One of the biggest decisions when leaving school is whether to go to University to study for a degree or go into the workplace.
At the start of my career, after completing my A-levels, I applied for an apprenticeship style scheme at Big 4 Accounting firm PwC.
For someone like me who was unsure whether University was the right thing at the time, it was a great opportunity to earn money whilst studying for a professional qualification, with one of the most prestigious professional services companies in the world.
Starting my career at PwC opened up endless opportunities for me both in business and personal life. It allowed me to travel with work and the chance to relocate from Manchester to London, the Caribbean and then back to the UK.
A career in finance isn’t just working long hours analysing numbers on spreadsheets. It can open doors in other ways and provides a clear career path.
Apprenticeships can be a great starting point in your career. Just last week BAE Systems announced it is taking on 800 apprentices over the next 12 months. BAE Systems is a company that has prided itself on having 2,000 apprenticeships on its books at any one time, for the last few years.
Just this last week, a former colleague of mine started on the same route as me at PwC, as a school leaver, became a partner in the firm – a fantastic and inspiring achievement. This highlights to me that with the right attitude and work ethic you can reach the top of your profession.
Certain professions do require you to have a Bachelor’s degree in a certain subject in order to progress – however there are many others where this is not a requirement.
I can only speak from personal experience, but not going to University is not the be all and end all of having a fulfilling career – there are many other opportunities out there if you have the determination to succeed in your chosen field.
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