Is an ACCA apprenticeship right for you? A guide to financial placements

When you finish school, it’s time to think about the important decisions you need to make about your next steps.

There might be lots of questions running through your head about what you want to do when you leave school, if you should go to university or college and what kind of career you want. But did you know that if you want a successful and rewarding career in finance, you don’t necessarily need to go to university?


If you want to earn and learn at the same time, an apprenticeship is a great option.  An apprenticeship is a formal workplace training programme where you study and learn alongside doing your daily job. A recent report by the Sutton Trust, an education charity that focuses on improving social mobility, showed that high-quality apprenticeships lead to lifetime earnings comparable with those achieved by graduates. And that’s without the student debt. Hurrah!

During the apprenticeship, you gain skills and experience earlier than your peers at university. You get to make an immediate impact in your job and demonstrate the value you bring to an employer. And most importantly, you also earn money and avoid building up student debt.

As an apprentice, you earn a wage, experience and a recognised and valuable professional award.


If you’re interested in accounting, an ACCA apprenticeship might be for you: accountancy could be your route to working at the top of an organisation. As well as a challenging and rewarding job, a career in finance offers opportunity and excellent financial reward.

Finance professionals play an important role in every organisation across all the industries you can think of – you might end up working in a tech start-up or in a hospital as all businesses need accountants. Working in a role which contributes to the success of an organisation will make you a respected business professional.


There are opportunities to start an ACCA accounting apprenticeship throughout Scotland in a variety of industries, including big name employers. Getting accepted for an apprenticeship can be a challenge as it’s a competitive field: you’re applying to get a real job and employers will be looking for bright, committed individuals who are going to work hard and add to the success of their business.

Aside from an interest in accounting and financial management, employers look for good numeracy skills as while accountancy isn’t purely about numbers, but it’s a big part of the job. Good interpersonal and team skills are vital too, as you’re likely to be part of a team. Taking instruction, performing assigned tasks and contributing to a group are also important.

Also crucial is attention to detail, integrity and honesty: accountancy is all about using financial expertise to influence significant decisions, many of them about money, so you have to be trustworthy. So if that sounds like you, what are you waiting for?

If you’re interested in ACCA apprenticeships, you can find out more on their website.

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