Is it worth continuing?

rawtec
rawtec Registered Posts: 17 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
Sorry if this is in the incorrect section!

I've yet to enrol for my final AAT year, starting this month. The college fees have doubled and due to a lack of Government funding I cannot pay in instalments and need to pay £600 now and another £600 in January. Add text books and the AAT membership renewal and this minimum wage earner is struggling!

However, is it really worth the time and expense anyway?

I've been trying to get an accounts associated job for the last two years, without any luck. Hays will not take me on their books, increasing the experience needed from 6 months, then 1 year and now 2 years.

I've tried applying to advertised jobs, got suited and booted with CV's delivered by hand to accounting companies, asking friends and family and writing to companies offering my services for free (didn't even receive a reply).

Just two interviews in over two years and no matter what certificate I may have, experience is King and will always win over. Catch 22!!!

Therefore, if I cannot gain the experience is there any point in continuing with this final year?

Regards,
Rob
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Comments

  • MWAUGH1983
    MWAUGH1983 Registered Posts: 420
    I paid 1200 quid at kaplan for foundation and then paid eagle something like 650 quid - half paid up front plus 20 quid postage for the whole level then the rest over 5 months which equated to about 60 quid a month - this was for level 3. Eagle offer a better service than kaplan and come highly recommended. In terms of price I would shop around as you can get it cheaper than the private providers which I assume is what you have been quoated from.

    In terms of carrying on; then I would look at payable's job with the nhs or wherever as this is good experience and al ot of places will take you on with a years experience - have you tried the other agencies? I wasn't aware that hays increased their experience requirement from 6 mths to 2 yrs which is disapointing as I am looking to register with them but I will enquire with other places - I only have a yrs experience.

    In terms of the cost of this I know what you mean as I am looking to go down to Manchester for FRA as there isnt much in the local area which is a pain as they arent on the ball in getting stuff organised. This will be £56 for the exam plus accomdation and travel on top so it all adds up but you have to look to the future and hope something happens.

    Cheers
    Martin
  • Bluewednesday
    Bluewednesday Registered Posts: 1,624
    On the flip side of that I have a friend with at least 14 years experience as a management accountant who is struggling to find another job because she doesn't have a qualification!

    Experience isn't king on its own, the 2 are needed together
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954
    On the flip side of that I have a friend with at least 14 years experience as a management accountant who is struggling to find another job because she doesn't have a qualification!

    Experience isn't king on its own, the 2 are needed together

    I also know friends that suffer when it comes to salary review time, lack of qualfiications can have a big effect on your pay even in the same job.

    I know thats not an issue when you're looking for a job, but its something to consider.
  • tigger37
    tigger37 Registered Posts: 200 🎆 🐘 🎆
    On the flip side of that I have a friend with at least 14 years experience as a management accountant who is struggling to find another job because she doesn't have a qualification!

    Experience isn't king on its own, the 2 are needed together
    Another side is I have experience (over 7 years) and a qualification and even I am having trouble finding a job. The market is just not very good right now and as the recruiter siad, there is an abundance of qualified candidates out there now looking.
  • steveJ
    steveJ Registered Posts: 694
    rawtec wrote: »
    Sorry if this is in the incorrect section!

    I've yet to enrol for my final AAT year, starting this month. The college fees have doubled and due to a lack of Government funding I cannot pay in instalments and need to pay £600 now and another £600 in January. Add text books and the AAT membership renewal and this minimum wage earner is struggling!

    However, is it really worth the time and expense anyway?

    I've been trying to get an accounts associated job for the last two years, without any luck. Hays will not take me on their books, increasing the experience needed from 6 months, then 1 year and now 2 years.

    I've tried applying to advertised jobs, got suited and booted with CV's delivered by hand to accounting companies, asking friends and family and writing to companies offering my services for free (didn't even receive a reply).

    Just two interviews in over two years and no matter what certificate I may have, experience is King and will always win over. Catch 22!!!

    Therefore, if I cannot gain the experience is there any point in continuing with this final year?

