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AAT President: keep studying to protect your future

Students have been profoundly affected by the health pandemic, but AAT President John Thornton says they must keep studying to protect their careers.

Further education colleges and training providers have been hit hard by the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. AAT has also hit the pause button with assessments in order to keep students safe and comply with health advice.

However, AAT President John Thornton says it is more important than ever for students to keep their eyes on the prize.

 “When we come out of this, we are going to need really good accountants and really good accounting technicians. We’re going to need people qualifying who understand all the things that the AAT qualification gives.

 “If you are furloughed or spending time on lockdown, I would say use that time productively to do your studying. Keep your motivation up. Keep a structured approach.”

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Rapid acceleration in digitisation

Everyone is turning to technology to help them adapt to the current crisis. Thornton is convinced this is creating a fundamental change among clients and employers.

“We are seeing a rapid increase in the speed of information exchange and analysis. If you’re running a business and you need to know whether you are going to furlough 100 people, or if  you can adapt your business – you need really good, objective financial advice. And you need it quickly.

“The people that can respond to these pressures are now coming to the fore.”

Smart career advice

Digital skills and business analysis are more important than ever. And Thornton says they will be high on the list of requirements for employers.

“The job situation may be very different after this crisis. People who have invested in themselves and developed better technology skills will be more marketable.”

“If you use this time productively, it can also help in terms of keeping structure and direction in your life. When we return to a more normal situation, employers are going to be looking for the sort of expertise you have.

“Do as much as you can. Use any window of opportunity to invest in yourself.”

David Nunn is Content Manager at AAT.

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