Anyone retrained to be accountant?(11 Posts)
I am currently a research associate is a science subject and have just been made redundant on maternity leave. I'm getting a bit disheartened with academia, there is no stability and now I have a child I am wanting to settle in the area I live (Yorkshire) and there are just very few lectureship positions and my publishing record realistically is just not good enough.
In theory I like the idea of being an accountant, love maths, seems like it doesn't require doing another degree, fairly well paid and seems like a lot of options to be self employed which really appeals.
Anyone got any advice?
I'm sorry you've been made redundant while on leave. I've deleted a rant about how the sector treats early career women who start a family (you know all this and I can't imagine it's helpful right now).
Accountancy wasn't for me - it's three years of training, with a lot of homework outside the classroom and practice elements. I began with one of the large firms, but quickly ran off and did a PhD. In retrospect I wish I'd stuck with it, but can't offer much advice. I do have a friend who is a chartered accountant within the NHS who says that the quality of qualified applicants in their 20s now is very high - the graduate market has got very competitive. But if you've been successful in academia until now, then there's no reason of course why you couldn't be competitive.
Where are you in Yorkshire? The Civil Service recruits via direct entry periodically; you could move in as a statistician if you like numbers, or via the Government Office for Science. There are departments with large offices in Leeds, York, Sheffield. Family-friendly and good conditions; and you could use that to move direction, perhaps into data science or similar.
I was also going to say if you love maths then doing data science or statistical analysis as your profession may be a way out of academia- all the public sector bodies you can think of look for analysts, so the police, NHS, and so on...
I can't speak to becoming an accountant, this is a bit of a niche post, I bet if you put a post 'AIBU to become an accountant' you'd get a lot of replies as there seems to be a lot of accountants on mumsnet!
Have you thought about an actuarial career instead? There are some jobs in York. It takes longer to qualify but is much better paid and much more mathematical.
My dh is an accountant. He has no degree and started off working at NatWest. When he was in his late 20s (we had two kids) he did CIMA and qualified. He's got a good job and his skills have allowed him to branch out. Go for it.
It can be a very flexible career but it is hard work getting through the exam period (sounds like you're used to that though!)
What type of accountant appeals to you??
I work in investment appraisal, which for me is the most interesting, and I get to shape the future of companies. In my job, some of us are trained accountants (ACCA/ACA/CIMA) and some are economists with PHds.
I now work one school hour day a week and charge a daily rate. It's worked out very well for me, but the reality is I worked my butt off for 10 years previously, and then managed to find a niche position in a fairly niche industry so my skills are sought after.
If you decided to become a Management Accountant for example, there will be many many applicants for one role.
I would also second the idea of looking into statistical and actuary positions. They'll use more maths, although I don't know if those roles offer the same prospects of flexibility.
Thank you for the advice! Lots of options to look into. I'm in York.
I'm a little bit clueless about the accountancy industry Theres, this is the start of me researching into new career options. Had a meeting with my boss two weeks ago where he basically said my contract wasn't going to be renewed in December (long outing story involving falling out with a collaborator). My baby is 9 weeks. I thought I had another years contract. This is not ideal
Do you mind me asking what your day to day role involves? I need to organise some work experience or something when my baby is a little older and can be left.
If you can become a stats expert, there are quite alot of analyst roles available in the public sector, and are decent pay too.
If you intend to "practice" as an accountant, then it's not just the exams, you also need approved experience and to get that you need to be working for a practice. Lots of people get caught out with this and do their exams privately, maybe working in industry or public sector, and find themselves unable to "practice" because they don't have the relevant work experience. Different institutes have different rules, so it's a bit of a minefield.
Do you really want to go the whole way and become an "accountant"? If self employed practice work appeals, you may be better off as a book-keeper or accounting technician, the training/exams for which give you the basic skills you need and the rules on relevant experience aren't quite so onerous.
I'm sorry about how your job has turned out - maybe you can get advice? It's all very difficult especially when your baby is so very small.
I think have a look at:
with a view to using your data analysis skills.
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