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Q I am a grade 9 stu­dent and as­pire to be­come a fi­nance man­ager. I study the Bri­tish cur­ricu­lum. How should I con­tinue my higher stud­ies?

AFor a per­son as young as your­self, it is heart­en­ing to hear that you have al­ready iden­ti­fied fi­nance as your ca­reer path. Hav­ing said that I would still ad­vise you take a psy­cho­me­t­ric test to en­sure your skill sets match you in­ter­est.

Fi­nance is an in­te­gral part of the FAME (fi­nance, ac­count­ing, man­age­ment and eco­nom­ics) co­terie. You could pur­sue a de­gree in ei­ther sub­ject and se­lect your ma­jor ac­cord­ing to the field you would like to pur­sue.

While uni­ver­si­ties nor­mally don’t re­quire stu­dents with spe­cific qual­i­fi­ca­tions, you will need a strong aca­demic record, es­pe­cially in maths and an ap­ti­tude in sub­jects such as English, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and ac­count­ing in or­der to study


Ideally take three sub­jects, in­clud­ing maths at GCE A lev­els. Along with fi­nal re­sults, a univer­sity will look at your GCSE sub­jects and scores.

It is al­ways pos­si­ble that you fol­low your un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree with a mas­ters in a spe­cialised field of fi­nance or a pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tion like char­tered ac­coun­tancy.

Depend­ing upon the coun­try in which you wish to study, the ad­mis­sion re­quire­ments and years of study can vary. North Amer­ica has a four-year un­der­grad­u­ate sys­tem whereas the UK, Europe and Ocea­nia fol­low a three-year sys­tem.

In the US and Canada you are re­quired to se­lect your ma­jors by the end of the se­cond year. In UK start study­ing it from day one.

The ad­mis­sion cri­te­ria also dif­fers be­tween the two coun­tries. In the US, your ad­mis­sion is not solely de­pen­dent on your aca­demic grades; ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, com­mu­nity ser­vice, ev­i­dence of lead­er­ship, SAT scores, es­says and rec­om­men­da­tions form an in­te­gral part of your ap­pli­ca­tion. So use the next few years to build your pro­file through rel­e­vant in­tern­ships and ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties. Your ad­mis­sion will be based on your pre­dicted grades so en­gage your school coun­sel­lor. The Duke of Ed­in­burgh pro­gramme is looked upon very favourably by uni­ver­si­ties.

For uni­ver­si­ties out­side the US, aca­demic grades form the bul­wark for your ad­mis­sion. In ad­di­tion to the Ivy leagues and Oxbridge, uni­ver­si­ties renowned for their fi­nance de­grees in­clude LSE, Lon­don Busi­ness School, New York Univer­sity, Berke­ley, Univer­sity of Mel­bourne, Univer­sity of Manch­ester, Leeds, War­wick and Glas­gow. They will pre­pare you for a wide range of fi­nance ca­reers in ar­eas such as com­mer­cial bank­ing, fi­nan­cial and tax plan­ning, con­sult­ing, in­vest­ment bank­ing, money man­age­ment, in­sur­ance, real es­tate, au­dit­ing, pub­lic and govern­ment sec­tor roles.

SANJEEV VERMA is an in­ter­na­tional ed­u­ca­tion coun­sel­lor

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