Students are turning their backs on accountancy before they even reach university, according to UK examining boards.
Thousands of anxious GCSE students will learn today how they have fared in this summer’s exams. Only 4,000 students studied for GCSE accountancy, a subject offered by just one examining board.
A-level students – pictured above – got their results last week. Based on figures for A- level applicants to universities, university admissions council UCAS said the number studying A-level accountancy was down around 7% from last year’s figure of 2,488. It is the first fall in three years.
But the Big Five firms remained unconcerned by increasing student apathy towards accounting.
With the rise in the accountant as a business all-rounder – advising on IT consultancy, corporate finance as well as the traditional audit – firms are looking for students with a broad education.
PricewaterhouseCoopers recruitment partner Ian du Pre said: ‘I’m not unduly concerned at the figures because we wouldn’t rely on any particular subjects at A level when recruiting. We’re not looking for people who say they wanted to be an accountant at birth.’
He added that it was more important for the next generation of accountants to gain early work experience in areas that interest them.
‘Non-academic activities such as work experience during the vacation are also important. Don’t specialise too early,’ he advised.
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