Northern Ireland news

A-level students 'unaware of accountancy opportunities'

Gareth Latimer, chairman of ACCA's Ulster branch

THERE is a lack of understanding among many A-level students regarding career opportunities, a global body of accountants has said.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (Acca) said school-leavers were unaware of the varied roles within the profession, the level of pay and the global mobility it offered.

A-level results: Useful links

Department of Economy careers service
UCAS clearing
Central Applications Office - universities in the Republic
CCEA - Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

Acca said the A-level syllabus and exam was largely representative of the skillset of bookkeeping and basic accounting rather than innovative, strategic thinking accountancy professionals who could go on to dominate senior executive positions in organisations around the world.

Gareth Latimer, chairman of Acca's Ulster branch, said accountancy was vital for economies to grow and prosper.

"Many of those that choose it as a career are rewarded with a globally recognised qualification, a transferable skillset, well-paid jobs and wide-ranging and exciting opportunities to progress. Our advice for those pursuing a career in business and finance is simple: enjoy it," he said.

"The varied learning involved in a business degree allows students, once they leave university, to be exempt from the initial two stages of the Acca professional accountancy exams and keeps open a streamlined route through to a truly global career as accountant.

"It is vitally important that our A-level students understand their options and the great opportunities the profession supports."

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