About this sector
You can read information about role responsibilities, salary, working hours, what to expect, qualifications, skills, work experience, career prospects and related roles on the following Prospects Job Profiles:
You might also see other job profiles of interest in the Accountancy, banking and finance profiles page (which gives links to the 31 profiles in the sector).
How to gain experience/internships
- Summer internships
- Paid internships are common amongst the medium to large employers in this sector
- Usually aimed at penultimate year students (or final years committed to undertaking postgraduate study)
- Be prepared to apply between September and January for most opportunities
- Read Getting work experience in an accounting firm by TARGETjobs
- Take part in events where you can talk to employers visiting St Andrews
- Alternative work experience resources (including 1st and 2nd year students)
How to find a (graduate) job
- Graduate training schemes:
- Graduate training schemes are common in this sector. All sizes of accountancy organisations and many puplic and private sector employers recruit graduates as trainee accountants.
- Be prepared to apply between September and January for most opportunities.
- Take part in events where you can talk to employers.
- Job search websites for graduate training schemes:
- Vacancies on the professional bodies' websites:
Applications, interviews and assessment centres
- Application procedures
The selection process for accountancy graduate training schemes varies between employers, but is typically in three or four parts:
- An online application form
- Online tests
- Interview - often by telephone or skype, increasingly a recorded video interview
- Assessment Centre - sometimes including interview with partner/director
It is important to be aware of how you will be assessed. Typically, large accountancy employers use 'competency-based' selection processes but there have been some developments; for example, EY and Grant Thornton use strengths-based assessments.
Relevant Postgraduate Study - is it a requirement?
A postgraduate qualification is not normally required or preferred by companies employing trainee accountants from any degree discipline in the UK, though a Masters degree can act as evidence that you have a genuine and extensive interest in the subject matter. Work experience is usually preferred to a postgraduate qualification.
Key UK resources
Take Away from the Careers Centre
- Target:City and Finance
- Inside Careers: Chartered Accountancy
- Inside Careers: City and Finance
Use CareerConnect, your central careers hub, to:
- Book an appointment with a careers adviser
- Search for vacancies (Job Shop, internships/work experience, graduate jobs)
- Register for events
- ICAS Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland
- ICAEW Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
- CIMA Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
- ACCA Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
- CIPFA Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy
The Careers Centre subscribes to GoinGlobal, a specialist website with information and job vacancies worldwide.
The USA job market and recruitment timetables, for both internships and graduate jobs, for sectors of employment often differ from the UK.
The Careers Centre subscribes to the reputable independent USA careers information and vacancy provider Vault. The links below will take you directly to Vault subscription resources which cover this sector. You may find further useful and relevant resources linked from there as well.