University isn’t the only option if you want to gain professional status

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A professional career doesn’t always mean you have to go to university.

Over the next month thousands of potential students from across Sheffield and South Yorkshire will be considering whether university is the right route for them. The cost of university in Yorkshire has been calculated as up to £52,000, including costs such as tuition fees, rent, food etc. Not wanting to burden yourself with this level of debt doesn’t mean a professional career is beyond you.

Many professional bodies such as ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) don’t require a degree. Studying for a professional qualification instead of choosing to complete an undergraduate degree can have a number of advantages. You can earn valuable practical experience while completing your qualification, which could put you three years ahead of your peers and once completed you will have a qualification that is equivalent to a masters level degree.

University experience could be an important part of your development, but it is always worth considering whether it is something you want to do, or are doing because you think it is the logical next step.

In today’s competitive job market, three years’ experience gained while studying for a professional qualification could put you ahead of your peers.

Andrew Cawley

ACCA Sheffield Members’ Network chair