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Get a head start in the world of finance with Abertay University

Finance and accounting graduates will always be in demand. It’s a bold statement but one that rings true as news and education websites report that financial professionals are consistently pursued by employers in the same sector. And the demand for more financial graduates is predicted to increase rapidly as the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment opportunities will grow by more than 13 percent in the next six years, while opportunities for analysts will rise by 16 percent.

“It’s exciting to be in accountancy and finance right now,” says Paul McDonald, Senior Executive Director of Robert Half, a specialised staffing agency. “Practitioners are seeing their prominence within their organisations rise, in part because of their comprehensive skillsets and involvement throughout the business.”

This should be music to your ears if you’re planning to venture into the heart of this exciting industry. But there are many factors you need to consider before taking the plunge; which university, for example, which academic course, the cost of tuition, and future employability prospects. Business schools can be expensive, so finding a good one that perfectly suits your needs is important.

At Abertay University, the Dundee Business School is dedicated in ensuring business school graduates leave the institution armed with the knowledge, analytical ability, competence, and skill necessary to take on the financial world. With close links in industry and external recognition, the business school’s academic programmes are among the best in the UK, particularly the Masters in International Finance and Accounting, which provides graduates with opportunities worldwide.

For those serious about getting a foot in the door, this course could be the stepping stone you need to venture into the hubbub of the fast-paced financial world…

Why study a Masters (MSc) in International Finance and Accounting?

This one-year, full-time course is designed to help students kick-start their career within the financial industry. But why study international finance over a similar course at a more regional level? Well, as advised by Dundee Business School, many qualified sector professionals spend a significant part of their careers in a diverse international setting, so this programme is specially-designed to prepare students for a wealth of exciting opportunities that could lie ahead.

Students focus on three key themes throughout the course: practice in professionalism, investment management, and financial information reporting and analysis.

You will be trained to develop a critical understanding of principles, theories, concepts, contexts, approaches, and challenges central to international finance, as well as accounting and economics in the global economy.

But academic staff whole-heartedly believe that understanding your notes is an important part of the overall learning process, which is why students are also taught to develop skills and research methods that come with finance and accounting. You will also be familiar with the ethical and professional standards of the sector in an international setting, and will be encouraged to acquire ethical awareness and sound judgement in interpreting complex features of institutions in the global economic system.

But if you’re finding this a little overwhelming, there’s no need to worry; you’ll be given the chance to grow your abilities and skills through interactive learning environments like working in real businesses, and learning about the accounting and finance problems consistently faced by managers in an international setting.

For instance, you may get to train and work as an executive in a simulated business, and later, proceed to help local businesses and professional bodies. The process helps students improve awareness of contemporary management practices in firms that operate globally. The Dundee Business School also boasts a ‘Global Growth Week’ programme, bringing in DBS senior personnel to share their personal experience and answer student questions. These DBS employees are from local companies that have global reach, like Michelin, NCR, and Heineken.

The university also offers a collaborative project between external organisations and universities known as ‘Making the Most of Masters’ (MMM). This partnership seeks to provide postgraduate students with the chance to undertake work-based dissertation projects within any discipline or economic area. It also helps enhance postgraduate employability as they may go through a recruitment process, helping to develop their CVs and boosting interview experience.

It has recently been announced that the University will be revising this Master format in the near future, becoming a CIMA Masters which will cover financial management and management accounting. This will have a more managerial emphasis, exploiting the synergies between their Accounting & Finance and Business & Management departments.

Great accreditation

The Dundee Business School has fantastic accreditation across all its finance-based courses. The MSc International Finance and Accounting degree has been accepted into the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute University Recognition Program, which only accepts institutions whose degree programme(s) incorporate at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK). This accreditation provides students with a solid foundation in the CBOK and positions them well to sit for the CFA exams. Besides that, the Accounting degree offered also has professional body accreditation from CIMA, ACCA and AIA.

The Graduate School

Starting university can be a huge transition for some who may find it difficult to cope with all the changes happening. If you find yourself falling behind during class, don’t panic – Abertay University understands that not all students learn at the same pace, and this idea feeds into every aspect of the world-class Graduate School. This facility provides support, training, and possible development opportunities for postgraduates. Designed to promote integration and instil interdisciplinary learning, students will study together and meet a community of like-minded people. Meanwhile, if you’re in need of some quiet time to revise, students also have access to a study within the university.

Various career opportunities

Although a master’s degree can be very specific in terms of what you study, this academic programme provides graduates with various possibilities in the financial sector. For instance, graduates with a Masters in International Finance and Accounting can venture into commercial banking, investment banking, consultancy, mutual funds, hedge funds, accounting firms, securities firms, stock exchanges, derivative exchanges, securities sales and trading, as well as finance and investment departments of large companies, such as multinational corporations, or large state-owned enterprises.

With such amazing job prospects and a constant demand for financial graduates, it’s time to get moving! Seriously, what are you waiting for?

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All images courtesy of the University of Abertay

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