The Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Gain an AAT Qualification
Whether you’re a Student looking for a rewarding career you can train for, whilst also working—avoiding the ominous burden of university debt—or a mature individual looking to start a second career, seeking a qualification with the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) could be just the road to financial freedom you’re looking for.
Accounting really is one of the most rewarding when it comes to professions; if you’ve never taken the time to consider what an AAT qualification could offer you, review the four benefits outlined below—you might be surprised to find out how many doors the AAT can open:
- The AAT career path is extremely flexible.
You can gain AAT qualification at any stage of life, regardless of your past work and/or educational history. There are no entry requirements to take AAT courses (though it’s suggested that you be proficient with numbers, and you will need to be willing to put in the study time, of course) and you need no relevant work experience in accounting or bookkeeping. AAT courses also offer a flexible range of qualification levels, allowing you to choose exactly how much you wish to study, and when; you can cease studying after Level Two and make a respectable salary as a Junior Accountant earning arounf £22,000 or study through to Level Four and beyond, eventually earning a salary of around £42,000 as a management accountant, or even in excess of £65,000 if you decide to become a financial controller.
After taking AAT courses, you have a number of options, such as starting work immediately, becoming a chartered accountant, going on to set up an accounting practice, or furthering your education at university. There is no “wrong” way to progress through the AAT Levels, and many people choose to work for many years before furthering their qualifications.
- AAT qualification is highly respected—and makes you very employable.
AAT qualifications are internationally recognised and offer both legal and professional prestige—indeed, one cannot legally work as an accountant without AAT qualification and without becoming certified.
The AAT has over 133,000 members worldwide and operates branches as far away as Hong Kong and South Africa, making it the most recognisable financial institution in the world. As such, once you are qualified, you will be able to find employment as an accountant almost anywhere.
Even if you don’t decide to go directly into accounting, having AAT qualifications listed on your CV will give you a real advantage in the working world. The need for financial management is at the core of every business, so even if you are helping to manage a SME or go on to start your own small business, you will be well-equipped to ensure any business enjoys financial success. Once you have completed AAT Level Two, you will be able to manage finances, budgets, and cash flow effectively, as well as having the skills needed to plan for long-term business growth.
AAT qualifications can also help university graduates who are finding it difficult to gain employment, as they demonstrate a wealth of practical skills and knowledge employers find appealing, and may be seen as a greater assurance of “real world” skills than a highly theoretical university degree. Alternately, AAT courses make an excellent starting point prior to entering university to get a related degree in finance.
- AAT courses are a sound investment.
AAT courses are relatively inexpensive and you can study at home in your spare time, meaning that you don’t have to either go into a great deal of debt or miss out on years of income while studying. AAT courses therefore offer a huge return on a very modest investment, offering you a great deal of job security (there is, after all, always a need for accounting services) and potentially adding thousands of pounds to your yearly salary.
Because of the low up-front cost involved, you can easily choose to study with the AAT while on maternity leave, during a period of unemployment, or even while taking some time away from your university studies. Not only does this allow you to enter or re-enter the working world feeling more confident and being more qualified, it helps to prevent the dreaded “skills gap” from occurring on your CV.
- AAT courses provide an enriching challenge.
Finance touches nearly all aspects of our lives, and as such, challenging yourself to learn more about how to manage money can be extremely rewarding at any age. Whether you have a small business and wish to run it better, want to effectively manage your personal investments and plan for retirement, or just hope to learn to budget better on a day-to-day basis, trying out even just the basic AAT course (Level One) can expand your financial horizons in diverse new ways.