What is a school leaver scheme?
A school leaver scheme is like a graduate programme, but you join straight out of school after you’re A-Levels. You will receive full training and will often work towards a professional qualification.
These schemes vary in length, usually around 4-6 years which is longer than a graduate scheme but will offer you the chance to gain work experience and get stuck into the world of work while you are being trained. This also means that you will be at the same educational level as a graduate entering the profession on a graduate scheme.
Is there an age limit to school leaver schemes?
There are some employers may allow people who have not recently left school onto their school leaver schemes if they are looking to enter the accountancy profession. However, this will only be for those that did not go to university and therefore are not eligible to apply for a graduate scheme but again, this varies between schemes so you will have to do your research first.
So, in short, you can become an accountant without a degree. You may have to study towards additional qualifications before achieving full qualification, but you will be able to earn while you learn. If you are considering joining the accountancy profession straight out of school, then you will be considering a school leaver scheme, which works in the same way as a graduate scheme but, instead of doing three years at university first, you go straight into the world of work.