I came across this site whilst doing a google search for advice on the same issue.
In short, I am thinking of a career change. I am 29 and graduated in 2006 with a 2:1 BSc Economics from a top 10 uni and have four A levels at grades AAAB (IT, History, Economics and Maths). At the time, I did apply and received offers for ACA training contracts with big organisations. However, I also applied to the Police and indeed that was the route that I went down.
2006 was a different world, pre downturn and a lot of careers were a land of opportunity. I was attracted to Policing because it was still regarded as a good career with exciting opportunities to specialise and earn promotion. Alas things are not quite like that now, masses of good people fighting for minimal promotions / the odd specialist post, huge cuts in pay and a real worry about career development. I didn't join for the money and I do okay with bits of overtime and some temporary pay for covering a higher rank, but I am now worried about another 30 years in a role that is becoming a bit 'Groundhog Day' with limited progression.
I have mused upon a career change for a few years now and am getting to the stage of thinking it might be time within the next 12 to 24 months. I say might be, because I have a young baby and mortgage (although we haven't hugely overstretched things). My partner works and I could afford a pay cut if I knew it was a temporary hardship to allow a better future. We have settled in the Midlands and so a move to London is not viable at the moment.
I have been looking at grad schemes, mainly in audit with ACA training. There appears to be no bar on age to these schemes. Has anyone experience of older graduates on these schemes? Would this be the best way for me to go? Has anyone completed ACA or similar training juggling home life and children? Is the Midlands a good place to build an accountancy career?
I know that I can shine in an assessment centre. At least I hope that I can, as although Policing doesn't give you much in the way of professional qualifications, it's given me a lot of the so called soft skills (nothing tests your communication skills like talking a suicidal person off the top of a building) . I am a bright, hard working and approachable person. I just want to be realistic about what is best for me, my family and our future and so any advice regarding a career shift is most welcome.
Many thanks in advance