Many of us battle to pick a correct career path after 10+2. This is generally because until high school we don’t generally think about our career/interests and even if we did, with so many choices available we get unsure about ourselves. Once the high school studies are over, we start planning on what we want to do with our career. This is a big life decision as the college degree helps decide what we do in our life. Thus, it is important to consider the qualification that is relevant, well-recognized globally and in high demand which empowers you with 21st-century skills.
One of the worthy choices accessible is to become a Professional Accountant with ACCA (The world’s most forward-looking professional accounting bodies in the world).
The ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is a global professional body providing profoundly respected and valued international qualification in accountancy, finance and business. ACCA is the largest and fastest-growing international accountancy body, with over 486,000 students and 200,000 members in 179 countries. The qualification is so much lucrative because the skill sets it offers through the highly relevant and updated syllabus is in growing global demand which equally applies to Nepal. In other words, there is a huge scope of ACCA in Nepal and abroad.
Now if you have chosen or thought of pursuing ACCA as a career, you will inherently have confusion on choosing the right college.
So how do you choose the ideal college for you with many options available?
Here is the important list of things you should consider as your criteria for choosing the ACCA college in Nepal to complete your professional studies and shape a beautiful career in accountancy and finance.
Is the College in Nepal approved by relevant Authorities?
The first and foremost criteria to consider is whether the College has been approved by relevant authorities in Nepal. Prior, the Ministry of Education used to grant such approval but now, it comes under the authority of the provincial government to grant these approvals. This approval guarantees you that the college is genuine and can be relied upon since there have been cases in the past where colleges have been shut down by authorities leaving hundreds of students stranded. This approval also assures you that the college has been registered and paying applicable taxes to the government. You can demand the respective college for the approval letter just for your solace. Here is a snapshot of how the approval looks like:
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”7″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]Is the College a registered tuition provider approved by ACCA for Nepal?
The second most criteria to consider is whether the college is a registered tuition provider approved by ACCA. Various institutes have been running ACCA courses in Nepal without legitimate approval from ACCA. They have been operating merely without proper physical infrastructure and reasonable assurance about the quality of education. The list of colleges approved by ACCA can be found on the ACCA website
The physical infrastructure of a college plays a pivotal role in the learning and development process. The colleges need to have a better physical infrastructure with advanced libraries, parking areas, computer lab, digitally equipped classrooms to provide a state-of-art learning environment. You must look at the classroom learning environment as this is where you will spend most of the time at the college. Make sure the learning environment is good and common spaces and study areas are adequate. The best way to find out is to take a college tour during your visit and reach out to college officials with any follow-up questions.
Pass rates are one of the most important indicators of how good an ACCA College and high pass rate assure the good quality of education. You may make an enquiry about previous pass rates for different ACCA papers with the college along with official evidence substantiating the same. Further, you may compare the pass rates of the college with Global pass rates from the official website of ACCA.
Alternatively, the number of Nepal rank holders and World Rank Holders produced by different colleges for various ACCA papers can be looked at to get an idea about the quality of learning. It is preferable to look at the current statistics since the more recent the rank holders are produced, the more relevant it is to identify the best college to study ACCA.
If the college fails to provide a clear representation of ‘global vs college’ pass rates or have the pass rates below the global pass rate, you should seriously reconsider the college
The role of management starts from the first time you enter the college, i.e. when you step in to know more about the course or for admission procedures. A good management team gives you correct and proper information right from the initial stage. Do not believe in whatever you have been told, so it is best to equip yourself with enough and right information. More information about the course can be accessed here.
Apart from the information given to you, research about the Management Team of the college and enquire about the focal point of contact and if they are qualified enough to give you a proper guidance about the course and support. In a professional course, the Management Team plays an important role in guidance about how to progress with your studies and the career.
The College Faculty Team
Does the college have highly qualified Tutors, or do the Tutors seem to be amateurs?
To make sure you are getting the best possible education, you need to study with highly educated teachers that not only have experience teaching but also real-world skills. Please check the profile and teaching experience of the teachers. Sometimes it is best to get suggestions from a student who is already studying at a particular college. Also, enquire about the depth of the team and if the specialist teachers are teaching a particular paper. Avoid colleges where a number of subjects are taught by some individuals without actually being a specialist.
Learning environment and support
Learning environment, be it infrastructure wise or support from the Management and the team of Faculties plays an important role in the overall progress of an ACCA student. As said earlier, see it for yourself if the college has adequate infrastructure like a library, study areas, availability of tutors outside the classrooms, digital support and sound space to give students a college-like experience rather than an institute. Empirically speaking, there is a direct relationship between college infrastructure and educational performance. Therefore, you should seriously consider the support and learning environment. Get advice from seniors on support from the management and tutors on overall progression.
Fee structure and payment options
Unless you already have a large savings fund, the cost is probably an important metric for you. Some prospective students may look at pricier college, but for others, it’s important to choose a qualitative yet affordable college. It’s very important that you enquire about the total cost of the course and understand it very well. There are two components to the total cost of the course, one payment to the college as Course Fees and other the payment to ACCA as exam fees, registration costs, subscription fees etc.
You must not be fooled by colleges claiming our Fees are the lowest as sometimes they do not clearly explain to you the cost-related. They often hide the subscription fees paid to ACCA which brings down the total cost of the course by almost Rs 50,000. Also, check the payment options available, bulk fees at once (aka package-based payment) will tie you down to the same college if you are not satisfied with their quality of teaching. ACCA is a very flexible course, it is advisable to pay on instalments (paper-based payment) for the papers you are going to study so just in case if you are not satisfied you can move to a different institution without any hassle.
Majority of the learning resources for an ACCA course is accessible from its official website. Many colleges provide you with just ‘Textbook and Revision Kit (Question bank) as the learning resource, which is often insufficient to pass your ACCA exams. You should enquire with the college the range of learning resources they provide to student, apart from Text-Book and Revision Kit. You should choose the college provide students with purchased exam-style simulation tests, important slides, notes and access to books of various publications without any additional charge. The more access to learning resources and learning support it is easier for you to pass your exams.
Employability and placements
If you worry about finding a job when you finish your ACCA or consider getting work experience as the course demands, i.e. 3 years of relevant work experience to qualify as a professional accountant you should consider the college you choose for your studies. A good college is where you are exposed to a great network of employers and professionals (Friends, Seniors or Tutors). You should consider the choices you have and choose the best among them to get support and relevant experience as early in your career.
Some of the colleges in Nepal have a great pool of employers connected as partners and have signed MOUs with. These colleges have excellent job placement programs, assisting their students in making the transition from student to employee, and helping them find jobs after graduation. They go as far as providing campus placement and employability skills programs. These are the colleges you must choose because they do not only limit to giving quality education but also give you the best chance of progressing with your career
Apart from these, you could also enquire about financial aid, reputation, extra-curricular activities and location. You can check the college websites and other social media handles for various information. However, the above-mentioned factors are vital and you should carefully enquire, visit and compare them before you make your final college decision.