26 July 2019 | Career Advice | Guest Author
Once you’ve been handed your certificate on graduation day, you might be itching to get one foot onto your chosen career ladder as soon as you can get the gown off. However, although for most professions three years of undergraduate study is more than enough to give you the right knowledge and experience, some jobs require a few extra months or years of training before you can get stuck into work.
On top of the additional effort involved, there is extra cost and time commitment to consider - but these jobs are often both highly rewarding and handsomely paid. Here are four popular career paths that you’ll need to do that bit more to qualify for…
To fully qualify and start using your creative eye to draw up architectural masterpieces, not only will you need to spend five years studying as an undergraduate on a degree course approved by RIBA (the Royal Institute of British Architects) - you must also spend at least two years gaining professional experience as either a trainee architect or an architect’s assistant. It’s advised that one of these two years should be sandwiched in the middle of your degree - and the good news is you’ll get paid for them both. The not-so-good news is that on completion of all seven years you’ll need to pass the final RIBA exam, which will set you back £510 the first time you sit it and £392 thereafter.
As a solicitor you’ll provide legal support and advice on a huge range of issues, from family matters to business disputes. Keep hold of that graduation gear because before you can get started you’ll need to sign up to a Legal Practice Course (LPC). It lasts between one and two years and costs in the region of £11,550. A huge number of law schools around the UK offer the LPC and many law firms will sponsor you to gain the qualification. Large law firms will have a strict selection process to secure a place, whereas more localised and specialist firms can be approached with details on their website career pages.
If you’ve just spent three years studying accounting at university, you’ll know that - while not a requirement for a career as an accountant - it’s a valuable and sought-after degree to have. However, you’ll also need to get yourself an AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) qualification at Professional Diploma level. This comprises several levels of study and combines practical work experience with industry knowledge, from performance evaluation to cash management. Costing between £1,000 and £3,000 and lasting for up to 18 months, it will gain you not only fully-fledged status but also membership of the AAT.
In order to stand up in court and represent clients, you’ll need not only excellent public speaking skills but several additional and expensive stages of qualification on top of your law degree. The first step is to pass the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) which costs £150 and allows you to join an Inn of Court.
Once part of an Inn, you can register on a Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), most of which take one year and tend to cost between £15,000 and £18,000. Combined with 12 additional sessions of accredited training, this will qualify you to be called to the Bar and apply for a pupillage - the final stage (and the first paid one) which lasts a year.