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How Could My Career Develop With a Finance Apprenticeship?

Who said that a finance apprenticeship will set you back when it comes to career progression in comparison to graduate options? Time to set the record straight!

Currently you could take on a finance apprenticeship within accountancy, the professional services or banking. Each of these different areas are vast within themselves, so getting your foot in the door is going to open out a whole range of different opportunities. It can also be jolly difficult to gain experience, so an apprenticeship is a super way to gain real experience in the field. In this respect, school leavers heading straight into an apprenticeship or school leaver programme are already one step ahead compared to students taking the university route.

Short-term career progression

Your progression in the short term could depend on what level of apprenticeship you take on to start with. Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships could well lead onto Higher Apprenticeships with the same company and firm if you make a strong enough impression.

Completion of a Higher Apprenticeship could even fast track you onto the firm or bank’s graduate scheme in some cases. And if you complete a sponsored degree programme with the firm, upon your graduation and completion of your programme you’ll be at exactly the same level as those who took the university and graduate entry route – heck, you’ll certainly have a good deal of work experience and workplace soft skills!

Apprentices are supported by their colleagues throughout their programmes and gain experience with clients. Which means you’ll have plenty of opportunity to really get to grips with how things work and grow into your role.

Professional qualifications

A finance apprenticeship will do a lot to give your long-term career prospects in the industry a jolt. It’s all about having the credentials to set you up.

Provides you with benchmark industry qualifications that you can take on with the industry, and outside, for example, the ACCA, AAT or ATT (you can check out more on these qualifications in our courses section). These are sought-after qualifications in the finance industry, and many more senior positions will require candidates to hold these qualifications as one of the essential requirements.

The world’s your oyster

In the longer term, a school leaver in a company can progress up to associate levels and managerial levels; the same as anyone who got started through the graduate entry route. Apprenticeships and school leaver programmes often offer the chance to explore different areas of the company and to find out about lots of different focuses. This means there will certainly be the opportunity to develop a specialist area. You could also take your qualification abroad and work in an office over there.

Furthermore, the zenith of the board room in the future is certainly not off limits if that’s what you’ve got your eye on. Some of the UK’s largest finance firms have partners and senior managers who started out in the company as apprentices, and it’s still very much a possibility to this generation of school leavers. If you’ve got the ambition, there are no limits.

Oh, and one more thing: as finance apprenticeship is paid, which means you could actually afford to put together some savings whilst you work (no student debt here!). So outside of your professional life, if you already have travel plans or visions of buying a car or home at some point in the near future then it could all become a reality much sooner than your might think through an apprenticeship or school leaver scheme.

By Jos Weale, Editor, AllAboutFinanceCareers.com

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