Studying for the globally recognized ACCA course is no walk in the park. It takes a lot of time and dedication. This happens with even the best of students, so when you combine writing an exam which requires such dedication with a full day's work, it can get very difficult.
Some of the common questions people have with respect to working and pursuing the ACCA course is if they should work and study in the first place. How will they be able to balance work along with their studies and finally and most importantly how to do both together.
In this article, we will go deeper into the questions that most students have. We will also give you answers on how many students have been successful in getting ACCA qualified and have worked side by side.
The biggest challenge most students face of course is time, they might not know how to manage both together while not feeling overburdened. One of the key things to understand is that students should not try and schedule every free minute of their time to study. Even though on paper it may seem like a solid plan, in reality, it will lead the students to burn out and get them mentally strained so that they won't be able to study effectively. Everyone also needs some downtime to enjoy their life and have fun with friends and family. In order to do this effectively all you need to do is plan things well and build your self-discipline to achieve it.
One good way to make the most of your time is to find slots of short bursts of time that fall outside of your working hours. For eg: if you have times of idleness, or periods of time when you might be surfing the internet, try and use such periods of time to focus on your studies. This may not seem like a huge amount of time but if you dedicate and spend time to effectively study during such short periods of time and stay focused then you will be able to finish small proportions. You can then later use up the larger amounts of time you have in your evenings or the weekends for social events.
One of the key things to do before you start coaching is to look for good online ACCA coaching. This will give you the flexibility you need and will help you to stick to a routine and get plenty of time to study as you will not have to think of the hassle of the daily commute. Joining an online course will give students the flexibility they need so that even if work extends more than what they expected they will still be able to manage their studies. Also, look for options where they give you recorded classes so that even if there is a lot of pressure at work you can study the portions a little bit later and not have the mental stress that you missed some classes. Balancing work along with study is going to be a challenging task, so you have to mentally be ready for this so you will know how to handle pressure on your own time and study at the same time. The stress levels are going to be on the higher side as there will be expectations from your workplace as well to perform, so you need to be ready to handle that.
Is it a good idea to study ACCA when working?
This is totally going to be dependent on the student as their tolerance level will vary from one candidate to another. For those who have good self-discipline and time management skills, this is not going to be a difficult task as they just need to stick to their study plan and make good utilization of the materials they have in hand. Without a doubt, one of the biggest advantages students will get when they work and study together is that they will be able to get relevant work experience and they will also get practical training experience which will help them in their studies. As you keep working and learning your knowledge of accountancy will keep increasing and you will be able to demonstrate to your potential employers that you are capable of managing time well while taking on other work commitments. But on the other hand, handling both studies under work pressure is not going to be an easy task. You will have to give up on a lot of your leisure time as the workload gets intense. If you are someone who has issues with time management then this is again going to be difficult for you. When you are studying as a full-time student then you will be more relaxed which will give you extra time to brush through all the topics and get a thorough understanding.
Here are some advantages of studying as you work:
- Building of core skills: Doing your ACCA along with your job is going a be a definite plus in your resume as this will convey to your future employer that you are committed and focused on upskilling yourself and also showcases that you have great time management skills. This is also a good opportunity for you to build your critical thinking skills as you will have many real challenges that you will have to tackle.
- Practical Experience: Working and studying for ACCA side by side will prove to complement one another. When you are working you will be able to learn better and as you learn more you will be able to apply that to work and thus improve performance. ACCA requires all its students to have at least 3 years of practical experience in order for them to gain membership. So this will be able to help them garner a deep understanding of the subject both in theory as well as in practice before being an ACCA member. Your mentor at your workplace can also guide you through the essentials and will support your progress.
- Perspective about your job: As you apply for a new job which may have multiple applicants, you will easily be at the top of your pick as you carry the ACCA qualification. It will help you to get jobs with dream companies like the Big 4 because of the ACCA network and their dedicated job portal with 7400+ employers and tie-ups with corporates. Even during tough times such as distress, lay-offs, or recessions, the ACCA qualification will act as a shield and will protect you to provide you with continuous demand and importance.
- Aids in your career path: As you work along with your study you will get a clear insight into the various areas of work as it allows you to explore what meets your interest and aptitude. With this, you will be able to make long-term career decisions and choose the path that’s perfect for you with certainty and clarity.
Some tips to manage both work and studies together
The ACCA professional level program is structured in such a way that you will get a deep understanding of the various topics which in turn broadens your career prospects as well. Studying for ACCA will also give you clarity with respect to your job responsibilities. Create a clear-cut timetable for your ACCA exams well in advance, this will give you ample amount of time to prepare well. Revision should be kept a priority so as to maximize your understanding. One of the biggest mistakes ACCA students make while doing both work and studying is that they don’t take enough breaks thus burning them out. Make sure that you plan for some free time as well as this will boost your effectiveness while studying.
- Make a well-thought-out plan: As mentioned earlier time will be your biggest enemy, so you need to prepare a structured study plan. When preparing the plan, keep the exam dates in your mind so that you will have a good block of time to revise. Make sure you go through your ACCA books as well as past papers to get a clear idea of the ACCA exam. Prepare a detailed plan that will give you a monthly, weekly and daily studying activities plan to make sure you are on top of your study goals and also acts as a reminder to help you stick to your goals. Make sure you keep your study sessions ib blocks so that you will be fresh and ready for your work. Do not cram a lot of your study time during the week. One of the biggest advantages of ACCA is that you will get exemptions based on your current educational qualifications, this enables you to skip subjects if you are a graduate. If getting the ACCA will benefit your job then it shows your employer that you are interested in upskilling your skills and knowledge which in turn would add value to the organization that you work for. At the same time, your supervisors will go easy on you as they know you are busy with your studies.
- Keep the ACCA timetable in your mind: As you study as per the schedule you planned, you should also keep in mind the ACCA exam timetable. This will allow you to study and revise the modules for the exams that are taking place first.
- Join the right learning partner: Doing the course online is the best way to go when you are juggling study and work. Join an approved learning partner for your ACCA course so as to increase your chances of performing better and concentrating on tasks that are the most important. You could study on your own but this will significantly increase the commitments of your most important commodity - time. Studying with a partner will give you access to the best resources and faculty who will be able to guide and mentor you to help you give your best.