Cima Degree route

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dan1983
dan1983 Registered Posts: 33 Epic contributor 🐘
Hi guys, been thinking for the last few days about which way I want to go and have decided I want to do the cima degree route.
My question is am I wasting my time/money doing aat as I could just start cima at certificate level???

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  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
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    I can only speak as an AAT/ACCA student but the general idea is the same. I too could have started straight on to ACCA (actually I did do one exam, before I reverted to AAT, but that was due to being pregnant and knowing I was going to have to miss the next two ACCA exam sittings so did AAT to keep me busy in the meantime). Personally I did find AAT very easy, however, I have no regrets doing it before getting into the meaty stuff of ACCA as I think it helped enormously. I knew the basics (which ACCA to a certain extent assume you do) so was able to get the first couple of ACCA exams completed quickly. It didn't really add any extra time, as I did AAT (and was therefore eligible to claim 3 ACCA exemptions if I'd wanted to (I sat them anyway as revision)) in the time that it would likely have taken me to actually do those three exams from scratch.

    I liken it to driving a car, it's not actually that difficult but if no one has told you what the pedals or the gear stick do, you're going to find it difficult. ACCA skim over it and tell you briefly what they do, but AAT actually explains and shows you what they do.

    It's also been mentioned on here before that AAT employees seem to have a better understanding of the basics than chartered students. I definitely feel that my knowledge is better than if I'd gone straight onto ACCA. You will also have a full qualification in the meantime rather than just part of one (this may or may not matter to you).

    So yes, it will cost more to do AAT first but from a practical point of view, I don't think it's a waste.
  • danielk
    danielk Registered Posts: 12 Regular contributor ⭐
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    hello dan 1983, my name is dan and born 1983 too lol
    could you tell me if you are doing the cima homestudy then top up for a degree or are you actually going to attend a uni and do the degree/cima?
    thought about my next step and im a lil unsure
  • dan1983
    dan1983 Registered Posts: 33 Epic contributor 🐘
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    danielk wrote: »
    hello dan 1983, my name is dan and born 1983 too lol
    could you tell me if you are doing the cima homestudy then top up for a degree or are you actually going to attend a uni and do the degree/cima?
    thought about my next step and im a lil unsure
    Lol, Im looking to do cima and degree at the same time via a distance learning uni in Aberdeen.
    If you check on cima website you will see the one I mean, its a 2 year course if you have aat level 4 and you will qualify with cima qualification and a ba in accounting.
  • Vlee
    Vlee Registered Posts: 136 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Hello

    I'm not an expert but I've considered going straight to the professional qualifications too. However AAT gives you more exposure to different areas of accounting - you may find you prefer practice style accounting rather than management accounting but if you make thats decision now it's harder to go back.

    Additionally if you get a CIMA but no experience you might find it hard to get a job, over qualified for entry level jobs but not enough experience for other jobs. This is my thinking anyway. I also think it's good to find an employer who is willing to pay for the training, I've heard its a lot more expensive.

    Whichever route you take you can get there, AAT suits my circumstances but a full time degree may be better for others.
  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
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    Can I ask something? May be barking up the wrong tree!

    Why do you want the degree as well as the CIMA qualification? (I take it you know it is not the full CIMA qualification which is achieved, for that you need to go on to the MSc qualification or do the extra exams yourself?). Is it for the personal satisfaction of having a degree or is it so you can apply for graduate positions? If for the potential of graduate opportunities, my understanding is that most firms actually prefer non accounting degrees, and that there is actually still a fair amount of university snobbery out there. A lot of employers will only count "proper" traditional full time 3 year, red brick university degrees as acceptable. If you are intending to end up with the full CIMA qualification eventually anyway, just be sure that the degree is worth the extra time and money for your purposes.

    I say this as someone who is doing the Oxford Brooke's BSc as part of the ACCA partnership. I don't actually expect it to help me in the long term at all as it is basically just one project on top of the normal ACCA exams so I can't imagine employers getting too over excited about it. Luckily I'm a graduate anyway via the traditional route so I'm only doing this degree as it isn't much more work on top of what I'm doing anyway, so I thought why not?

    I may be talking rubbish, but perhaps look at whether CIMA on its own may serve you just as well?
  • Rozzi Rainbow
    Rozzi Rainbow Registered Posts: 465 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Nps1976 wrote: »
    I say this as someone who is doing the Oxford Brooke's BSc as part of the ACCA partnership. I don't actually expect it to help me in the long term at all as it is basically just one project on top of the normal ACCA exams so I can't imagine employers getting too over excited about it. Luckily I'm a graduate anyway via the traditional route so I'm only doing this degree as it isn't much more work on top of what I'm doing anyway, so I thought why not?

    Sorry to hijack this thread, but this is exactly what I am doing. I agree that as it's just one extra project, it's worth doing to get a degree. I haven't got a degree, and would like it for my own satisfaction, and also to show everyone from school that going to uni at 18 isn't the only option! I don't really care what employers will think of the degree (although if I were ever to change career I thought a degree might be better recognised than a specialist accountancy qualification) as I'll hopefully have ACCA and my accounting experience to use.

    Nps have you started the project yet, how are you finding it? I hate it, I've been trying to do it for a year and a half and it's becoming the bane of my life :( (Feel free to move this conversation over to Further Studies if you don't want to hijack this thread further.)
  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
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    No, not started the project yet. I'm only going to do it if my F paper marks put me on track for a 1st. I've spent the last 15 years kicking myself for not working harder in my last degree and not getting a 1st so this will be just to put my own demons to bed!
  • James Patterson
    James Patterson Registered Posts: 281
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    This thread has sort of given me mixed feelings now.

    I will finish AAT Level 4 in September. My plan was to go onto CIMA as management accounting is the future plan.

    BUT i am 19 at the end of the month, so could still go to university potentially. I have constantly been told that AAT+CIMA are rated a lot higher than a university degree (along with the experience you gain while working).

    Is that the case? Or is a degree better? I assume its down to opinion but curious which is the most accepted.
  • stevef
    stevef Registered Posts: 258 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Not a CIMA expert, but the final membership exams for ACCA are considered to be at Masters level and all the Chartered body exams are at the same level.

    When we are appointing (a very rare occurence these days) we look for AAT for Technician posts and CIPFA or ACCA for Accountants posts. We consider a BA or BSc to be higher academically (but not professionally) than AAT, but only a marker of progression towards ACCA level. So we consider AAT+ACCA (with the required experience for membership) to be a lot higher than a degree, a degree on its own would not get you an Accountants post where I work, but AAt+ACCA (or CIPFA) with no degree would.
  • James Patterson
    James Patterson Registered Posts: 281
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    stevef wrote: »
    Not a CIMA expert, but the final membership exams for ACCA are considered to be at Masters level and all the Chartered body exams are at the same level.

    When we are appointing (a very rare occurence these days) we look for AAT for Technician posts and CIPFA or ACCA for Accountants posts. We consider a BA or BSc to be higher academically (but not professionally) than AAT, but only a marker of progression towards ACCA level. So we consider AAT+ACCA (with the required experience for membership) to be a lot higher than a degree, a degree on its own would not get you an Accountants post where I work, but AAt+ACCA (or CIPFA) with no degree would.

    Hi Steve,

    This is what i have been hearing, and i agree with, i appreciate you re-affirming me with this.
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