    Regards,
    Rob

    Could you check out the finance department in the place where you work now ??
    Have a chat with the finance manager and let him/her know that your interested in any finance role and that you are studying.

    Also regarding the Technician level... Could you study by Distance Learning ? You have to be strict with yourself and make sure you study, but this could prove a lot cheaper! Check out Premier Training. Im currently studying intermediate with them and they are great. They also do a payment plan where you can pay an installment every two months.
    Good Luck
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954
    steveJ wrote: »
    Could you check out the finance department in the place where you work now ??
    Have a chat with the finance manager and let him/her know that your interested in any finance role and that you are studying.

    Also regarding the Technician level... Could you study by Distance Learning ? You have to be strict with yourself and make sure you study, but this could prove a lot cheaper! Check out Premier Training. Im currently studying intermediate with them and they are great. They also do a payment plan where you can pay an installment every two months.
    Good Luck

    If I did distance learning again I'd just buy the books, so much cheaper and thats all I ended up using last time.
  • Londina
    Londina MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 814
    I did the whole AAT by distance learning and saved lots of money!

    About jobs, yes I agree, having only work experience is not enough, I had a colleague that have 5 years experience, but only AAT foundation and her salary has increased very little during the years...
  • rawtec
    rawtec Registered Posts: 17 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    Thank you for all your advice.

    Regarding some replies:

    The payment is for my local college not a private company, in which I've been studying during the last two years. With this being my final year, I'd prefer not to risk any other alternatives.

    It's interesting to note that even people with experience, but without qualifications are struggling and even people with both are finding it difficult to find work, I naively thought it was just me!

    I originally started working at the place I am now two years ago, with the intention of moving into the accounts (control) department. However, soon after one person was fired and a non-experienced replacement was made during the course of a weekend!!!
    The original Manager was on long-term sick, but that's no excuse not to advertise the job. Since then I've told other relevant people and even applied to H/O for a vacancy without reply. That was six weeks ago and shows the type of company I'm currently working for!

    When time allows I will look into speaking with other recruitment companies, even widening my options to include admin etc, so at least I'll be in an office environment which would be more relevant than what I'm doing now.

    Finally, I'm hoping to beg and borrow the money this week. After hearing what people have had to say, I really need to struggle on so that the previous two years hard work are not wasted and in the hope that the employment market will improve sooner or later.

    Regards,
    Rob
  • sianisian
    sianisian Registered Posts: 11 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    You just need to keep on applying. Something will come your way soon.

    I have just started level 4 and have 2 years experience. I applied for about 200 jobs in the last month alone - out of that I only got invited to 3 interviews! My friend who has nearly 20 years experience and AAT level 3 is really struggling to find a new job. I don't think he has even received replies let alone invitations to interview...

    I was told by a few agencies that candidates that are PQ CIMA/ACCA are going for AAT jobs because they cannot find CIMA/ACCA jobs. It made me feel like I would never stand a chance! But eventually a new job came my way and one will come your way soon too, I am sure.
  • JaffasGirl
    JaffasGirl Registered Posts: 387
    Blimey 200 jobs in your area! where do you live? lol
  • exam panic
    exam panic Registered Posts: 157 🎆 🐘 🎆
    Job market not very good at the moment but gain any more qualifications is good for you .I'm in the same boat I finished AAT but I can't find a interview in accountant I enrolled for acca but I might cancel it because I think I will over qualified for assistant job so I'm in the s**t really .Try to do distance learning if you have self discipline save your honey while you can go to college will not help you much because all they want you to do is past papper.
  • rawtec
    rawtec Registered Posts: 17 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    sianisian wrote: »
    You just need to keep on applying. Something will come your way soon.

    I have just started level 4 and have 2 years experience. I applied for about 200 jobs in the last month alone - out of that I only got invited to 3 interviews! My friend who has nearly 20 years experience and AAT level 3 is really struggling to find a new job. I don't think he has even received replies let alone invitations to interview...

    I was told by a few agencies that candidates that are PQ CIMA/ACCA are going for AAT jobs because they cannot find CIMA/ACCA jobs. It made me feel like I would never stand a chance! But eventually a new job came my way and one will come your way soon too, I am sure.


