All change: The future is finance

Torbay Weekly

Jane Collins, programme coordinator - accounting, finance and professional apprenticeships at South Devon College:

Here at South Devon College, we’ve seen a huge increase in enquiries from adults considering a change in career path over the past few months, and a 70 per cent increase in applications for part-time courses from those over 19 compared to last year.

We've started a series where we will be considering the benefits of working in a range of professional services, today looking at the finance sector.

Be the ticket to a thriving business

The past 18 months have brought to light more than ever the importance of skilled finance professionals, who have worked behind the scenes to keep businesses afloat through some of the most challenging circumstances possible.

AAT are the UK’s leading professional body offering skills-based accountancy and finance qualifications.

According to AAT, what you learn on their courses is 'a route to some of the most in-demand skills in the world'.

This skillset will be essential to the recovery of many businesses as we look towards a post pandemic world.

Here are the AAT's reasons to become a finance professional:

Endless opportunities

Every successful business, from start-ups to global brands, need great accountants, so the opportunities in finance are endless.

It’s not just banks and accountancy firms who need people with financial skills: across every industry companies need someone good with numbers.

Whichever path you choose, you’ll have the chance to use new technology and develop a broad range of skills to inform decisions and make businesses stronger and more resilient.

Plus, an increased focus on communication and ethics mean that the role of finance professionals has never been more rewarding – or more important.

Work anywhere

There are lots of career opportunities available in the financial world.

It’s not just banks and accountancy firms who need people with financial skills: across every industry companies need someone good with numbers.

Learning new skills, and building on those you already have, can have a huge impact on your life and lead to new opportunities.

Every industry and company's fundamental need is to manage finance - no matter where in the world you are.

Progress your career

A career in finance offers long‐term options and a huge variety of roles, whether you work for a company or for yourself.

Running your own bookkeeping or accountancy practice could be the most rewarding step in your career.

You could enjoy greater freedom, more variety and flexibility in your work, higher earning potential, and the job satisfaction and work/life balance you’ve always wanted.

Or, explore your potential within a company and climb the ranks, developing your AAT status along the way with more qualifications to increase the possibilities for your career.

Great earning potential

Not only are there lots of roles to apply for, but you’ll also have the chance to earn a competitive salary over time.

If you're just starting out, earnings start at £19,000 and as you work up to finance director roles, you could be earning more than £43,000.

Getting formal recognition of your skills shows your value to employers and can help you progress in your career.

An AAT accounting qualification can increase your earning potential by 16 per cent and going on to AAT full membership can increase it by as much as 42 per cent.

Salary isn’t always the primary motivation though.

The achievable prospect of self-employment means you can be your own boss or run your own service alongside employment to grow your earning potential even more.


South Devon College offer courses in Torquay, Paignton and Plymouth, and have introduced a range of short online Level 1 courses in bookkeeping and accounting software using Xero, with no prior knowledge needed, to give you an idea if this career is for you.

To find out how to become a part of the finance workforce of the future, with a range of full- and part-time courses from entry to degree level, contact