Doubting my AAT studies(13 Posts)
Just about to return to my dead end job after second mat leave. I started AAT before my second pregnancy as work treated me like crap when I returned first time. I’ve spent a lot of time and money completing level 2 and am about to start level 3, but at the back of my mind I’m wondering if it will actually get me anywhere? Anyone found the qualification useful and a way into a good career?
What do you want to do & what are you currently doing? Level 2 really is very basic, whilst level 3 will actually start to give you some technical skills which will be more valuable to an employer.
I would recommend looking at job adverts for the sort of job you want and see if they specify AAT as a requirement. I'm a qualified accountant and have been a Finance Director for the past 15 years and have been hiring accountants for about 30 years - I've never specified AAT as a requirement, experience and a good attitude are much more important. And TBH I've hardly heard AAT discussed at all in 30 years (except with someone who gave up halfway through because she didn't think an exam process that was so easy could be worth it - but that was some time ago so might be different now). But others might think differently so research the sort of jobs and industries you are thinking of working in.
It depends if you want a career in finance? You say your job is dead end, but would that be the case if you did your level 4 & CIMA? If a career in finance doesn't appeal to you then don't do it, especially if you're paying. I've just started my level 3, fully funded & supported by work. Where I work it's the only way to work up the ladder so I don't really have a choice.
Now is the time to train in a career you're passionate about, don't stay doing something that doesn't make you happy.
I’d look at the foundation levels of CIMA or ACCA - they’re of equivalent level to AAT but are a gateway to the professions qualifications and are more relevant to ‘work’.
What do you actually do now? One issue is lots of people do AAT but aren’t working in a relevant field, get the qualification and turn up with no relevant experience. We’ve had people with accountancy qualifications but they can’t rec the bank, do an accrual etc and these are the things you need to be able to do.
I have level 2 and have moved career to a well paid, varied job with good prospects. I'll do level 3 and 4. I know a lot of people do it without experience so struggle against other applicants who do have experience.
I would suggest going through an agency rather than applying directly. I'd be trying to move jobs now because it's no good to getting to the end of level 4 with no relevant experience
OP you do need to tell us what it is you want in a career.
That said, please dont dwell on the advise of fulmar (although I appreciate they accept others have different views).
Accountancy is still very backwards and you're more likely to see a company asking for a 2:1 in any degree than a relevant AAT qualification.
Thanks for everyone’s input. I worked in customer services, with supervisory experience which was taken from me for being pregnant. (Another story!) this is all I’ve ever known and there is nowhere for me to go unless into sales/account management which isn’t what I want.
I most definitely want to go into Finance and I realise I will need to start with an entry level role which unfortunately I’m not in a position to do until September when my daughter gets funded childcare. I just hear so many mixed reviews about AAT as on this thread, some people saying it’s opened doors, others saying it’s more or less a waste of time and money
Hi OP I work in the NHS, in my hospital we would want you to study AAT from the beginning and would fully support you. There are people in my office who started AAT then did CIMA and are now fully qualified and doing really well. In the past you could move up with 'qualified by experience' but these days it's essential to do your exams to progress. Most decent places including ours will pay for your studies and exam (the first go e.g. if you failed you would pay for your resit). Also, apprenticeships now cover finance qualifications and not just the ones school leavers go in to, so look into that also as an option. HTH
I’m amazed by some of the negative comments on here. AAT is a really good qualification and very well respected in my area but you need relevant experience as well to get anywhere with it. I know two people who are purely AAT licensed and run their own practices, they are very successful, another colleague used AAT exams as a bridge to doing the ATT exams and now works as a tax consultant, they are absolutely minted. Quite a few employees started off with the AAT and progressed to chartered exams. I meet a lot of chartered accountants whose work is not that great to be honest so it always amuses me when they are snooty about anyone who isn’t chartered (I am chartered BTW).
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/3483722-Whats-it-like-being-an-accountant?pg=1&order= this thread isn't purely about AAT but shows you how many directions your career can go in
I work in a local authority a lot of finance and admin jobs ask for AAT, and we support staff to study. However to progress, they really need to study a professional accounting qualification.
Maybe you should start looking for jobs with a finance admin background where it will be more relevant.
I got my level 4 but had a couple of years working in an accountancy firm as a receptionist under my belt pre maternity leave, which I think got me a foot in the door for my first accounts role. Lots of job ads seem to be asking for AAT at the moment where I live, I think it’s a good foundation qualification.
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