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Using accounting to further my career

by Amanda Collins

Busy mother of two, exercise enthusiast and keen scrapbooker Linda has been powering her way through her Diploma of Accounting with the goal of getting a job and furthering her project management career.

We chatted with Linda recently, and during our conversation she shared what it is like to study online, her employment dreams and the connection between accountancy and project management.

accounting career

How did you find online study?

I think it doesn’t matter what you’re studying (accounting, interior design, vet nursing, etc.), with online study you need to be quite driven, and quite disciplined. You have to pick up your own pace, and try and push as hard as you possibly can to learn, but also to sit down and actually do it.

I am a driven type of a person. When I first started my course Student Support called me to see how I was going. I asked them please not to phone me again.

It would have driven me insane if they had phoned me every second week to find out how I’m doing. My response to them was: I’m driven enough, I don’t need anyone else trying to motivate me, I’m quite comfortable going forward on my own steam. And then they let me be so I thoroughly enjoyed that.

Every now and then I speak to people and they say ‘why do you do it online? Why don’t you go to a TAFE?’ And I say, because I like doing it in my own time.

accounting career paths

What are your thoughts on the accounting course?

Having a background in accounting did give me a better foot to stand on. It did make the course easier in some respects, in others I struggled because it was all new to me.

However, in saying that, there is a good support team on the other end of the line willing to assist me wherever I need. And they don’t shy away from helping. You never have to wait for weeks on end to hear something from somebody. You’re not left hanging.

What were your favourite parts of the Diploma?

I think learning MYOB was one of my favourites. To see a program working and see how things are pushing through the systems was really interesting to me.

And I must say, what I’m doing now, the ‘Legally Compliant Tax Return’, I’m enjoying that as well. I’m taking my time to try and understand each step to see how everything falls into place. It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle. So it’s quite exciting, to see it all coming together.

accounting career options

What do you hope to do when you graduate?

I was a Project Manager back in South Africa, and I really enjoyed that role. But here it is hard to get work without a piece of paper.

I hope to start working soon after I graduate. Eventually, I want to get my project management qualification, and use my accounting knowledge to help me in that role.

Accounting definitely ties in a lot with project management. There’s a lot of stuff in accounting where you can definitely benefit as a Project Manager and visa versa.

In the meantime, I don’t mind finance. I’m a bit of an analyst. It’s a personality thing. I like things quite organised. So I’ll be happy with landing in a finance job where firstly I can use what I’ve learnt, and secondly, just apply additional skills to that.

I don’t like monotony. I don’t like the same thing over and over again. I like exciting things and different things all the time. I like to push myself.

Love numbers and want a secure job?

Accounting is a booming industry, and a Diploma of Accounting from Open Colleges will give you the skills and the knowledge you need to kick start your career in this fascinating, and lucrative, sector.

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