Too old for aat

H1983 New MemberRegistered Posts: 6
Hi guys

Just woundering, I feel too old to carry on with aat!!! I am 30 next year and I haven't started level 3 yet!i just think that there are younger people out there that are more likely to get jobs than a 30 yr old. My aim is to do aat then acca,also I haven't got time to go to college at night so would like to do a distance learning course any ideas?

My question is should I do it or will I regret not doing it ???

Suggestions please thank you.

H :-)


  • PGM
    PGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954
    H1983 wrote: »
    Hi guys

    Just woundering, I feel too old to carry on with aat!!! I am 30 next year

    So you're still in your 20's and asking if you're too old?! Stop being silly :D
  • amurray
    amurray Feels At Home Registered, MAAT, AATQB Posts: 304
    Wouldn't say that's old at all, and think you have just amount the same chance of employment as people in younger 20's.

    Go for it!! - You may regret your choices in later life.
    Completed AAT in March 2020
    Currently Studying: CIMA 'Operational Level'
  • mandatory
    mandatory Feels At Home Registered Posts: 59
    No way is that too old! I knew someone in their 50s in my class who was doing AAT, and some 40-somethings who wanted a new challenge. Go for it! :)
  • ExcelAnt
    ExcelAnt Feels At Home Registered Posts: 80
    Ok, so I'm a huge fan of quotes:

    "Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable."
    -Sydney J. Harris

    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
    --Mark Twain

    I actually feel your question is more "someone please give me a kick up the bum I need to acheive my dreams, my goals, And seize control of my life/future!

    Go for it you will not regret it! But if you do, put the effort in, trust me i've a dark history of doing the half arsed attempts. YOu get out what you put in.

    Running out of cliches on this one. Good Luck!
  • mrb82
    mrb82 Well-Known Registered Posts: 147
    I'm 30 in two weeks and am only a couple of months in to level 4
  • janwal
    janwal Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 1,189
    Well there's no chance for me then, I have just started level and I am 45.
  • anniebabe
    anniebabe Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 595
    If your too old - ive got no chance - i am 40 and have FNST and ICAS to do (granted I do have 18 years experience in accounts)- hopefully moving onto ACCA next year - fingers crossed.
    Funding it all myself.
    I am doing it for me and no one else, if it benefits work - all the better.
    So, my advice is stop worrying about it and get studying - lol.
  • MarieNoelle
    MarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,433
    Too old for AAT? Absolutely not! I concur with the 40 something brigade - I started 3 years ago, got my level 4 now and enjoy my new job very much. I may not be as flexible as some of my colleagues because of family commitments but I like to believe I bring something different to my employer (was going to say "maturity" but I don't like to see myself as a "mature" lady!).
    So go for it!
  • Spamkebab
    Spamkebab Well-Known Registered Posts: 233
    Yep nealy 40 here, loving every minute of trying to gain a professional qualification before i hit four o lol.

    Hey Annie, if you find you need a wee apprentice when you hit the big time, please think of me lol.

    Have attitude, will travel lol.

  • guinea pig
    guinea pig Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 402
    Go for it!
    I started AAT at age 24, did the 1st year, then dropped out due to work & family pressures, and my career took a different direction for many years. I returned to finance work 5 years ago, and got the chance to do AAT, starting again at level 2. I completed this year, at the grand old age of 54 !!!!! It has been tough, but a great challenge and very satisfying to finally complete after being disappointed at dropping out all those years ago. It is helping me in my work, although propects are very limited now due to the recession, but it is also providing a plan B.
    Good luck to everyone studying - whatever your age - you never know how very useful it may be now that everyone is likely to be working longer, in a career that may include changes of direction, and adapting to new ideas etc.
  • Richard
    Richard Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 373
    I was 31 when I started AAT, and had absolutely no accounts experience. About six months later I gained my first practice role. Since then I've qualified in AAT and ACCA. When taking my AAT and ACCA exams, I certainly wasn't the oldest person in the exam hall.
  • anniem
    anniem Experienced Mentor Pewsey, WiltshireRegistered Posts: 1,326
    NEVER TOO OLD. I started at 39 and finished at 41! Just do it. I'm now studing ATT
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • SamiH
    SamiH Well-Known Registered Posts: 179
    I agree, you can never be too old. I'm 41 and now doing Level 4 :)
  • Lee
    Lee Feels At Home Registered Posts: 29
    H1983 wrote: »
    Hi guys

    Just woundering, I feel too old to carry on with aat!!! I am 30 next year and I haven't started level 3 yet!i just think that there are younger people out there that are more likely to get jobs than a 30 yr old. My aim is to do aat then acca,also I haven't got time to go to college at night so would like to do a distance learning course any ideas?

