Do I Need an Accounting Degree?

A question I have been asked a lot by friends and student at careers fairs is whether you need an accounting degree to obtain a graduate job at Grant Thornton. The simple answer is no, you don’t. There are obviously advantages to having the experience and knowledge behind you but the help and support from Grant Thornton means that within the first six months of work you will definitely have the same level of knowledge as those who did join with a relevant degree.

Having graduated with an accounting and finance degree from Cardiff from the start I was confident looking at client accounts and understanding double entry concepts. However the other graduate who joined the office with me has a Maths degree and by Christmas I can be sure to say he felt just as confident in his ability, having no prior accounting experience. Within our first few weeks we both attended the Breaking Records course at Bradenham where you learn a lot of the underlying accounting concepts and double entry bookkeeping. This course is unique to Grant Thornton and is a great starting block for college, whichever qualification you are going to pursue in the future. The course gives you a head start at college during the first round of exams. It can be an intense learning curve but tutors aim to mix those graduates with accounting degrees with those without to provide additional support in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Having a non-accounting degree means you can still draw on skills you have learnt from university such as time management which is key to completing client work efficiently and also developing relationships which is a key daily aspect of our client work. Within the Cardiff and Bristol office in recent years there have been more graduates employed without accounting degrees than those with which reiterates that this is not a key point that Grant Thornton are looking for in their staff. Enthusiasm and willingness to learn these new skills is key in new graduates and so it’s essential to have this attitude throughout the application process. This willingness could be shown through arranging some short term relevant work experience or attending careers fairs and spending time speaking to Grant Thornton staff members learning more about the different job roles available.

As always if you have any questions about degree relevance or any other aspect of the application process please don’t hesitate to post a comment on this blog. All the best with your applications!

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