    That's an interesting piece of information regarding my job market level being sought by CIMA/ACCA candidates. It's a double whammy really!!!

    I don't know what area you live in, but in my area Bolton - Greater Manchester, I would struggle to find 200 vacancies in a month never mind to apply for. Eg. The last search for the past week revealed just 6 vacancies in a 15 mile radius. That's including the jobs that are way out of my league.

    Obviously this is just from the JobcentrePlus site, but an example none the less.
    You do have an advantage of 2 years experience over myself, but thank you for the encouragement anyway.
  • A-Vic
    A-Vic Registered Posts: 6,970
    rawtec wrote: »
    That's an interesting piece of information regarding my job market level being sought by CIMA/ACCA candidates. It's a double whammy really!!!

    I don't know what area you live in, but in my area Bolton - Greater Manchester, I would struggle to find 200 vacancies in a month never mind to apply for. Eg. The last search for the past week revealed just 6 vacancies in a 15 mile radius. That's including the jobs that are way out of my league.

    Obviously this is just from the JobcentrePlus site, but an example none the less.
    You do have an advantage of 2 years experience over myself, but thank you for the encouragement anyway.

    this a really good site and have applied for a few jobs with them (not only restricted to manchester either) i think all the agencies advertise here so cuts out combined search

    http://www.totaljobs.com/JobSeeking/Manchester_l2027_t1.html
  • RowanB
    RowanB Registered Posts: 158 🎆 🐘 🎆
    I asked the exact same question on here when I was considering starting Technician Level, and most people said something to the effect of 'of course you should you lazy, pretentious, arrogant idiot'.

    I ended up continuing because I found some voluntary work as the treasurer of a local community centre, which made me eligible for government funding for the qualification. I think this scheme still exists although I forget the name of it, so it might be an option for you if you can find a suitable position. Perhaps an AAT tutor at the place that delivered your Intermediate Level course will know something. I only had to attend AAT classes and the centre for a few hours a week to suffice the requirements.

    Completing Technician Level will improve your accounting employability to some extent, but will far from guarantee this and unless you are absolutely intent on an accounting career, or feel content funding the course yourself, it might be worth broadening your horizons in terms of career progression, but still applying for accounting work with a view to continuing AAT should you be offered a relevant position.
  • tigger37
    tigger37 Registered Posts: 200 🎆 🐘 🎆
    sianisian wrote: »
    You just need to keep on applying. Something will come your way soon.

    I have just started level 4 and have 2 years experience. I applied for about 200 jobs in the last month alone - out of that I only got invited to 3 interviews! My friend who has nearly 20 years experience and AAT level 3 is really struggling to find a new job. I don't think he has even received replies let alone invitations to interview...

    I was told by a few agencies that candidates that are PQ CIMA/ACCA are going for AAT jobs because they cannot find CIMA/ACCA jobs. It made me feel like I would never stand a chance! But eventually a new job came my way and one will come your way soon too, I am sure.
    The bit about the PQ ACCA/CIMA's going after AAT jobs - that is exactly what is happening to me at the moment. Just had another interview and hopoe tomorrow when they make a decision, it is a yes! On the plus side, I am being told the PQ's never stay with the AAT jobs as they want the £28,000 + jobs.
  • sianisian
    sianisian Registered Posts: 11 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    JaffasGirl wrote: »
    Blimey 200 jobs in your area! where do you live? lol

    Well, I am in Hertfordshire, so I was applying all over Herts, Beds and some of Bucks too, as well as London.
  • sianisian
    sianisian Registered Posts: 11 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    tigger37 wrote: »
    The bit about the PQ ACCA/CIMA's going after AAT jobs - that is exactly what is happening to me at the moment. Just had another interview and hopoe tomorrow when they make a decision, it is a yes! On the plus side, I am being told the PQ's never stay with the AAT jobs as they want the £28,000 + jobs.

    Fingers crossed! I hope you get a yes tomorrow!

