Essex Business School

Careers in accounting


Making numbers do more than just add up

A degree in accounting can lead to an extremely fulfilling career that makes use of your numeracy and analytical skill set.

As an accounting graduate from Essex Business School, you will have developed key skills which allow you to manage money and adapt to a variety of sectors.

The professional qualification exemptions afforded to accounting students allow you to move towards your chartered accountant status at an accelerated rate which can make you an exciting prospect for your future graduate employer.

On this page you will discover the various accounting specialisms available to accounting graduates and hear from alumni who are working as specialists within the field.

Which accounting career?
  • Many of our accounting graduates have gone on to have successful careers as auditors, tax consultants and business analysts.
  • Your degree from Essex Business School will enable you to work towards achieving your Chartered Accountant status as well as giving you the broad business understanding to perform in a variety of professional level roles.
  • Many of our graduates work for high street banks, accountancy firms and insurance companies but many are also carving a niche for themselves working with small-medium sized enterprises and developing critical services in emerging economies.

Accounting career prospects

Where can a degree in accounting take me?

A degree in accounting from Essex Business School will equip you with the knowledge and skills for you to be a competitive candidate in any area where accountancy is required.

Accountancy firms make up a huge amount of employment opportunities for accounting graduates, but there are plenty of opportunities for roles in small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as many businesses have their own finance departments rather than outsourcing their financial obligations to one of the larger accountancy firms.

Common accounting roles after graduating include:

  • Accounts Assistant
  • Financial Analyst
  • Graduate accountant
  • Graduate Accounts Trainee
  • Trainee Tax Accountant

Accounting graduates from Essex Business School have gone on to work for:

  • Hiscox
  • EY
  • KPMG
  • Lloyds Banking Group

Common careers for accounting graduates include:

  • Business Recovery and Insolvency Consultant
  • Chartered accountant
  • Corporate Finance Accountant
  • Financial Accountant
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Tax Accountant

How will Essex Business School help me develop the skills I need to succeed? 

Throughout your studies in accounting at Essex Business School you will be exposed to a range of skills development embedded throughout our curriculum.

Although we teach you far more skills than are listed below (see the Essex Business School Careers page for more about embedded skills) we have pulled out the list below from our accounting skills map which we think will be most useful for a career in accounting:

Accounting skills

  • Analysing quantitative data
    The ability to analyse all kinds of numerical data, as well as financial data, is key to any level of career success in accounting.
  • Analysing financial data
    A fundamental skill for accountancy which our teaching focuses on developing from day one.
  • Working with data interactively
    How you work with data is as important as the data streams that you work with. We teach you skills in how to see more than just numbers on a spreadsheet.
  • Specialist software for subject
    The accounting and finance industries rely heavily on software for number processing and we ensure that your skills in operating Bloomberg terminals and MatLAB are up to scratch.
  • Data visualisation
    Data visualisation is key to client engagement, regardless of which industry you end up in so we focus on teaching you how to present data in easy to digest and attractive manners.
  • Showing initiative
    Quite often in the field of accountancy you'll be given projects to work on independently, so while we advance your teamwork and leadership skills, we also focus on encouraging you to take initiative with your own projects and problem solving opportunities.
  • Desk research
    Much of the work you will do as an accountant will involve the ability to research and operate using research from secondary sources. Therefore the skills you develop in research methodologies and techniques will see you through your degree and out into the world of work.
  • Imaginative thinking in accounting
    A specific accountancy related skill, we encourage our accounting students to think imaginatively to see problems from all angles. The most direct solution is not always the most sustainable and we encourage sustainability in accounting wherever possible.
  • New ways of seeing accounting
    We encourage our accounting students to view accounting through a variety of lenses, but particularly through those of gender and environment, two of the key research areas of the Essex Accounting Group.

What opportunities are there for further accounting study?

Accounting is one of our five core subject groups and is led by our Accounting Group which is based at Essex Business School Colchester.

This means that we offer further study in accounting at both Masters and Research degree (PhD) level.

If you are interested in studying accounting at a higher level or want to take your own research in accounting and accountability to the next level, then you are welcome to apply for one of our postgraduate degrees in accounting:

Masters study

We offer five Masters degrees in accounting which allow you to specialise in either pure accounting or combine your core subject with our expertise in finance and banking:

Postgraduate research

Our research centres take on modern issues in accounting. The Centre for Accountability and Global Development is an interdisciplinary research centre which focusses on research and training for advancing accountability in both developed and emerging economies while the Essex Accounting Centre focuses on research and teaching of interdisciplinary approaches to accounting to inform public policy.

If your thesis explores issues such as; accountability in accounting, accounting in emerging economies, intersectional representation in accounting or accounting processes; then our supervisors would be interested in speaking with you about exploring it here within our accounting research centres:

Accounting graduates

Dr Jacob Agyemang, Senior Lecturer in Accounting
"Our accounting students are given the opportunity to mix accounting with finance and management. The reason for this is that we don’t want our students to go out into the graduate labour market with only one area of expertise, this mix of subjects gives our students an advantage. The world is so competitive; therefore, we have designed our degree programmes with competitiveness in mind to give our students the edge."
Dr Jacob Agyemang Senior Lecturer in Accounting Essex Business School
Image of a female student holding a laptop
Gain quantitative skills and enhance your degree with Q-Step

Did you know you could be graduating with enhanced quantitative skills simply by enrolling on specific Q-Step modules? If you follow the Q-Step pathway you will receive a qualifier award at the end of your degree which will signal to employers your capability in quantitative research. Whilst taking part in Q-Step you will also get the chance to undertake paid work placements of up to £300 per week.

Learn how to enhance your degree with Q-Step

Discover our degrees in accounting