    My question is should I do it or will I regret not doing it ???

    Suggestions please thank you.

    H :-)

    Don't be silly, Iam 50 next year and am level 4. Age is but just a number!!!
  • H1983
    H1983 New Member Registered Posts: 6
    Hi there,

    Thank you everyone I have decided with all your feedback that I am going to start ap1&2 in January as I have ordered the books from osbourne and already revived them ( wasn't sure weather to use osbourne or bpp ) so may change to bpp depending on how I get in with osbourne books.

    Thank you again and I'm sure you will be hearing from me in January as I will more than likely need help and advice on all the subjects!!!!.

    Merry Xmas and happy new year to you all x
  • mark057
    mark057 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 354
    Too old??? Are you having a laugh lol???

    No way are you ever too old to learn new skills and gain new qualifications.

    It is awful when people think you have missed your opportunities just because you reach 30.

    30 is nothing and you have loads of time to become fully qualified.

  • bladesman
    bladesman Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 17
    H1983 wrote: »
    Hi guys

    Just woundering, I feel too old to carry on with aat!!! I am 30 next year and I haven't started level 3 yet!i just think that there are younger people out there that are more likely to get jobs than a 30 yr old. My aim is to do aat then acca,also I haven't got time to go to college at night so would like to do a distance learning course any ideas?

    My question is should I do it or will I regret not doing it ???

    Suggestions please thank you.

    H :-)

    No you are not too old. I was told at 25 I am too old to do an apprenticeship by my line manager and when I enquired I was not and now my employers is supporting me through level 2-4 and possibly CIPFA.

    I personally think that if you do not do this you will regret it. I know from first hand experience that someone who goes out of their way to develop themselves in later life will always be considered for job roles as it shows commitment.

    Good luck in what you decide. (also look at Kaplan or home learning college).
  • craigbrown2602
    craigbrown2602 Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 17
    One word.... Yes

    Only joking.. I went to college with people who were mid 40's. Some people wanted to get the qualification as they have all the experience but didnt have the letters behind their name. So before you start getting your pension, carry on with AAT and before you know it, you will be on ACCA.

    Best of luck and happy new year (and also Happy 30th) :)

  • Nileshladva
    Nileshladva Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 22

    You are 30!, why would you feel your too old for AAT?

    Here's an article of a war veteran who changed (started) his career to accounting at age 29 or something.. see its never too late!
  • gill65
    gill65 New Member Registered Posts: 10
    You are never too old for anything.
    I am 47 years old, completed Level 4 last June, applied & got a new job last August, life is good. I had an opportunity in my 20s to study Accountancy but I never followed it through. You should take ever opportunity given to you, don't look back in time and have regrets.
    Good Luck!
  • Steve Collings
    Steve Collings Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 997
    Absolutely not too old!

    I remember before I started in practice (several) years ago, one of our company's auditors was 50+ and she was in the first stages of ACCA. You're never too old to start AAT - the only regret you will have is if you don't do it!

    Best of luck.

  • Wabi Sabi
    Wabi Sabi New Member Registered Posts: 10
    Too old?

    Hi there. I am looking for some advise from out there and this thread seemed a good place to raise my concerns and problems I have found. I am 40 now and in essence 30 is not too young for anything. However what I would advise is before committing do some real research on your salary expectations and where you think the training can take you. Look though jobsites under accounting, pull out the salary bracket you are aiming for, work out what you need to do, set a goal then aim for it.

    Now this is my dilema. I have completed Level3. I have worked as a project manager in industry and retail manager. However I have not worked in an accounts office. This means that I can not fulfill the basic requirements of all the vacancies out there which say, "previous office experience - essential". So if anyone one has any advise on how to get that golden first step on the ladder I would love to hear as I may turn my back on this before level 4 and train to be an electrician as I can atleast go self employed that way.

    Also pay close consideration to the salaries that are on offer. I have a friend who is saying the same thing as me and is about to complete level4. Salaries of a level that will allow you to save for a pension and buy a house only kick in after level 4 with the view to becoming an accountant maybe even chartered. I am applying for entry level jobs, requiring experience and qualifications that pay less then my first job when I left university over 20 years ago. The salaries are on par with retail and you do not need any qualifications for that. I need to start thinking pension funds seriously now and I am not sure and neither is my friend sure that AAT offers the salary expectations to save for retirement.

    So to summarise, make sure it is going to meet your salary expectations. Find someone to advise you how to get suitable experience to get on the ladder (when you find the advise let me know).

