As well as providing a route into financial professions, a degree in accounting and finance develops skills that are useful in a range of sectors
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Chartered accountant
- Chartered certified accountant
- Chartered management accountant
- Chartered public finance accountant
- Company secretary
- External auditor
- Forensic accountant
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Business development manager
- Data analyst
- Licensed conveyancer
- Management consultant
- Mortgage adviser
- Procurement 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.
Gaining some type of work experience is an important part of getting professional qualifications. An internship or work shadowing opportunity will show potential employers that you have the skills and practical experience they're looking for.
If your course didn't include a work placement, look for a role in a 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.
There are plentiful job opportunities across the finance sector, some of the major employers are:
- accountancy firms
- building societies
- high street banks
- insurance companies
- investment banks
- management consultancies
- public sector employers.
The main 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.
Many businesses have finance departments, and you can find opportunities to use your finance and accounting skills within those across most sectors.
Skills for your CV
Accounting and finance degrees provide you with specialist knowledge of accountancy practices, commerce, industry and finance.
In addition to gaining this subject-specific and technical knowledge, you’ll also develop 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
Accounting and finance graduates often go into posts that require further finance qualifications for progression.
Popular choices include:
- Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) professional qualification
- Professional Banker Diploma.
As an accountancy graduate, you may have an exemption from some of these examinations, depending on the modules and credits you've achieved in your degree.
Some postgraduate courses train you to work in a more specialised area of the financial industry, such as an MSc in actuarial science. It's also possible to study for a PhD in specific areas of finance, such as banking or trade statistics.
For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search for postgraduate courses in accountancy and finance.
What do accounting and finance graduates do?
More than a quarter of graduates (27%) work as chartered and certified accountants. The second most common occupations are bookkeepers, payroll managers and wages clerks (10%). Eight of the top ten jobs held by graduates are related to their degree subject.
|Working and studying||18.3|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Business, HR and finance||51.7|
|Clerical, secretarial and administrative||28|
|Retail, catering and customer service||6.8|
Find out what other accounting and finance graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Find out more
- Association of International Accountants (AIA)
- Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)