Do you need a degree to become an accountant? You might think so, but accountancy careers are open to people who haven’t been to university. If you want to do a degree, read on for some tips on what to study and the skills you gain. 

Accountant – a great career choice for analytical minds! 

If you think you’re good at crunching numbers and analysing data, then working as an accountant would be an ideal job role for you. There are a number of degrees that develop these skills and make you more attractive to an employer. Accountants are also needed by every company, no matter what industry they are in, so there are always plenty of job opportunities.  

What does an accountant do? 

Accountants keep track of the money that comes in and goes out of a business. As an accountant, you would be managing a business’s cash flow, keeping financial records, producing reports and forecasts, overseeing payroll, tax and VAT submissions. Many accountants work across a range of different industries, whilst others specialise in particular sectors. 

Do you need a degree to be an accountant?

It is not essential to have a degree to become an accountant – there are many routes into accountancy. You could take an apprenticeship with an accountancy firm, study for a foundation certificate or professional accountancy qualifications, or undertake a traineeship. You could apply for a job with an accountancy company and combine training with a professional body while working as an accounts assistant or accounts clerk.   

However, having a degree may enable you to enter the accountancy industry at a higher level than you might be able to otherwise. You would qualify for entry onto graduate trainee schemes run by some companies. 

What degree options are desirable?

If you want to study for a degree that will be useful for an accountancy career, it doesn’t have to be in accountancy. By studying for the subjects below you will be gaining transferable skills that accountancy firms value.  


A maths degree develops skills such as analytical thinking, critical reasoning, problem solving and a deep understanding of numeracy, formulas and statistics. You don’t have to be excellent at maths to become an accountant, but it certainly helps!  


A business degree gives a general overview of most aspects of running a business, such as accounting, finance, business administration and management. Increasingly courses also include entrepreneurial skills and specialise in areas like marketing or economics.  


An economics degree develops highly transferable skills in problem solving, data analysis and numeracy, and these skills are highly prized in accountancy. While you won’t be studying the intricacies of day-to-day business finance, you will be gaining an understanding of how economies operate and are regulated.  

Accounting & finance 

You can’t do much better than a degree in accountancy and finance. Employers will know that you can analyse financial reports, understand taxation, auditing and the principles of management and forensic accounting. With this degree any number of accountancy careers will be open to you, from chartered accountancy to tax management and auditing. 

Accountancy degree apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships are an alternative to traditional degrees. They allow apprentices to combine full-time work with studying for a bachelor’s or master’s degree at university or college. They are designed to fill skills gaps in the workforce, but are increasingly available in wider job roles. Degree apprenticeships are most commonly made available to people already working for employers or by applying to a specific employer. There are degree apprenticeship opportunities available within accountancy and the financial services industry.  

Find an accountancy opportunity

Accountancy firms and financial services companies advertise jobs, graduate schemes and apprenticeships regularly on Talentview. You can filter your searches by job role, location and also look for management traineeships, work experience, placements and internships.  

Find out more about a career as an accountant

  • Read our guide to accountancy, from the qualifications and skills you need, what accountants do, case studies and information about earning potential and next steps. 

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