Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

There's More Than One Career Route

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

There's More Than One Career Route

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH RICHARDSON

[bar] CHOOL leavers lack career guidance and are not making informed choices about their future, according to recent research from by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians). The report revealed that many 16 to 18-year-olds across the UK had confused views on studying for a degree and where it could lead.

University education was high on the wish list for 16 to 18-year-olds, with 79 per cent saying they still planned to go to university -- despite the huge hike in tuition fees. Yet 61 per cent of those surveyed didn't know that tuition fees alone could leave them with a debt of up to [pounds sterling]27,000 after a three-year degree course.

The report indicates that school leavers deem degrees as necessary requirements in the jobs market, with 45 per cent of those questioned believing you need a degree to work in accounting, 36 per cent believing you need a degree to work in the field of engineering and 22 per cent believing you need a degree to work in the IT market.

But when pressed for their greatest concerns, 37 per cent of those who took part in the report said their biggest fear for the future would be actually finding a job. This was closely followed by 25 per cent of 16 to 18-year-olds who felt their biggest concern would be having enough money.

Jane Scott Paul is chief executive at AAT, the UK's leading qualification and membership body for accounting and finance staff, awarding more than 30,000 qualifications a year.

She says: "Careers advice is failing our young people. It is simply not acceptable that school leavers are making vital choices about their future without fully understanding the consequences of their decision. Too many young people opt for university as a default option without any knowledge of the return they will get on their investment or any awareness of the alternatives that are open to them."

The AAT's accounting qualification offers a vocational progression route to all the UK's chartered and certified accountancy qualifications, including those of ACCA, and it is sponsored and supported by four of the UK's chartered accountancy bodies: CIPFA, ICAEW, CIMA and ICAS. …

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