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Doctor. Teacher. Firefighter. Accountant?

Accountancy isn’t generally thought of as a heroic calling – but think again.

Accountants have the power to change the world on a macro scale: helping to develop government policies, driving not-for-profit organisations, standing at the forefront of environmentalism or fintech: the opportunities and fields of influence are almost endless. In fact, in every sector, everywhere that money changes hands, you need Accountants.

This also means Accountants have the power to change the world on a micro scale, by changing their own lives. Every time a young person wondering what to do with their life decides to become an Accountant, the value of their choice lies in the power to direct their own life – even if they’re not sure yet what direction they want it to take.

As an Accountant, they’ll be equipped to add value and provide insight wherever they find themselves. They can pack their bags, board a plane and get a job in a beautiful and thriving city anywhere in the world. They can stay at home and focus on providing their future family with the best possible start in life. With “CA” after their name, their options are wide open.

That’s why it’s great news that the biggest Accountancy firms in the UK are now hiring young people without degrees directly from school or college: the more we can do to open up Accountancy to a wider and more diverse pool of talent, the better. For example, PWC is offering School and College Leaver programmes that provide young recruits with experience of real client work and free training towards formal qualifications. These are full-time paid roles with a competitive salary.

“Things have changed,” says their website. “You don’t need a degree to launch a successful career in the business world. Many of our senior leaders joined us without a university degree and have accelerated their career at PwC and beyond.”

There are things we can do as individuals too. Encourage children to get excited about maths; encourage young people choosing a degree course to study Accountancy and Economics; talk about what Accountants do, and show that Accountants are not bean-counters but decision-makers with real influence; encourage the government to invest in education that pays for itself ten-fold; and make joining member bodies more appealing to the younger generation. If we can help them, we can make the world a better place.

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