Poor advice deterring students from career in accounting

by Richard Crump

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01 Aug 2014

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School children using a computer

POOR CAREERS ADVICE is deterring young people from entering the accounting profession, according to research from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

The association found that poor careers advice given to young people has resulted in misleading assumptions, such as that a degree is necessary to enter careers like accounting.

The survey - commissioned by AAT ahead of this year's A Level and GCSE exam results - found that 14-19 year olds are broadly optimistic about their prospects to enter their chosen career. However, almost half said formal careers advice had played little part in them choosing their career or that they had received no careers guidance at all.

More than 80% said that they would like, or would have liked, more advice from their school or college on their future options, while 61% said direct advice from people already in the industry they aspire to would be helpful. A further 36% named trade bodies and employers as potential sources of help.

Mark Farrar, chief executive of AAT, said: "Careers advice in schools and colleges isn't keeping pace with this demand, meaning that some young people are relying on what their friends or parents tell them.

"An absence of advice is also resulting in myths, such as that you need a degree to enter a career like accounting. This absolutely isn't true, and young people should be aware of alternatives such as apprenticeships and professional training which can create a route into fantastic careers."

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