ACCA encourages school leavers to look to alternative methods of study

ACCA is encouraging young people to consider their career options after a recent study, Skills in Demand, Ulster University, June 2017 has highlighted that over half of graduate employers are unlikely to recruit a candidate with no work experience.

As thousands of school leavers today begin to make decisions on their future careers based on their results and current financial situations. Most accounting students will go to college, earn a degree and then move on to their professional exams but it’s crucial that students and their families are aware of the great opportunities available outside the spectrum of tradition third level education.

Clodagh Hegarty, chairman of ACCA’s Ulster Panel said, “Receiving exam results can be a stressful time for young people, their families and teachers. University study is a path which young people often feel compelled to take. This path may not always be the best option for school leavers, due to the cost of going to college; a need to be at home to support a family member or the need to work and earn a living. Choosing to study and qualify with your chosen profession’s body, like ACCA, provides the option to work alongside learning while also offering the possibility of being awarded a university degree half way through, and as part of your ACCA professional exams study.”

“ACCA offers students the unique opportunity to work in the accountancy or financial sector while simultaneously gaining a professional qualification that offers globally transferable skills and prepares students for the world of work. Furthermore, Ulster University’s research, Skills in Demand, has found that employers look for skills such as initiative, professional attitude, commercial awareness, people management, good communication, problem solving, team working and critical thinking. These are all skills which students can earn while studying with their chosen professional body,” Clodagh concluded.

The Skills in Demand research found that finance is currently ranking in the top ten growth sectors for 2016 – 2026 and coming in as the third most likely vacancy to be filled by someone already working for the employer. Based on these findings, it is crucial for students to be aware of alternative methods of study and gaining professional experience.

To study with ACCA, candidates must have two -Levels plus three GCSEs in five separate subjects, including math and English, or equivalent. Those students in possession of higher qualifications may be eligible for exemptions from some of the ACCA examinations.

For further information about gaining your professional qualification with ACCA, visit


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