Accounting Courses

By Cormac O' Meara - Last update


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If you´re thinking about becoming an accountant well, take comfort.  You couldn´t be joining the profession at a better time!  Accountancy as a profession has experienced unprecedented growth in recent times in Ireland and in Europe. In Ireland and Britain, it amoung the largest single employer of university graduates from any discipline. Some of the factors driving the growth is the constant need for accountants in financial reporting, in the management of financial affairs and as advisors to all forms of businesses, government agencies and people. The demand for these services has grown as the business world gets more complex and more competitive. In Ireland, the area of international financial services has been a top economic performer – many say it was the launching pad of the Celtic Tiger – and is a major employer of accountants. Accounting courses are your best option to finding work in this field.

Accountancy Education Path

Qualifications in accountancy come with an average three years of degree time.  For example, the BSc in Accounting degree at University College Cork promises to “deliver an education that meets the needs of the professional accountant and business executive in the twenty first century.” The programme focuses on accounting but provides all other relevant education for anyone interested in accounting as a career – so it doesn´t confine itself to issues that are immediately relevant to accountancy.  Graduates will very likely be working in accountancy or management for many years after graduation, and the degree attempts to give the student the knowledge they might need down the road when they´re working as part of the broader business community.

Most well-revised accountancy courses have accepted that students need more than a simple preparation for accounting careers.  Colleges are developing close links with the professional bodies representing accountants (eg ICA, ACCA, CIMA) and with the workplace, where students are usually placed for several months.  And naturally, being part of the faculties of Business or Commerce in the various higher level institutions allows accounting students to study a significant amount of other business subjects.

Accounting Courses Available

The main features of an accounting degree should include a general business education, as well as accounting skills.  Degree courses will also get you exemptions from professional accounting examinations and are a good basis for the development of a career as an all-round business person.   On most courses, there´s a reasonable amount of subject choice, so students can study subjects areas that interest them most and thus specialise.

Most courses are three-year degree programmes in the Faculty of Commerce but graduates regularly take further diplomas and Masters degrees and/or turn to other aspects of business after graduation.

The value of the skills developed during the training period as a professional accountant is recognised in positions outside traditional accounting roles – experience in investigation, analysis, judgment and organisation of information is vital and can be an invaluable asset in many business areas outside of accounting.

All subjects on the accountancy degree programmes in Ireland are taught on the assumption that students have no prior computing or business knowledge. Honours Mathematics in the Leaving Certificate is not a requirement. Points levels and qualifications vary if you´re looking for a course in accountancy.

Career Paths

The actuarial profession is well paid – someone newly qualified can earn from €45,000 – €52,000 and salary levels can increase after that, depending on ability and experience. The actuarial profession in Ireland is growing fast, and has been described as amoung the best paying professions in the land.  A love of maths is a big plus here.

By Mark Godfrey



Cormac O' Meara

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