Straight from School

If you’re about to leave school, you may be interested to know that there is more than one route to becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. You can go straight to work and start training. Alternatively, you could go to university first.

The options don’t end there either. If you want to start work straight away, you can chose from a Higher Apprenticeship, a school leaver programme, or AAT. Likewise, if you want to go to university, you can do a degree followed by the ACA qualification, or combine both through and employer-affiliated degree.

It might surprise you to learn that you don’t need Maths as one of your a-levels. That’s not to say academics aren’t important. Entry requirements will vary depending on the employer and the programme you are following. Generally, employers will look for a minimum of a B in GCSE Maths and English and 280+ UCAS points at A-levels (or their equivalents).

For all entry routes, you will need to apply directly to an employer. As well as having a strong academic background, they will be looking for candidates who stand out from the crowd and can bring something extra to their organisation. Among other things, you’ll need to show a genuine interest in, and commitment to, your chosen career path.

Skills that employers look for include:

  • People skills
  • Team working
  • Decision making and problem solving
  • Professionalism
  • Commercial awareness
  • IT skills.

It’s important that you choose the right route for you, find out more about all of the different entry routes and choose the one for you at with ICAEW.

If you are ready to start your journey as a school leaver, visit ICAEW Training Vacancies to find a school leaver programme to suit you.

University Students

You don’t need a degree in accounting, finance or business to study for the ACA. While the subject isn’t important, you will need to have a strong academic record. Entry requirements differ between employers, but, in general they’ll be seeking at least a 2:1 and everyone who undertakes the ACA must have at least two A2 levels and three GCSE passes (or their equivalents).

As well as having a strong academic background, employers are looking for candidates who stand out from the crowd and can bring something extra to their organisation. Among other things, you’ll need to show a genuine interest in, and commitment to, your chosen career path.

Employers will look for you to demonstrate your abilities in the following areas throughout the recruitment process:

  • People skills
  • Team working
  • Decision making and problem solving
  • Professionalism
  • Commercial awareness
  • IT skills.

 

If you’re looking to get a head start, you can start to build up your skills on campus, through internships/placements.

The ICAEW Student Scheme (USS) is an online training resource that helps you develop the workplace skills that employers want. Whether you want to strengthen your degree, enhance your CV or simply stand out from your peers, it can benefit you. It will also entitle you to study the ICAEW CFAB at no extra cost. Your university may offer it already, but you can sign up independently.

The ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) covers the first six modules of the ACA and provides an excellent introduction to what the qualification is really like.

Once you’ve qualified, the ACA is a passport to opportunity, giving you access to an amazing range of careers. To find out more and see how the ACA  has helped the careers of our students and members click here.

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