A question about graduate pay and **** taking

A question about graduate pay and **** taking

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Pit Pony

Original Poster:

2,368 posts

65 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
So my son got a 1st Masters in Chemistry from York.
4 years ago.
He worked in Cancer drug discovery, and after 2 years took voluntary redundancy and did teacher training at Birmingham.
So during his NQT year he decided that he hated being a chemistry teacher.
So he's changing direction again. He applied and has been successful with one of the big accountancy firms. You know the one that begins with P, and gets fined occasionally and fks up the Oscars. Job is a trainee in the Assurance function (auditing?)
Leads to ACA chartered status.
Now is it just me or is £22k a year a proper pistake?
I know there is the dangling of carrot, and all that, but to me it just says we actually are going to treat you like st.
I've tried to be encouraging, but if he was me, I'd be looking elsewhere.
I live in the here and now and not the future and occasional regret it.

thetoxicnerve

21,544 posts

121 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
I thought starting (graduate) salaries were £35k+ at these places? Usually with a golden handshake too.

£22k seems low but he is a trainee right?

blueg33

21,585 posts

168 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
They do usually start quite low as far as I am aware but it rises quickly. They do work the balls off you.

If its the Audit team these are IIRC pretty much the lowest paid in the sector especially as a trainee.

My info is just what I have gleaned talking to my auditors and working with the firm in question across corporate acquisitions, joint ventures and investment finance.

Drumroll

1,395 posts

64 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
Welcome to the real world, where having a degree doesn't always mean you are going to get paid any more than anybody else.


boyse7en

3,803 posts

109 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
£22k as a trainee sounds pretty good to me. Friend of mine is a qualified accountant and isn't on much more than that. But it depends where you are geographically. £22k in Highlands and £22k in Central London are very different value propositions.

rgw2012

496 posts

87 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
He will be a trainee Accountant (Auditor) with a degree in Chemistry that has no bearing on the job - his starting salary should be expected to be the bottom of the ladder as he is without any relevant qualification or experience, same as any other newbie to that profession. I would imagine his learning capability, as demonstrated through achieving a degree, will stand him in good stead as he progresses up the ladder (debatable I know) but aren't there industry specific exams that he would also need to pass in order to improve his market value.

I'm not surprised at the salary level being offered. If he had a degree in Accounting for example then I would expect him to be starting at the £30k+ sort of level.

Vaud

32,915 posts

99 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
blueg33 said:
They do usually start quite low as far as I am aware but it rises quickly. They do work the balls off you.

If its the Audit team these are IIRC pretty much the lowest paid in the sector especially as a trainee.

My info is just what I have gleaned talking to my auditors and working with the firm in question across corporate acquisitions, joint ventures and investment finance.
^^^ what he said.

Audit is the last place I'd aim for in the Big 4.

Consulting would be closer to 35k+ and often with a (repayable if you leave) golden hello (Accenture is £10k IIRC).

Still get worked hard, but the money is better, plus you don't have to study AND be billed out.


easytiger123

1,867 posts

153 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
Impossible to answer without knowing where (geographically speaking) he would be working.

thetoxicnerve

21,544 posts

121 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
Vaud said:
Consulting would be closer to 35k+ and often with a (repayable if you leave) golden hello (Accenture is £10k IIRC).
Ahhh, that's what I was thinking of then as it's the consultancy side of things I am more familiar with. Sounds like the £22k is about right for audit / accountancy then.

Vaud

32,915 posts

99 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
easytiger123 said:
Impossible to answer without knowing where (geographically speaking) he would be working.
Not really. Minimum wage for 7.5 hours a day at 25 is £16k. So something as intellectually challenging as audit (plus training while you work) is only "worth" £22k.

The problem is the big 4 have a lot of market power, and there is relatively little difference between them... as such they do, to some extent, control the market.

It's become a commodity and a race to the bottom for some time.

dibblecorse

5,051 posts

136 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
Vaud said:
easytiger123 said:
Impossible to answer without knowing where (geographically speaking) he would be working.
Not really. Minimum wage for 7.5 hours a day at 25 is £16k. So something as intellectually challenging as audit (plus training while you work) is only "worth" £22k.

The problem is the big 4 have a lot of market power, and there is relatively little difference between them... as such they do, to some extent, control the market.

It's become a commodity and a race to the bottom for some time.
Also the big 4 are where ALL the grads with an interest want to get in so they don't need to pay big buck as they are a talent magnet, he may feel its a mickey take but for a new grad who hasn't invested time / effort in another career and is transitioning, its the point of entry.

Vaud

32,915 posts

99 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
dibblecorse said:
Also the big 4 are where ALL the grads with an interest want to get in so they don't need to pay big buck as they are a talent magnet, he may feel its a mickey take but for a new grad who hasn't invested time / effort in another career and is transitioning, its the point of entry.
Yup.

Integroo

5,532 posts

29 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
I would agree it is low if he is living and working in central London, but in the regions as a trainee it is what one might expect. I started as a trainee solicitor in Scotland on £17k. It will jump up quickly once he qualifies, and by a large amount if he qualifies and moves to London.

Badda

1,444 posts

26 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
Vaud said:
Not really. Minimum wage for 7.5 hours a day at 25 is £16k. So something as intellectually challenging as audit (plus training while you work) is only "worth" £22k.

The problem is the big 4 have a lot of market power, and there is relatively little difference between them... as such they do, to some extent, control the market.

It's become a commodity and a race to the bottom for some time.
Since when is audit intellectually challenging?

Douglas Quaid

605 posts

29 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
So...

He’s a trainee. £22k for a trainee seems alright. Chemistry has nothing do to with accounting.

So...
So

So
So

blueg33

21,585 posts

168 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
Douglas Quaid said:
So...

He’s a trainee. £22k for a trainee seems alright. Chemistry has nothing do to with accounting.

So...
So

So
So
A masters in any science is what the big accounting firms, big lawyers and big investment houses want to see. For law you then need a conversion course.

Vaud

32,915 posts

99 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
blueg33 said:
A masters in any science is what the big accounting firms, big lawyers and big investment houses want to see. For law you then need a conversion course.
Not true for big 4.

https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/careers/arti...

The highest level they require is a 2:1 degree. You can even enter as an apprentice with no A levels and they will train you.

Masters, etc is more common for consulting side, higher end roles and as you say the lawyers/investment houses.

mandos_01

274 posts

45 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
I started on 28k in London 7 or so years ago, that was working in audit for one of that firm's other three competitors. My cohort was made up of graduates from all degree disciplines all earning the same, so I wouldn't expect your son's degree to have made any difference

If it helps, after one year I got a pay rise of slightly more than inflation, then a 30% pay rise the following year

Zetec-S

2,876 posts

37 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
£22k for a trainee auditor sounds about right, bearing in mind they'll start off doing all the grunt work. And it's a good way for these firms to weed out the chafe, you (may or may not) be surprised at the number of graduates who come through who have no clue what they're doing.

But on the positive side, from what I've heard you get course/exam fees paid for, plus paid study leave as well. And as you progress the pay can increase fairly rapidly.

Zetec-S

2,876 posts

37 months

Wednesday 26th June
quotequote all
boyse7en said:
£22k as a trainee sounds pretty good to me. Friend of mine is a qualified accountant and isn't on much more than that.
If your friend is actually a fully qualified accountant then it sounds like they need to find a new job.