Accounting qualifications are a growing career choice
School-leavers, or others, still deciding what to do, might be interested to know that there is a growing demand from employers for staff with accounting qualifications.
There are many routes to such a career and one is an accounting technician's course, now widely available.
Accounting technicians work at all levels of finance, from accounts staff to financial controller, and in all types of organisations. They are widely employed throughout the public sector industry and commerce and in private practices.
To get on to a course, school-leavers need only a Leaving Certificate with pass grade in five ordinary level subjects, including English and either maths or accounting, or pass grades in two ordinary level subjects together with two pass grades at higher level, including English and either maths or accounting.
Someone who has successfully completed a nationally recognised qualification such as HETAC, FETAC may be eligible to enter a course and gain exemptions from certain subjects.
Courses may be full-time or part-time in a range of institutes of technology, further education colleges and private colleges. An example of the wider choice of colleges where courses are available are Cork IT, Blanchardstown IT, Ballyfermot College of Further Education, Cavan Institute, IBAT College and Griffith College. Students study taxation, law and ethics, and business management and gain work experience in second year.
In a small company, they may be the only qualified employee looking after the finance function, while in a larger company they may be working as part of a team alongside accountants and administrative staff.
While they are not accountants, they can perform many of the same functions and are qualified to take accounts up to a certain stage. The National Skills Bulletin 2013 identified accounting and finance as an area where there are skills shortages.