'SMEs needs to give school-leavers better support'.

AuthorGlass, George
PositionA word from the president

The path to the CIMA qualification has diversified a great deal since I achieved my ACMA. I was fortunate enough to be given first-class training on a company scheme, but in those days such opportunities were mainly limited to the UK. Today the number of companies around the world that offer similar programmes has mushroomed to more than 4,000. The rapidly developing world of information technology has also meant that, with the exception of the case study, the entire CIMA syllabus is available online.


CIMA's accessibility is its trademark. And there are strong signs that the options open to prospective students will develop further. The recent protests in the UK against increases in university tuition fees have brought into focus the comparative merits of the "earn and learn" route to a career in business. UK undergraduates may feel that they are in a uniquely challenging situation, but the fact is that students in many countries have to accumulate considerable debt in order to pay their way through university.

But this does not necessarily need to be the case. If a school-leaver has set his/her sights on becoming a management accountant, a more cost-effective option may be to consider a direct route into employment. Many CIMA members gain their qualification by holding down a full-time job and studying in their spare time, so why go to university when you can begin a professional qualification straight from school?

There are at least three advantages to this. Firstly, school-leavers who are aiming for CIMA membership will be more attractive candidates to employers. Secondly, work experience will help with their studies, and finally, most will be paying for their study expenses out of their wages, so they won't have debt worries once they've qualified. Most students may...

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