As well as providing a route into financial professions, a degree in accountancy and finance develops skills that are useful in a range of sectors
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Accounting technician
- Chartered accountant
- Chartered certified accountant
- Chartered management accountant
- Chartered public finance accountant
- Company secretary
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Licensed conveyancer
- Management consultant
- Purchasing manager
- Retail banker
- Tax adviser
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
In order to become a qualified accountant, you will need to obtain a professional accountancy qualification. Work experience can be very beneficial in helping you to gain the skills and experience that employers seek. If your course did not include a work placement, seek some paid or unpaid experience in the field that interests you.
This could include part-time work in a local accountancy firm or work experience in the finance department of any organisation. Experience that shows you have office and admin skills, as well as the ability to work with numbers and budgets, will be helpful.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Opportunities are widely available with accountancy firms, investment banks, high street banks, insurance companies, building societies, management consultancies and public sector employers.
The most prominent graduate recruiters are the very large multinational accountancy firms. They use large-scale recruitment campaigns to attract the most promising graduates and have high-minimum requirements. There are also opportunities in small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that specialise in a particular type of work or local area.
In the UK, a cluster of public sector jobs are available in central London with others available nationwide.
Skills for your CV
Accountancy and finance degrees develop your understanding of accountancy practices, commerce, industry and finance. As well as developing a range of subject-specific and technical skills, you also gain more general skills including:
- knowledge and awareness of business organisations;
- numerical and quantitative skills;
- problem-solving and analytical ability;
- oral and written communication skills;
- ability to argue your case and negotiate;
- knowledge of global business issues and language skills, particularly if you study European or international finance;
Accountancy and finance graduates often go into posts that require further professional accountancy qualifications, such as the:
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification;
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) certificate;
- Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification.
Accountancy graduates may have exemption from some of these examinations, depending on the modules and credits they have achieved in their degrees.
Some postgraduate courses train you to work in a more specialised area of the financial industry, for example, the MSc in actuarial science. It is also possible to study for a PhD in specific areas of finance, such as banking or trade statistics.
What do accountancy and finance graduates do?
More than two-thirds of accountancy and finance graduates are in employment six months after graduating. A fifth of these are working as chartered and certified accountants with others working in finance administrative roles.
Five of the top ten occupations held by finance and accountancy graduates are directly related to their degrees and accounted for 45.5% of those in employment in the UK.
|Working and studying||12.9|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Business, HR and financial||54.3|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||19.1|
|Retail, catering and bar work||8.9|
For a detailed breakdown of what accountancy graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.