Deciding what type of employer you would like to work for is a difficult decision and one of those important choices that you have to make when you start looking for your first graduate role. The accountancy profession boasts a wide variety of employers. so read on to help narrow down which type is best for you.

Different sectors all have their own advantages and disadvantages: it’s down to you to decide what suits your personality and career aspirations best.

Ask yourself – what does success in my career look like? Does it mean a large salary? Working for a multi-national firm with opportunities for overseas secondment? Long-term job security or the opportunity to specialise in an interesting field? Try and consider as many factors as possible when defining what success looks like for you. Most employers in the industry pay competitive salaries, so what is it that you really want to achieve?

Becoming successful in your career requires working in the right role, with the right employer, for the right salary. Sometimes these employers can be small companies, charities or new start-ups.

Here are a few things you should consider when choosing your employer:

  • What are the organisation’s values – do they fit with your own?
  • What is the organisation’s culture and work environment like?
  • Do you fully understand the opportunity you are being offered? Does it fit with what you are looking for?
  • Is there a structured training programme? What support will you get through training?
  • What will you be doing day to day?
  • What could the career journey look like at that organisation? Are there structured progression routes?

Where can you train?

ICAEW Chartered Accountants train and work in a variety of sectors and in all sizes of organisation. There is no such thing as a typical employer: there are a diverse range of opportunities on offer. While they all offer something different, all ICAEW authorised employers have to meet strict training standards. This means that no matter what organisation, sector or location you choose to work in, you can be confident you will be getting the highest standard of training possible.

It is important to consider the industry sector you want to work in, as each will offer different experiences and suit different skills and attributes:

  • Professional services and public practice
  • Business and financial services
  • Charity
  • Not-for-profit.

In addition, you should also think carefully about the size of the organisation; small and large organisations can offer very different opportunities. You may be looking to become a specialist in a particular service line or perhaps a broader experience is what you are looking for.

Finally, there is the important matter of location. London is one of the most vibrant cities in the world and a popular choice for graduates. However, there are towns and cities all over the UK offering a rich mix of cultural and social experiences in addition to a range of great graduate vacancies. Opportunities are not just limited to the UK, you can find ICAEW-authorised employers in a range of international locations including across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and China, to name just a few.

Find an employer

Don’t delay your search. Employers advertise a range of internship, placement and graduate opportunities, which you can search by location and type, so you’re bound to find an opportunity that’s right for you. Employers’ websites contain useful information and hints about their recruitment processes and the roles available.

If you’ve already found an employer who you want to train with who isn’t authorised, don’t worry. ICAEW can help your employer to become authorised to train you for the ACA. It is a straightforward process which is also free of charge for the employer. Ask your employer to visit icaew.com/trainaca to find out more or to arrange for one of our team to visit.

Beyond training

Three years training may seem like a long time, but the integrated approach of the ACA means you get the best of both worlds; real life experience of the workplace and a globally-recognised qualification. Whatever size or type of organisation you choose to train with, your career opportunities are endless. Once qualified, you will have the flexibility to shape your future career around your interests and aspirations. You’ll be able to move between organisations, sectors and even countries, throughout your career.

In the meantime, it’s up to you to explore the opportunities and choose which suits you best! Search our extensive Employer Directory and for the latest accountancy graduate opportunities.

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