Change of career from teaching to accountancy

Hi all,

I am currently a Mathematics teacher looking to change career. I am studying level 2 via distance learning but wanted some opinions really on my next step. I have been doing a lot of research and it seems that its quite difficult to get in to a career of accountancy without any experience. My initial thoughts were to study up to and finish level 3, before I quit teaching and try and find a new career, but I am a bit concerned that as I have a maths degree too, I may be 'overqualified' for the jobs that I will then have to apply for. I just wondered if any one has been in a similar situation or if anyone has any advice? I know I will be taking a massive pay cut initially, but need to try and figure out when the best time to commit to the change will be. Any advice welcome!

Comments

  • ChristianBChristianB AAT Online Community Coordinator Registered Posts: 206
    Hi @Phoebe_mason25

    It’s great to get experience in the finance and accounting sector as soon as possible. Many students apply for their first role before, during and after Level 3 so don’t worry about being overqualified.

    The way I see it is that any current qualifications you have as a maths teacher will be a big plus when applying for a new career. Being a teacher is hard work and the skills are defiantly transferable.

    Please read this blog post. It's from an ex-maths teacher who decided to study AAT and now owns his own practice.

    I’d also advise you read these two threads. The first recommends job roles you are suited for after completing Level 2. The second answers the question: Should I look a job while studying AAT, or wait until after?

    Just to give you a bit of advice as to where AAT can take you (forgive me if you know this already!): Many of our members go on to be self-employed and it’s one of the main advantages of studying with AAT. We have a member in practice (MIP) scheme which you can read about here.

    One thing I will mention is that to be a MIP you need to be a full member of AAT (MAAT). To be a full member you need to pass Level 4 and demonstrate that you can meet our work experience criteria. This is why it’s important to get a relevant job in the industry as soon as possible, so you can start to build up your experience portfolio.

    Let’s say you got a job in the industry now. By the time you start Level 4, you might already have enough experience to qualify as MAAT so we could process your application as soon as you pass your final Level 4 unit.

    Let me know if you have any other questions or if I can help you out with anything else - I appreciate that's a lot of information to digest!

    Regards

    Christian
    I have now left AAT. If you require any assistance with the forums, please contact membership support: https://www.aat.org.uk/contact-us
  • ariadneariadne Registered Posts: 218
    I'm just finishing L3 and I think you will find it is still fairly basic and worth continuing with your studies, in fact L4 is probably worth completing too. Although it depends on your career aspirations, if you see yourself going through to chartered quals AAT is a foundation to build on once you gain employment, hopefully with training. I'm going to continue to L4, or perhaps swap to the ACCA foundation papers which are supposed to be equivalent, before looking for employment.

    As a teacher do you have to resign at certain points in the year only? Can you not search for work while teaching and then give it up. I guess you can switch to supply or even tutoring if you need more flexibilty to job hunt.

    A few things I'm hoping to do to boost my CV are volunteering for treasury work and approaching local practices or using contacts to arrange work shadowing or work experience. There are also internships, which are just longer term work experience placements. I've seen things advertised as part time or for just a couple of months. You could also look at applying for admin roles with overlap into accounts work. Smaller companies may be better for this type of role, where each person has to wear a few hats.

    And don't forget the graduate schemes run by many big and medium firms, they are worth considering if you meet the academic criteria - I don't as despite my good degree my A levels were not quite good enough. They may also suit your timetable for quitting teaching as often they begin in September/October.

    Don't be afraid to send out speculative CVs and use all your contacts to find out about work experience or even job roles. Make sure you pull out all the skills you do have and have demonstrated that would transfer. Talk to anyone who would recruit and ask them what they are looking for, recruitment agencies may help but don't worry if they don't as they are often box ticking for candidates to make money.

    I think availablity of jobs is very dependent on geography. Have you looked for what work is available for entry/graduate level? You may be surprised. And you do currently have a job which helps as it proves you are capable and reliable (I say that as I'm at home with my children until both are in school, I know I stand little chance of finding work for that reason alone). So I'd be testing the job market now with requests for work experience, perhaps a during school holidays for a day or even a few weeks in the summer. Or applying for roles if you are able to resign mid year. And find a voluntary role if you have a little time - I'm hoping to help with PTA stuff at my eldest's school and have done some work with a local church.
  • Alys2014Alys2014 Registered, Tutor Posts: 4
    I'm also changing from teaching, however I have already left as teaching was making me ill (Teaching was already a career change - I was an NQT). I'm currently unemployed and looking desperately for anything accountancy related but I may have to accept something else while I'm looking as my savings won't last for long!
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