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AAT finds university students debt puts college trained accountants ahead

Jane Scott Paul, chief executive of the AAT

Accountants who train on the job instead of going to university could be as much as £70,000 better off than their graduate counterparts by the time they finish their degree.

The Association of Accounting Technicians has come up with the findings, based on the latest figures and taking into account average student debt which is now as much as £30,000 according to some sources. Meanwhile, as university students are raking up debts, AAT technicians are earning while they learn.

Jane Scott Paul, AAT CEO, said: “£70,000 is a lot of money to anyone, especially those in the early stage of their career. With the vast majority of our school leaver students progressing on to become chartered at the same pace, or even quicker than graduates, it seems alarming that there is still such inherent snobbery towards vocational training in the UK.

“A students ability to climb the business ladder and earn is largely down to the individual and rising stars will be rising stars whether they go to college or university.”

Catherine Walsh, head of recruitment and ACA training at the HAT Group of accountancy firms, added: “We regularly recruit AAT students. Over the last few years we have found there is a growing number of students who have completed A-levels with good grades but who are reluctant to go to university due to the expense involved and the students knowing that they can start a career in accountancy with just A levels.

“We recruit about 10 AAT trainees each year and within four years they are ACA or ACCA qualified. This means they are often qualified before the peers who have chosen to go to university.”

The AAT conducted the research by analyzing data from a variety of sources such as the Hays Salary Survey, their own data and reports from high street banks.

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