It is often said that one of the biggest career decisions professionals make takes place very early on when deciding which qualification to pursue after completing school or college.
With a lot of uncertainty in university and college admissions in Pakistan due to coronavirus, one must not always just ‘wait and see’, especially when it comes to your own future. There are many options that are open for youngsters who’ve just completed their Matric/Inter or O/A level exams.
Typically, students wait for admission tests of different engineering and medical colleges in Pakistan. But this year, this wait can be really long and frustrating. Thanks to recent exam cancellation, almost everyone will be promoted to the next stage and there’s going to be intense competition due to limited seats at those reputable universities.
But there’s one way you can skip the wait and start building a successful, global career today, without waiting for the ECAT/MCAT tests. And that option is none other than ACCA. Here, we’ll walk you through the ACCA education and what you should expect if you choose to pursue this renowned qualification.
What is ACCA?
ACCA stands for the ‘Association of Chartered Certified Accountants’ and it’s one of the world’s largest accountancy bodies developing highly sought-after professional accountants.
ACCA qualification promises an incredibly fulfilling and satisfying global career in business, accounting, and finance. With ACCA, your career path can be massively diverse. From the fascinating world of Big4 consultancy firms to an enviable world of corporate sector, once you complete ACCA, you unlock a whole world of exciting, diverse, and lucrative careers.
If you have strong problem-solving skills, an analytical mind and are good at managing money, ACCA can be the right choice of further education for you.
What’s the ACCA journey like?
To attain ACCA membership, the candidate has to complete ACCA qualification exams, 3 years’ practical experience, and an online module on ethics and professional skills. A person can start his/her ACCA journey as early as after O/A level or Matric/Intermediate in Pakistan.
The ACCA journey is designed in such a way that even if you start after matriculation in Pakistan, in addition to the globally recognized ACCA qualification, you get an opportunity to simultaneously earn intermediate from ‘The Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC)’ Pakistan, a BSc from a renowned UK public university ‘Oxford Brookes’, an MSc from UK’s top-ranking ‘University of London’, as well as gain Master’s degree equivalence from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan.
Plus, by the time you become an ACCA member, you will already have 3 years of work experience so you can immediately jumpstart your vocation and enjoy a rewarding international career anywhere in the world.
As per the recent statistics available online, around 50 percent of the graduates who study ACCA in Pakistan emigrate to countries like the U.S., the U.K, Canada, the Middle East, and Australia due to massive international demand for ACCA-qualified professionals across the world.
How to get started with ACCA?
ACCA’a study module is very flexible. A candidate can take admission in any of the approved learning partners that are present in all major cities in Pakistan. Or they can simply start as a self-study student using ACCA’s approved content and online study resources.
Due to Covid-19, almost all ACCA-approved tuition providers are enrolling students online and delivering virtual classes. Just search ‘ACCA in Pakistan’ online and you will get information about different institutes teaching ACCA. Some of them include SKANS Lahore, TMUC Islamabad, Tabani’s Karachi, LGS Gujrat, SBM Abbottabad, PAC Peshawar, Al-hamd Hyderabad, among others.
Who can study ACCA?
ACCA has kept access to its world-class qualification open for people of all backgrounds and nationalities. It has built its own Foundation program to prepare individuals for ACCA qualification so even if you have just done matric, you can still start ACCA.
But not everyone has to take this Foundation Diploma which roughly takes around 10 months to complete. There are multiple entry points to start ACCA journey: while students can begin as early as after matric/O-level or inter/A-level, graduates from top universities in Pakistan with majors in accounting and finance can apply for certain paper exemptions from the ACCA qualification and fast-track their journey.
ACCA also has embedded programs at top-tier business schools such as LUMS, NUST, and IBA – so students can pursue ACCA qualification and a degree program at the same time as studying the same course.
How affordable is ACCA?
Studying ACCA is much more affordable if you compare it with any good private local university or the option of going abroad to study at a foreign university. Since not many parents will be comfortable sending their kids to foreign universities in today’s pandemic-ridden world, completing a world-class qualification in your home country for a fraction of the cost can be an appealing choice.
Plus, another great thing about ACCA qualification is that you don’t have to wait for 4 or 6 years to actually start your career. ACCA students can start gaining work experience while they’re still studying for exams. ACCA has a vast employer network in Pakistan (almost all major brands), that train and recruit ACCA students so they can gain 3 years’ work experience to become eligible for ACCA membership.
How long does it take?
The best thing about ACCA is that it’s a professional qualification and does not waste students’ time unnecessarily like traditional academic degrees. So if you start after matric, you can complete the Foundation Diploma in less than 10 months. Students with Intermediate (Commerce) are required to sit less number of papers in the Foundation Diploma.
Then you’re shifted to the main ACCA qualification which has 13 exams. After the Foundation Diploma, you also get 3 exemptions meaning you will only have to complete 10 exams of the ACCA qualification.
O/A Level grads don’t have to complete the Foundation Diploma and they can start ACCA directly. The requirement is to have 3 passes in O level (A to C grades) and 2 passes in A level (A to E grades) – but they need to have studied Maths and English (with A to C grades) in O/A levels.
On average it takes less than 2 years to complete all ACCA exams. You can start gaining a mandatory 3 years’ work experience from Day 01 of your qualification. So on average, you will be an ACCA member in 4-6 years after matric depending on your pace.
If you wish to learn more about ACCA, click here to visit their official website.