When I Grow Up, I Want To Be… An Accountant

Put that abacus down and leap over to our jobs page now!

As a student, you’re probably so used to budgeting that you could do it in your sleep. You know who else loves budgeting? Accountants!

On the face of it, accounting and finance doesn’t sound like the world’s most thrilling career option. But stick with us here – the accountancy & finance industry offers such a broad spectrum of opportunities that it’s hard to know where to start!

Whether you’re interested in auditing, financial accounting or tax consultancy, all these roles require a few key ingredients necessary for a successful career! Oh, and you can totally earn mega-bucks. Could this be the career for you?!

Relevant degrees to accounting and finance

So, there’s probably going to be no surprises here…if you’re going to go into accounting and finance, you really need to have shown an interest in the industry since you were a wee sixth-former selecting your degree. Study any of these?

  • Maths
  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Business 

If you don’t study one of these, never fear! Other disciplines are also considered, but you need to work out how to put a financial spin on whatever subject you are studying. For example, have you ever worked with numbers or statistics during your degree?

Which societies should you join if you’re interested in becoming an accountant?

There’s probably not going to be an ‘auditing’ soc or ‘accounting’ soc at your university, so think outside the box. Try and join societies that both interest you and are a good fit for the industry you want to go into.

For example, for this industry, you need to have great communication and analytical skills (debate club?) a high attention to detail and level of accuracy (knitting soc?) and great numeracy skills (you could be a treasurer at ANY society for this, including Pirate Soc)!

Many larger graduate recruiters in this industry also like to show their corporate responsibility by encouraging their staff to take part in volunteering projects, so if you can show that you have done some community volunteering while at university, you’ve had a head start.

Joining a sports team at university always helps if you can – this will show that you are both a very motivated and well-rounded individual. Plus it’s good for your health…bonus!

Work experience within accountancy and finance

Networking with the right people can provide you with a route into the career that you want. When networking with top employers in the industry, make sure you prepare some relevant, interesting questions that will help you decide whether this is the industry for you.

Some of the top employers for graduates looking to join the accounting and finance industry are:

  • PwC
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst and Young
  • KPMG
  • Grant Thornton
  • BDO

It’s worth noting that PwC, Deloitte, Ernst and Young and KPMG form the ‘Big Four’, so the competition for roles at these firms will be high.

So there you have it… while telling people in bars and pubs that you’re going to be an accountant or auditor might not sound like the hottest career, you’re going to have the last laugh in the end, while you roll around in all of your dosh.