Accountancy, teaching and law are believed to be some of the most difficult professions to access without a university degree, according to a new survey commissioned by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians).
The survey, which saw Opinium Research speak with 2,005 adults, comes as thousands of young people across the UK are completing their UCAS applications ahead of Wednesday’s deadline (15 January). Out of those surveyed, three-quarters (77%) ranked being a solicitor as very difficult to get into if you didn’t go to university, followed by teaching (69%), accountancy (64%) and investment banking (62%).
Many people also thought being from a lower-income background was a significant barrier to entering these professions. 59% of people thought this would hold someone back from becoming a teacher, whilst 57% felt it would limit someone’s ability to become an engineer. Just under half (47%) of respondents said a lower-income background could prevent someone becoming an accountant, with 18 to 34-year-olds more likely to agree with this compared to over-55s (49% and 36% respectively).
Although being from an ethnic minority background was considered less of a challenge to enter these career paths than coming from a low-income background, almost a third of people (31%) said being from an ethnic minority background would make becoming an investment banker difficult. Other roles seen as harder for ethnic minority candidates to enter were solicitor (27%), business analyst (23%), HR manager (23%) and accountant (22%).