    You are right to have concerns. You are not to young if it is really what you want to do but before you start, sit down and right out a clear 10 year plan and stick to it! If you are doing it for the money and your heart really lies else where, well my advise is do what you feel passionate about.
  • Wabi Sabi
    Wabi Sabi New Member Registered Posts: 10
    Hi I am not getting any real feed back to my last post and so I thought I would help raise again the importance of having a clear plan and goal if you are entering into the world of finance. Checking the adverts this morning I came across 2 as examples. The first was for an administrator for filing, photocopying, scanning and general tasks requiring a grade C in maths and english offering £13,925. Similarly there was a post for a Graduate Purchase Ledger with the quote, "The successful candidate will have a degree in Finance or a related subject. You will have a drive to succeed and be willing to start from scratch and work your way upwards." offering £14,000. So as a graduate starter having built up student loan debts the rates of pay on offer are comparable to a school leaver with a grade C in Maths and English.

    This is not uncommon and if you are considering going to university to do a finance, business or accounting degree be very aware that employers will only recognise qualifications from the main bodies AAT, ACCA, etc and if you do not have them you will need to go back to college to start again and sit all the exams. I have heard this a few times from graduates. And it is supported by the quote from the add that I found.

    So take time to be clear on what training bodies are offering and what employees want. The earning potential may be there however initially employers want their pound of flesh. If you have the long term vision and are happy knowing that initially despite all your efforts and qualifications you will be on a low pay grade then you will be able to drive through this.

    Good luck.
    Admin Link as of 16th Jan 2013

    Graduate Link as of 16th Jan 2013
  • Makkusu
    Makkusu Feels At Home BournemouthRegistered Posts: 94
    @Wabi Sabi

    Accountancy is purely experience based, I know a mixture of AAT, Degree and ACCA accountants that are on £60k+ (I'm not privileged enough to know any ACA or CIMA well). Likewise I know many the same that are on £12-13k.

    Moral of the story is... experience > qualifications.

    Fools are put off by the initial low salary a lot of accounts assistants can find themselves slaving away for, perseverance is key. If you have a dream make it happen, putting some letters behind your name doesn't justify you earning x amount.
  • Wabi Sabi
    Wabi Sabi New Member Registered Posts: 10
    @ Makkusu,

    Hi, yup, fair comments. I completely agree.

    The trick I am finding is for the more "mature" trainees getting the starter positions. I finally got a recruitment consultant to give me feed back on my applications and she confirmed that due to me being 40 and having a number of management positions in the past then that means I appear over experienced for the entry level positions. However anything more senior asks for X-years experience. She did also say perceived career changers are hard to place. And my first accounting tutor said that most accounting firms do not want older applicants who have a life but younger ones who they can mold and will do the hours.

    I am really happy with experience > qualifications, and that again leads into making sure any 10 year plan is directed in the right direction, in this case maybe getting a job rather than going to university. But that is up for debate with the education providers.

    Now where I am struggling and maybe where other mature applicants may struggle is how do you get that first step on the ladder? I have applied for 75 accounts assistant/junior positions and have had no replies from any of them, not even a thanks for applying.

    If there are any accounts firms/finance departments that can comment on this gulf then that would be great as my largest concern at the moment (having previously worked in the recruitment industry) is that all these positions a filtered through recruitment agencies but these agencies are putting restrictions on applications including age, and if that is the case is there any way of working round the problem and getting to the recruiting company directly?

    Thanks for the feedback and like I say completely agree and the need for experience adds to the debate how old is too old to change career if you have financial committments. And it is good to have a solid kick up the rear every now and again. Ta ;)
  • jo21977
    jo21977 Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 22
    Don't give up!!

    I was almost 34 when I finished level 4 and I was one of the youngest in my class. Even at 30 don't forget you may still have another 30 years + to work given how the retirement age keeps rising! That's what I considered when signing up at 30!
  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    Ridiculous thread. Although it's six months old this is the first time I've seen it and I opened it up expecting the OP to say there were in their sixties or something. And let's be realistic here... while that age - 60+ - would be too old to be studying to gain employment, it's not too old to be doing it just to gain some extra stimulation in life.
  • steve2008
    steve2008 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 89
    TBH when I was first looking to get out of my current job I was thinking at 30 I was too old to go back into education.

    Then I realised I had 10 years of work behind me and over 30 years ahead of me. 25% through your working life is not time to settle.
  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,525
    Never too old in my opinion... if it is something you want to do, go for it :001_tongue:
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • SheWhoDares
    SheWhoDares Registered Posts: 3
    I did my AAT at 47 and have worked as a Finance Manager for the last 4 years, my salary doubled in 5 years and it was by far the best thing I ever did, I am 51 now and just about to start CIMA, just do it!
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