By 2023 science, research, engineering and technology jobs are expected to make up 7.8% of all jobs in the UK and occupy 2.5m roles – if your child enjoys their maths or business studies and is a whizz with numbers then this could be the industry for them! Perhaps they even already know they want to study accounting? Read on to find out how you can help them make the right choices whilst still at school.
There’s more to accounting than just crunching numbers – people who work in the field to help others to plan the necessary steps to achieve their financial goals. Accountancy is a term that covers a number of roles, from chartered accountant to accounting technician to internal auditor to accounting software developer.
Here’s some of the roles accountancy covers:
- Chartered Accountant
Responsible for providing financial advice, auditing accounts and assisting with financial records. There is lots of opportunity for progression in this career.
- Accounting Technician
Prepares financial information that helps businesses and accountants make decisions. You’ll need excellent commercial sense and numerical skills to work in this role.
- Internal auditor
Monitors risk management and internal processes in businesses. Being able to use initiative is highly valued in this job.
- Accountancy software developer
Create, maintain and improve systems to suit the needs of the company. If your child fancies the thought of working in a constantly evolving environment then this could be ideal for them.
- Accounting Manager
Oversees the accounting department and uses data to produce financial reports. They also establish accounting methods, policies and principles.
There are many ways to get into accounting from courses and degrees to apprenticeships and starting early can only be an advantage. You could also encourage your kids to enrol in after-school maths clubs to spark their interest in the field.
During GCSEs or Standard Grades, you could opt to study:
- Design Technology
- ICT/Computer Studies
- Business Studies
For academic subjects such as A Levels or Highers, you can study:
- Business Studies
- Further Maths
- Pure Maths
Related subjects include:
If your child is unsure of what to study at school you could encourage them to take subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, English Lit, Geography, History, Languages (Modern & Classical), Maths, Further Maths and Physics. These are ‘facilitating’ subjects which are required for large number of university courses and will allow them to keep their options open until they’re more certain of the career path they wish to go down.
Skills you need
If your child is passionate about maths, quizzes and brain games, here are just some of the skills that will be useful in the future and they can work on developing.
- Problem solving
- Time management
Work experience is a good way for your child to apply knowledge and build skills for the industry they want to enter, which can be in the form of volunteering or shadowing, internships or Accountancy-related work placements.
Alternatively, during university, depending on the course, it may include a year in industry (also known as a four-year sandwich course) where they can build a network of contacts and develop skills using the knowledge they’ve learnt on their course. Extracurricular activities that give them the opportunity to develop maths skills are also useful to include on job applications.
Although many women are already in this type of career, there’s still more work to do to attract women into the science industry as whole. The UK is trailing behind Europe in terms of female representation - currently making up just 16% of the workforce.
Many companies, including EDF Energy, are committed to helping address the lack of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). We run a number of STEM initiatives including the Pretty Curious programme which sets out to challenge what girls’ think they know about STEM. There are some amazing careers that use science and it’s our job to help inspire girls to look differently at STEM using strong female role models and creative digital and hands-on experiences.
Accountancy is the second most in demand finance job in the UK. The financial sector requires dedication and hard work to break into but it’s exciting, financially rewarding and attracts thousands of applicants from across the world.
- You could find a role model in a friend or colleague that can encourage them through their own experiences.
- There are many free exhibitions and events that bring science to life outside of the classroom, for example take a look at our eight UK-wide visitor centres where you can explore science in a fun free and family-friendly way every school holiday or weekend.
- Be supportive - we’re all unique in our passions and it doesn’t matter if they aren’t sure what they want to do yet.
- Be patient, encouraging and provide the support they need to find their way whether that’s with tutoring, extracurricular activities or just celebrating their successes.
- You could encourage your child to look at volunteering for organisations that marry with their interests. They get to explore a variety of working environments, develop employability skills and make new friends all of which will boost their confidence. You can find a list of volunteer opportunities here.
- If your child is unsure of the subjects to take, you could encourage them to speak to a careers advisor or explore the below resources for guidance:
My World of Work – choosing GCSE options
Prospects career guide
The Complete University Guide
Which? guide to university
- Your child is young and it’s okay for them to change their minds. Roma who was part of the team that design London’s iconic Shard building, did just that – watch her story in 360°.