 🐘
    Agree with Mandy.

    There are many posts on here from people who have the qualifications but no experience so can't get that first elusive job.

    I used to work for a firm of accountants - of the three partners, only one had a degree, so it didn't appear to make any difference to their earning power. Interestingly we had a trainee join just before I left. He was doing the AAT/ACCA route, his friend went off to university to do a degree in accountancy. Their plan is/was to start up in business together eventually - if only I had a crystal ball. :001_smile:
  • phunkyphantom22
    phunkyphantom22 Registered Posts: 166 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    I decided to start working and, later on, study AAT instead of going to university and I've never regretted it. The experience I've built up has always given me an advantage when it comes to jobs and salary.

    A friend of a friend did an accountancy degree at university - it gave him more exemptions from CIMA than I get with AAT, but because I have experience I get paid approx. £6/7k more than he does in a very similar role. I have no debt and he owes about £15k of student debt.

    If she works hard, she can complete AAT within 2 years which is less than a uni degree.

    It depends what she wants more - she may want to go and experience university life....
  • OldTimer
    OldTimer Registered Posts: 2 New contributor 🐸
    I also came to this later in life and started studying AAT with a fair amount of work experience and a good quality A level accounting. I completed AAT and CIMA in four years (worked hard to get straight passes and no re-sits) but I did this whilst working. The experience I gained working coupled with the qualifications gave me great earning power straight away and I have no debts to repay.
    There were a number of students who came into the second year of CIMA with exemptions from their degrees but they struggled. Those students who worked their way up through AAT had an excellent grounding and found CIMA much easier.
    A friend of mine took his degree and was allowed text books in his exam - consequently when he came to CIMA he came unstuck!:thumbup1:
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