Home For AAT student members AQ 2016 Foundation Certificate in accounting General discussion - Foundation level
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Changing Career to Accounting

Hello,

I am in my mid 50's and would like to change my career from teaching to accounting. I have recently completed a Sage 50 Computerised Accounting for Business level 2 qualification and I am thinking about enrolling on a AAT level 2 Accounting course. I have applied for entry level jobs but no look as of yet, would it be considered a waste of time completing the AAT level 2 Accounting course when considering my age? It seems a bit of a chicken and egg situation as I have not got any experience for potential employers to look at my application ,but I do have Microsoft Excel skills, or would having the qualification give me more of a chance?

Thanks,

Seascape

Comments

  • CSan89CSan89 MAAT Posts: 207
    It's a competitive market so having the qualifications gets you through the door for an interview. It might be worth volunteering for a local community group as a treasurer. This could get you some experience whilst training and could lead to possible job opportunities.

    However, it may not be until the end of level 3/ start of level 4 that you get any positive results from job applications.
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  • SeascapeSeascape Registered Posts: 4
    Hello,

    Thanks for the contribution CSan89. I have had a little experience in a Finance Department many years ago, I just don't want to invest time and money and not have a positive return. I'll keep trying, nothing ventured nothing gained.

    Thanks,

    Seascape
  • Duchess1Duchess1 MAAT Posts: 75
    I am in a similar situation and decided to re-train. I have nearly finished level 4 & am regularly applying for job. Accounts assistant / Finance assistant, but am finding it extremely difficult to get my foot in the door anywhere, as I don't have any experience 'in a practise environment' which most positions seem to ask for.

    I think trying to get some bookkeeping experience anywhere, even for a few hours a week, would be beneficial. I turned a position down, as it was only 8 hours a week (over 2 days), but am now regretting that decision.
  • SeascapeSeascape Registered Posts: 4
    I take it though if you have the AAT qualifications you stand more chance when your CV / application form lands on the HR Mangers desk.
  • dumutrobadumutroba AAT Student, AATQB Posts: 264
    > @Duchess1 said:
    > I am in a similar situation and decided to re-train. I have nearly finished level 4 & am regularly applying for job. Accounts assistant / Finance assistant, but am finding it extremely difficult to get my foot in the door anywhere, as I don't have any experience 'in a practise environment' which most positions seem to ask for.
    >
    > I think trying to get some bookkeeping experience anywhere, even for a few hours a week, would be beneficial. I turned a position down, as it was only 8 hours a week (over 2 days), but am now regretting that decision.

    Same here, but I can't say I am desperate as the offered salaries are way, way, way below what I earn, and I don't even earn That much. So the question to answer is not whether it is too late or not or whether you can get the pay cut.
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  • mcmcmcmc Registered Posts: 7
    Hi Seascape,

    I'm 44 and was looking for a career change too and started AAT last June 2018.. It took me about 9 months to complete levels 2 and 3, and then I felt ready to look for a job.. I found a job and have started level 4. My honest opinion is that Level 2 is better than nothing, but I don't think it will make a huge difference to your job search, but you never know. I think if you're going to do AAT, I would suggest at least committing to doing level 2 and 3. Together, they really do teach you the basic fundamentals of accounting and if you complete level 3, you are eligible for AATQB status, meaning you're a qualified Bookkeeper. With some formal experience under your belt (1 year i think), you can even start your own bookkeeping business with that qualification. Or, you could go on to AAT level 4, which qualifies you as an Accounting Technician which opens up more doors. This qualification is actually more than a lot of people already working in finance have, and it's a good level to get to if you want to really get into accounting (as opposed to bookkeeping). Beyond AAT, the next level is a chartered accountant, but you don't necessarily need to do this to have a good career in finance.. if you decide to go in this direction, you need to study ACA, ACCA or CIMA which each take about 3 years if you have already done AAT (4 years without AAT).

    That's all the technical info I wish I knew a year ago! The other thing I want to say is that I'm really glad I took the leap and started AAT. I just started it and thought i'll see how it goes.. a year later, Im in a new career as a trainee accountant. Doing AAT helped me get my head around what accounting is, and what sort of jobs are out there (there are lots of options! 'Accountant' is quite a broad term e.g. you can work in an accounting practice (Financial Accountant) or in-house in a business (Management Accountant).

    To sum up, I know your question is more about how can you get a job now, but if you're prepared to stick it out for a year, I think AAT Level 2 and 3 are actually quite interesting and very satisfying.. and I've seen a lot of other people get the same buzz from it.. challenging at times, but very satisfying. Level 2 and 3, (and ideally level 4) will set you up for a decent job in finance. If you want to keep knocking on doors without AAT, teaching experience and excel knowledge are good assets to focus on with your CV etc. If you keep pushing, you will eventually get something, but without a qualification it might start as more of an admin job with a bit of basic accounts, which could lead to more account down the line. But if you can stick out teaching for one more year while studying AAT on the side (it will make you feel like you're moving in a new direction), you'll be in a good position to really get into accounting this time next year! if you have any questions, feel free to ask..
  • SeascapeSeascape Registered Posts: 4
    Hello mcmc,

    Thank you for your reply, I will definitely give AAT qualification more thought.


    Regards,

    Seascape
  • Duchess1Duchess1 MAAT Posts: 75
    I have got one more exam to go at level 4 (Providing I passed the other ones)… During the last week or so, I am actually getting some interest and possible interviews, so fingers crossed. I'm found with level 3 and applying I have had no luck getting into accounts. With level 4 nearly finished, things are possibly looking better! Hope that helps.
  • milescpareviewmilescpareview Registered Posts: 19
    If you have good interest and passion for accountancy and finance, then why not!? Accounts have a lot to offer to you in terms of your career. Your step one to study accounts, in particular, is to get the basic concepts right. The entire accounting and finance castle stands on a couple of very basic rules and principles. Another awesome side to accounts is the professional courses - you can enhance your accounting career by pursuing courses like CMA, CPA, etc., which will add value and repute on your every step.
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