Studying accounting involves more than just working with numbers, and will require many things from a budget analysis, management accounting and auditing, to business strategy, professional standards and ethics and tax accounting.
Accounting will have students analysing and working for/with a business’ financial situation. Although accounting may cross over with studying an Economics degree, Finance, Banking and even a Business degree course, each subject does differ in the core topics involved.
Many institutions will ask students to have a high mathematics A-level and GCSE, or relevant subjects such as additional Maths, Economics or Statistics. Check with the universities which are your top choices, as they may have varied UCAS entry requirements for admitting students.
Many universities offer Accounting combined with another subject, such as Accounting and Banking, or Accounting and Finance, as well as separate. This option will be particularly helpful for students who are undecided on what area to study and still provides individuals with decent job prospects.
A degree course in Accounting or a combined degree featuring accounting will usually last three years in full-time study; however, some universities offer a sandwich course where a degree features a placement year. A placement year allows candidates to work for a year during their course, gaining work experience and the opportunity to network which could aid securing a job after graduating, which is why it is considered that having a placement is good for your degree. A sandwich course will usually last for four years full-time. Accounting part-time degree courses options vary depending on the timetable and workload of the university but are commonly four years not including a placement.
The full-time academic year features three semesters or terms and begins in the Autumn (September/October). The first term finishes in December, the second term begins January and ends in March/April, and the final term starts April/May and ends in June/July. Each university has a different academic timetable for the year, although they do tend to be similar to each other.
Accounting degrees will feature coursework, which is generally in essay form, and exams as forms of assessment. Other less common types of assessments you should expect are group work activities and presentations, although these usually hold a lower impact on your grades. However, the assessment information for the course can be known from the university prospectus.
Accounting offers many skills which are transferable in many areas of work, such as knowledge of accounting regulation issues, a strong understanding of the business and finance industry and specialised knowledge of techniques and topics associated with accounting.
Studying within this area at university will improve organisational and time-management skills, as well as social skills through group work and presentations. Studying at university will aid individuals in their ability to work independently and to gain the initiative. An undergraduate will learn to prioritise tasks, work to a deadline and seek help when they need it.
A degree in Accounting will be challenging and require a lot of independent studying, but can offer great rewards and job prospects after graduation. Many companies show an interest in finance and will have job opportunities available for those who have studied it. Accounting graduates also start on a higher salary than others in comparison, and as all companies and businesses need accounting roles, the employment opportunities are not as scarce as other areas.
Many students apply for accounting training schemes for international or national companies, although accounting students are not limited to only working within the corporate sector. Studying Accounting will show employers your ability to analyse statistics and figures, as well as to demonstrate that you are extremely numerate – which can be highly sought after.
Accounting graduates are valued in many career sectors as it is an extremely important area which companies will continue to invest in.
There is an extensive range of areas graduates can enter after studying such as; Insurance Companies, Building Societies, Accountancy Firms, Investment Banks, Public Sector agencies and high street banks.
More specifically, graduates can become; Audit Assistants, Tax Consultants, Account Assistants, Data Analysts, Head of Accounts, Commercial Financial Analysts and Credit Controllers.
There are many postgraduate course options for those with an undergraduate degree in Accounting. Completing a postgraduate degree will allow students to specialise further, or train for a career in teaching or law.
Famous author John Grisham who is best known for his legal thrillers studied accounting in Mississippi, USA.
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