3 things that might limit your training options

You are soon to be (or have just become!) a graduate. The world is now your oyster, right? The options are endless, yeah? Well, of course they are. But there are, even now, a few things that will affect your options out there.

You need to keep the following in mind to help manage your own expectations as you begin to search for a graduate accounting role:


  • Big companies like the Big 4 or Top 10 firms tend to get thousands of applications for a limited number of training contracts. They therefore use certain criteria to screen initial applications. Traditionally, Leaving Certificate points and your undergraduate grade will be the first thing they look at. For example, a 2.1 or first class honours might be the minimum criteria to get an interview in a top firm (in fact, 70% of companies require a 2.1 or higher according to the HEA 2015 employer survey). Harsh, I know, but that’s the reality of the corporate world for you! Some companies are beginning to look beyond pure grades these days, but not as many as you might think or (we would like);


  • Some departments in accounting practices can be harder to get into than others. For example, far more people are traditionally hired into audit than corporate finance or management consulting. The hiring managers in corporate finance or management consulting can therefore be a little more ‘picky’ about the graduates they take on and ‘picky’ starts with academics; and


  • Getting an interview is only the first step. A firm might interview 500 people for 100 roles. Your personality, your enthusiasm, your flexibility and a host of other things will affect your ability to convert interviews into offers. Luckily, your team in Cruncher have thought a lot about this and you can read much more about interviews here.


The moral of the above story is that academics are likely to rule in/out certain options (typically ones with bigger companies or in more coveted roles) and your performance at interview will matter. Simply turning up won’t guarantee you an offer!

If academics or other factors close some doors for you, don’t worry. There are plenty of great companies out there with great opportunities – it’s just a matter of finding the ones that suit you best and the ones you are most likely to be offered. Easy, right?!

Ed Heffernan

Ed's experience spans over 15 years with local and global names. A subject matter expert in, and advocate of, accounting careers.

Related Resources
Related Content