Accountancy or teaching?

Is there life after O/A-Levels? Definitely! How well a person does in tertiary education is correlated with job opportunities open to the person. Discuss issues pertaining to nstitutes of higher learning here.

Re: Accountancy or teaching?

Postby Imami » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:47 am

I am an accountant by profession. If I were to do it all over again, I wouldn't be an accountant. U must be quite bright, given the choices that you hv listed.

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Re: Accountancy or teaching?

Postby ammonite » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:23 am

Do you know what you want to do in future?

Accountancy is a cross border practical skills. You can find employment in other countries, you can freelance, you can also get your own clients and work for yourself. These two are big pluses.
The hours can be very long, there are regular "high season" when getting home at midnight is not unheard of.

Economics and mathematics. Have you considered being an economist? A good economist can go into policy research for public or private sector. There are many areas of specialization.

To me, economics and mathematics give you more future pathways. You can go on to do masters or phd. You can teach or go into research, or policy making. But you have to be really interested. Economics is a subject with breadth and depth, and you must be widely read, or willing to start doing that, to do well. You should also at least build an awareness of different models of economy. It is not a textbook subject. You can also branch into other related areas eventually, political science, sociology, development, philosophy etc. But employment wise, it is more competitive though a good economist can end up in a very very comfortable position.

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Re: Accountancy or teaching?

Postby slmkhoo » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:05 am

Another possible route is to become an accountant, then become a teacher? One of my sisters-in-law did that. She worked part-time to get accounts experience along the way. She says that accounts teachers (she teaches 'O' levels) are in very high demand, and even though she has 'retired', she is constantly being called back to stand in for teachers who have to go on medical/maternity leave.

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Re: Accountancy or teaching?

Postby Imami » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:15 pm

protutor wrote:
Imami wrote:I am an accountant by profession. If I were to do it all over again, I wouldn't be an accountant. U must be quite bright, given the choices that you hv listed.


Can I ask why?


Sure! :D I meant to elaborate on it but I was too busy to draft the post. So I just left it as that for the time being.

For a longest time, I wanted to be an accountant since my father’s business winded in the 80s. it helped that I like numbers more than languages so doing accountancy seemed to make perfect sense. Naively, I thought if my father had an able accountant working for him then, he would not be out of business. When I was ready to join the workforce, I applied to join GIC’s Finance team (back office) but was offered a position in their Equity Team. I declined, despite being persuaded a few times and the reason I gave was I wanted to be an accountant. I eventually joined one of the then big 6s as an auditor before moving on to be an accountant with a local listed company/an offshore bank (also back office function)/US Consulting Company.

when I was leaving the offshore bank, I was offered a post by the operation team. while I was very interested, I had to decline because I had already agreed to join my ex-colleague’s company. While temping during my school days, I worked for this ex-colleague. He was not my direct boss back then but we always lunch together and at times, I would work with his team (he was a senior manager then). many years passed since and one fine day, he suddenly called and offered me a post. By then, he was already the FC. So well, much as I was very interested in another post in the offshore bank, I had to turn down.

When I was in that US consulting company, I had the opportunity to try a lot of things (outside my job scope as an accountant) the firm could offer – do sales pitch, set up and run the HR Function, set up new offices, actual consultancy work delivery etc. It was then that I realise-hey, I am as good with people (in terms of understanding their needs) as with numbers. And anyway, accountancy isn’t just about numbers. In many cases, accountants work as hard but the bucks they command pales in comparison.

But that’s my personal view. A fellow accountant may be very happy being one. Not that I am unhappy though, I just wonder often what would happen to me if I had taken up GIC’s offer…. I don’t have much regret turning down the post in that offshore bank as I had my most fulfilling working years in the US MNC.

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