Accountancy is among the most difficult professions to access without a university degree, according to a new survey commissioned by AAT.
Falling alongside teaching and law, the survey found that a lower-income background is perceived as a “significant barrier” to entering the professions.
Costs were also cited as another factor which can “prevent access”, with respondents estimating that training as an accountant can cost as much as £21,356.
The AAT said it is calling on young people completing UCAS forms to consider entering accountancy profession through vocational route.
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 next 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%).
Mark Farrar, CEO of the AAT, said: “Going to university after completing school education remains a popular route – and there is no doubt that, for many of the thousands of young people currently completing their UCAS forms, putting down various university options remains their best route to take.
“But it’s not the only path available. There are other ways of accessing the accountancy profession, such as taking a vocational route like an apprenticeship. This approach wouldn’t saddle you with debt, nor would it cost several thousand pounds of your own money.
He added: “Instead, you can earn while you learn – often in a junior accounting role supplemented by time to study accounting qualifications, the cost of which is frequently covered by your employer.
“Apprenticeships add to the diversity of their workforce, too – and many large accounting practices feature highly in the UK Government’s social mobility index.”