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Getting the practical skills that complement my degree

by Stuart Gibb-Cumming

Already studying for a university degree in accounting, Michael enrolled with Open Colleges to get the practical skills that would complement his degree and kick start his career as soon as possible.

Recently married and already studying for an Accounting Degree at University, Michael Davidson wanted to fill the gaps with the practical skills provided by Open Colleges.

Adding the Accounting Pathway Program and Certificate IV in Accounting courses to his already heavy study schedule was only made possible with the flexibility of Open Colleges.

While traditional universities have students working to strict timetables, Michael’s Open Colleges courses are online and self-paced with no due date for assignments so he can allocate the time for his study that best suits his circumstances. How quickly he completes the course is entirely up to him. However, it seems Michael is in a hurry.

“I have a busy life so I need to be in control of my study, not the other way around.”

His basic strategy is to study every second night, consider what assignments are due, prioritise his time then balance everything out. He admits it can be difficult but his determination ensures everything gets done. It’s obvious Michael wants to succeed in life.

“My motivation is simple really. I just want to secure a well-paying career that allows me to support my family and be able to take them on good holidays. I’m willing to put in the time to achieve that.”

Open Colleges courses offer more than flexibility of study time. There are course co-ordinators and trainers whose sole purpose is to ease the pathway through each course.

“As well as easy access to my trainer, there are forums where I can discuss things with other students to gain a better understanding. Also, it might seem like a little thing but being able to receive quick clarification from my trainer on assignment questions is incredibly helpful. I’m not wasting my time misinterpreting things.”

Michael is fully aware that Advanced Diploma qualifications are normally required to work in senior accounting roles. Completing the Accountancy Pathway Program with Open Colleges helps Michael fast-track his career. After completing his Certificate IV in Accounting as part of the pathway program he can seek employment as a bookkeeper or accounts clerk while he works his way up to a senior accounting role.

Studying online allows Michael to fit his studies around his present work and existing commitments. Michael says he cannot over-emphasise the attraction of flexible study. While he admits to having no hobbies, as such, he does like to keep time aside to read politics and history and hang out with friends.

Michael, his mum Cherry-lee and wife, Danielle

Michael, his mum Cherry-lee and wife, Danielle

“My dream outcome is to own my own accounting firm.” Michael has recently been accepted for a graduate accounting position that puts him on the right path to where he wants to be. But his journey hasn’t always been so straightforward.

When he completed high school the costs involved in continuing on to university put it out of the question. Disappointed but looking to the future, Michael went into a trade, finished his apprenticeship, worked as a tradesman then operated his own painter/decorator business. Believing he needed to know more about the ins and outs of the business to be able to make the right strategic decisions, he embarked on his accountancy journey.

As Michael lives in Clayfield, a suburb of Brisbane, he is not far from learning institutions, however he felt it important to experience both the academic and the practical accountant spheres. He strongly believes the confidence he’ll gain will be important in the professional world. He expects to draw together his knowledge from his accounting degree and the practical knowledge learnt from Open Colleges.

“You get a lot of help through the support of your course coordinator. It makes study easy. And the online programs are very user-friendly.”

Asked if he would recommend Open Colleges accounting courses to others, it’s an emphatic yes. “If you’re hoping to study a university degree the Open Colleges courses are a good grounding. They offer the core skills that can lead people to becoming a good accountant or bookkeeper.”

Get job-ready skills

If you’re considering a career in Accounting, check out the range of courses on offer from Open Colleges to give you the job-ready skills that could help you achieve your goals.

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