Career change in late 40s

Hi,
I'm 46/47 and am considering a career change. Although my current situation is fairly well paid and I am quite comfortable for the moment it's a slightly physical job and a recent injury has prompted me into action.
I currently work as a service engineer in the amusement sector but within the industry have experience of lower lever management and for a time was an internal auditor (all completely unqualified, just working to the internal scheme and custom software).
Accountancy appeals to me the most but the question is have I left it too late. Personal circumstances have tended to keep me in my current job but I did complete an Open University degree five years ago so know I am intellectually adept.
I'm looking at starting a distance learning course, can anyone post any recommendations? Also, are there any members of a similar age who have retrained with success?
Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

Comments

  • Neillaw
    Neillaw New Member RossendaleMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 283
    Did you do your degree in Accountancy?

    You are the same age as myself which comes into the bracket of mid life crisis!
    (AAT recently commissioned a study into this and one of the items listed in the top 30 was a career change as well as the sports car and a facebook account)

    I've worked in accounts since I left college but have now started up my own practice, I appreciate that it's not a total career change but your still jumping out of your comfort zone into the unknown. I would do your homework first as to what level you would be starting at, what type of job you would want (Management accountant/treasury/cost or practice audit/tax).

    I would be doing a swot analysis trying to work out your qualities which would make you a good accountant. You would need to quantify your experience.

    You also need to remember by the time we are about to retire the pension age will probably be about 80 so plenty of years left.

    Good luck
  • whomobile
    whomobile Registered Posts: 3
    Thanks for the reply, my degree was just a general points based one with the OU, mainly social sciences with a dash of TV and Film History and computer networking.

    My plan at the moment is to do level 2 and 3 AAT then apply for general lower positions while I do level 4. Nothing too grand to start with.

    My goal is to get a position in an existing practice rather than go my own way.

    Is this achievable considering that many younger people will be doing the same thing? I'm hoping my degree and wide range of experience (though probably not relevant) will give me a boost.
  • Neillaw
    Neillaw New Member RossendaleMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 283
    You have to remember experience counts, I've found that being in industry has taught how to deal with non-accountants. This has been really useful when dealing with one man bands like builders etc. These skills only really come with time and experience which you should have in abundance.

    These are the people you'll have to deal with in practice together with the more structure businesses.

    Your communication skills will be a lot more advanced than someone straight out of college which you should use as a positive in any type of interview.

    I would personally look at getting a position which will support your studies, I take it your short term goal would be to get a position in a practice but what are you classing as your long term objectives from the profession.

    Anything is possible, I looked into going back to uni a couple of years ago but unfortunately I've been consumed by that issue called life with wife and step kids. If not I would have gone back and done a degree in criminology. My own business was on my bucket list so that's the goal.
  • freejack2k
    freejack2k Registered Posts: 3
    I'm 43 and can only tell you my experience.

    I took voluntary redundancy from a management job that was paying me over 30k a year. I had started studying AAT level 2 through home learning college. Passed this, and then really struggled to get a job due to lack of accounts experience even though I held a high pressure management position for over 12 years no employer seemed to care.
    Finally got a job in accounts Receivable at 16.5k per year. Been there a year now and am on 17.5k and applying for other jobs but nothing like the salary I was on.
    My original (I now realise naive Idea) was to become an accountant, after the last year I can't see this ever happening as most firms want younger people out of college not someone in their 40's.
    Could just be my bad luck but that's how I've found it.
  • Oldmansudor
    Oldmansudor Registered Posts: 1
    Hi , Was wondering how you got on changing career, my story is very simular to yours im 40 a service engineer looking to change career.

    Looking to start my LVL2/3 this week or next ( just got to bite that bullet)

    I know this thread is a few years old now but be great to hear if things worked out for you

    Regards
    Jon
  • sjtoomer
    sjtoomer Registered Posts: 16
    I am 47, I currently work in a Local Government administrative job which is low-paid and going nowhere, and I want to change in to some for Accounting job. I obviously realise that I will need to start at the bottom of the ladder. I have completed the AAT L2 Bookkeeping course and I am currently studying the AAT L3 Bookkeeping course (I have just passed Advanced Booking and I am now learning Final Accounts Preparation). I have been applying for Purchase Ledger Clerk/Sales Ledger Clerk/Finance Assistant type jobs, which I assume is the correct level, for some months now, but I keep getting no reply. This is quite dis-heartening, as I was hoping to change careers in to an Accounting/Bookkeeping type job with the AAT Qualifications, because that it was they are meant to qualify you in. I do not know whether it is a case that employers are not valuing the AAT Qualifications or whether there is a glut of people out there who are more experienced/qualified than myself that employers are taking on instead; but it appears to be the same old chicken-and-egg problem regarding experience and jobs. I surely cannot be the only person experiencing this and it seems that the AAT Forums have plenty of similar postings to this. Any advice is appreciated, as I want to change my career before it is too late for me. I realise that I will have to just keep on applying for junior Accounting-type positions.
  • Katy_C
    Katy_C Registered Posts: 3
    Honest answer, study ATT (the association of tax technicians) fewer people studying tax, it takes a year, it’s now open book and there’s loads of jobs. Tolleys will supply books (and the AAT L4 personal and business tax exams were far more difficult). I’m only studying AAT so that it helps my tax job. Starting salaries 30k +
  • sjtoomer
    sjtoomer Registered Posts: 16
    edited May 11
    Katy_C said:

    Honest answer, study ATT (Association of Tax Technicians), fewer people studying tax, it takes a year, it’s now open-book and there’s loads of jobs. Tolleys will supply books (and the AAT L4 Personal Tax and Business Tax exams were far more difficult). I’m only studying AAT so that it helps my tax job. Starting salaries 30K+.

    Sounds too good to be true, especially the starting salary. Where are all of these jobs? It's a bit deadly job-wise in Yorkshire, unless you want to work in Leeds or York. I've not heard of ATT.
  • Leeds_MIP
    Leeds_MIP Registered Posts: 4
    Hi sjtoomer,

    If you want to have a chat about how to get in to accountancy and the different routes (practice/industry/tax etc) then PM me and I will give you the benefit of being a mid-career changer myself.
  • Katy_C
    Katy_C Registered Posts: 3
    > @sjtoomer said:
    > Sounds too good to be true, especially the starting salary. Where are all of these jobs? It's a bit deadly job-wise in Yorkshire, unless you want to work in Leeds or York. I've not heard of ATT.

    I found one in York for £27k or Leeds/York £38k ATT to £47k CTA qualified. Only 500 people a year go for the exams.

    I don’t there are going to be jobs out in the sticks though unless you could do hybrid working
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