Finance is a huge part of the UK economy, in fact, it makes up 6.5% of the UK’s total economic output and accounts for 1.1 million jobs all over the UK, with many of them being based in London. However, not all of the jobs are based in the capital and life in London is not suitable for everyone. There are plenty of finance jobs available here in Oxfordshire and this article aims to help you get started on the career ladder in this important sector, no matter which path you want to take.
Choose your specialty
There are many different careers available in finance and they all have different qualification requirements, so it is essential that before you take any other steps, you should pick a path to take. You could go into accounting, commercial banking, investment banking, insurance, hedge fund management, financial planning and advice, and many other specialties. Think about your personal qualities and your interests and consider which path would suit those best.
Take a course
The next step is to complete a course which will directly help you on your chosen path. For example, with accountancy, you will need to obtain a particular certification in order to enter the industry. To get started in an accountancy firm you will need to have completed the AAT course. AAT stands for Association of Accounting Technicians and it is the foundation qualification that you will need. You can achieve that free of charge: the free certificate from LSBF allows you to qualify by studying online at home for the AAT Level 2 Foundation.
Once you have completed the AAT, you can continue to study for the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) and the CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) qualifications being your ultimate goals. Those qualifications take years to complete and you are likely to already have a job in accountancy by the time you start working for some of the later ones.
Apprenticeship or work experience
Once you have finished your course, or while you are still studying, you need to think about where you can get some experience in your chosen field. Some work experience is essential for your job hunting because employers want to see that as well as having the qualifications and the knowledge, you also have the relevant experience of actually working in the industry. A good reference from an employer will help your application enormously. There are lots of accountancy firms in Oxfordshire looking to take on enthusiastic candidates for work experience.
Getting your first job
Once you have completed an apprenticeship or work experience with a finance firm, then they could take you on as a permanent employee. If they don’t then do not worry because you now have some relevant experience in your chosen field, making you an attractive candidate for other employers. When looking for finance jobs in Oxfordshire, draw on your work experience and focus on it in applications and interviews so that you can demonstrate your problem-solving and project management skills in a work context.