    Completely agree, I don't think the PQs will stick in those jobs for very long which only means the companies will have to start recruiting again.
  • rawtec
    rawtec Registered Posts: 17 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    RowanB wrote: »
    I asked the exact same question on here when I was considering starting Technician Level, and most people said something to the effect of 'of course you should you lazy, pretentious, arrogant idiot'.

    I ended up continuing because I found some voluntary work as the treasurer of a local community centre, which made me eligible for government funding for the qualification. I think this scheme still exists although I forget the name of it, so it might be an option for you if you can find a suitable position. Perhaps an AAT tutor at the place that delivered your Intermediate Level course will know something. I only had to attend AAT classes and the centre for a few hours a week to suffice the requirements.

    Completing Technician Level will improve your accounting employability to some extent, but will far from guarantee this and unless you are absolutely intent on an accounting career, or feel content funding the course yourself, it might be worth broadening your horizons in terms of career progression, but still applying for accounting work with a view to continuing AAT should you be offered a relevant position.

    Thanks for your reply.

    It doesn't sound like you had much support within your post for some reason, which is a shame.

    There is no Government funding at all for the final AAT level this year at my college, even people on Working Tax Credit, Housing Benefit and the Unemployed will not receive any concessions.
    Chatting to a Woman today and they have even stopped teaching level 4 this year in Worsley, so she's had to apply to Bolton College!

    I made the decision to continue after some interesting posts on here, even though it's at the risk of an expensive and useless qualification, yet who knows where it will lead.

    I've enrolled today and fortunately I 'only' needed to pay for the first two units so far at a cost of £370 including exam fees. Another unit to be paid for in November and the same again after the New Year. So, the hard work begins again.
  • rawtec
    rawtec Registered Posts: 17 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    A-Vic wrote: »
    this a really good site and have applied for a few jobs with them (not only restricted to manchester either) i think all the agencies advertise here so cuts out combined search

    http://www.totaljobs.com/JobSeeking/Manchester_l2027_t1.html

    Cheers for that. Much appreciated!
    tigger37 wrote: »
    The bit about the PQ ACCA/CIMA's going after AAT jobs - that is exactly what is happening to me at the moment. Just had another interview and hopoe tomorrow when they make a decision, it is a yes! On the plus side, I am being told the PQ's never stay with the AAT jobs as they want the £28,000 + jobs.

    Good luck with the job. Did they give an indication of when a decision would be made?
  • exam panic
    exam panic Registered Posts: 157 🎆 🐘 🎆
    They all should stop teaching AAT for 1 year or 2 to allow qualified people to find job first . No point keep on train and don't have a job to fill how many AAT qualified out there don't have job (1 hundred thousand )maybe more .This government maybe do a good thing to put break on high education .
  • tigger37
    tigger37 Registered Posts: 200 🎆 🐘 🎆
    rawtec wrote: »
    Cheers for that. Much appreciated!



    Good luck with the job. Did they give an indication of when a decision would be made?
    They had one more interview today and then they plan on making their decision most likely this afternoon. I buggered up one question and the nerves just got the best of me. But the lady said when the HR person left the room not to worry about it - so hoping it didn't affect my chances to much. It was like a brain freeze and she had me draw a t account. I know how to do that and then I did the stupid thing and put the entries the wrong way round - DUH!!! SHe seemed to understand and said even she would have been nervous having 2 people watching over you while you did it in interview. Everything else I answered spot on.
  • rawtec
    rawtec Registered Posts: 17 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    tigger37 wrote: »
    They had one more interview today and then they plan on making their decision most likely this afternoon. I buggered up one question and the nerves just got the best of me. But the lady said when the HR person left the room not to worry about it - so hoping it didn't affect my chances to much. It was like a brain freeze and she had me draw a t account. I know how to do that and then I did the stupid thing and put the entries the wrong way round - DUH!!! SHe seemed to understand and said even she would have been nervous having 2 people watching over you while you did it in interview. Everything else I answered spot on.

    I would imagine most people would be self-concious in producing a sample account with interviewers looking on. So, don't be too hard on yourself.

    I've had interviews, in which in beginning answering the question, I suddenly forget what the question was!!! Is it polite to ask for the original question again or would it make one look like an idiot? The last time I just waffled on hoping it had some semblance of what was asked. Haha!
  • RowanB
    RowanB Registered Posts: 158 🎆 🐘 🎆
    Rawtec.

    lol. It was ages ago, so it doesn't matter anymore. I just thought I'd mention the negativity I received from some people in case you got a similar response.

    That's a shame that your college isn't affiliated with any suitable schemes. Maybe they're just not aware of it. Next time I see my tutor, I'll ask what it's called and let you know, in case there's a way you can 'exploit' it.

    The qualification definitely is not useless. It's well worth getting. I'm just disputing the extent to which passing an extra level will improve your chances of gaining entry into the accounting profession. Once you are in an accounts position, having fully completed the AAT qualification is a huge asset, especially once you have gained MAAT status through completion of a year's relevant work experience. It will also give you excellent grounding for doing the ACCA or ACA qualification for which you will be exempt from having to complete the first year's worth of units.
  • sdv
    sdv Registered Posts: 585
    exam panic wrote: »
    They all should stop teaching AAT for 1 year or 2 to allow qualified people to find job first . No point keep on train and don't have a job to fill how many AAT qualified out there don't have job (1 hundred thousand )maybe more .This government maybe do a good thing to put break on high education .

    This reminds me of hilarious conversations we used to have when travelling to work on the train to pass time.

    one such conversation went like this.

    "What would you do if you were elected as a Prime Minister?"

    Answer: "Abolish the mortage payments for one and all."

    He got my VOTE!
  • exam panic
    exam panic Registered Posts: 157 🎆 🐘 🎆
    Let get real at the moment all the cut this government want to do I don't think any job will create for next few years .so I hope AAT WILL STOP training .
  • A-Vic
    A-Vic Registered Posts: 6,970
    exam panic wrote: »
    Let get real at the moment all the cut this government want to do I don't think any job will create for next few years .so I hope AAT WILL STOP training .

    heck why not stop all qualifications lol its not just the aat thats suffering the lack of jobs you just need to look at the amount of grad students signing on
  • sdv
    sdv Registered Posts: 585
    exam panic wrote: »
    Let get real at the moment all the cut this government want to do I don't think any job will create for next few years .so I hope AAT WILL STOP training .

    If you want to get real, then the government should encourage the employers to get their staff trainned. Put on more classes for AAT and other qualifications NOW. because when the upturn in the economy comes, and it will come, the country will need as many fully trainned staff as available.

    There was a recent thread claiming that there are some bookkeepers that needs urgent training. [thread=28372]click here[/thread]

    We need cost savings in the public expenditure but as the same time we need a boost in spending (Investment) from the private sector, to quickly recover from the current recession.
    exam panic wrote: »
    ...............so I hope AAT WILL STOP training .

    This is wishfull thinking and it won't happen. If you were in education business and selling courses, would you stop selling your product?

    OR would you find a way to sell them more?

    Self assessement: your answer to above will indicate your business acumen!
  • lynn26
    lynn26 Registered Posts: 42 💫 🐯 💫
    is it worth it

    Hi there double check with your college as im doing technican level at college and mine is costing me less then £600 with exams paid for in that , I am doing this level on the new computer based style but dont think that will make much difference.Also i have completed my unit 10 project but still got to complete 5 exams so have another word with college and see if they have quoted you the right amount and also i can pay monthly by direct debit.
    GOOD LUCK............

    Lynn
  • exam panic
    exam panic Registered Posts: 157 🎆 🐘 🎆
    AAT will make money of course do they really care after you qualified?????
  • sdv
    sdv Registered Posts: 585
    exam panic wrote: »
    AAT will make money of course do they really care after you qualified?????

    Of course they do. It is in their interest for the industry to ask for AAT qualified staff.

    Up until recently you could easily get employed as accounts clerk in the local councils. Not any more!

    They will not employ you unless you are AAT qualified. Private indusrty is also begining to take this approch.

    Maybe Blobbyh will confirm this.

    But you are in a good stead if you already have an AAT qualification.
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