Law, accountancy and teaching among most challenging professions to break into without a degree

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New research on UCAS deadline day

Solicitor, accountant and teacher are believed to be among the most challenging jobs to secure without an undergraduate degree, according to new research.

The survey, which included a sample of 2,005 British adults, found that three-quarters (77%) ranked being a solicitor as “very difficult” to get into if you did not go to university, followed by teaching (69%), accountancy (64%) and investment banking (62%).

The research, published by Association of Accounting Technicians ahead of tonight’s UCAS deadline, found the cost of qualifications was seen as a major barrier to many professional sectors.

Respondents estimated it costs £27,432 to qualify as a solicitor, £21,356 to become an accountant and £21,341 to secure the certificates necessary to work as an investment banker. These average figures refer to the cost of undergraduate degrees, masters degrees and specific qualifications.

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Many respondents also thought being from an ethnic minority background was a significant barrier to entering these professions. Almost a third of people (31%) said being from an ethnic minority background would make becoming an investment banker difficult, compared to 27% for solicitor, 23% for business analyst, 23% for HR manager and 22% for accountant.

Last year a study found that the children of lawyers were 17 times more likely to become lawyers than children whose parents did a different job, with researchers arguing this was part of the reason why working-class people are under-represented in the professions.

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No ship wedlock.


Mountain Fort

‘ the children of lawyers were 17 times more likely to become lawyers than children whose parents did a different job‘

The amount of barristers with parents who were solicitors or with cousins and other siblings at the Bar is disgusting.



Life is not fair. If you can’t accept that and get on with it then you are screwed.


Less is more

That is because the relations of these barristers taught them that it is ‘number of barristers’ not ‘amount of barristers’.


I would think and hope that becoming a doctor without a medical degree should be more difficult (ideally impossible) than becoming a lawyer.


White Shoe NQ

Breaking news: Pope is Catholic


Showround @ Bakers

Well, if you speak to most practicing Cathlolics they’ll tell you that they consider this Pope to be a heretic. Too much of a progressive in their eyes.



Wait a minute £27,432 to qualify as a solicitor?

Undergrad fees £9000 a year
LPC/Masters in the region of £10,000 – £15,000

This doesn’t add up…


you what?

SQE? That, or whatever education the writer had was clearly wasted on them.



The real story here is what junk is now passed off as providing evidence nowadays. The AoAT asked the public what they thought were the hardest jobs to get without degrees. What do these results prove? Nothing.



Why is public opinion being passed off as fact? This is an affront to social science research.



Welcome to legal Buzzfeed.


Too right

Without a degree, the closest you are going to get to ‘legal’ work is offering advice or tribunal representation from a Citizens Advice Bureau.

After 15 years of that, you won’t viscerally hate and bully the law students who come in and volunteer before moving on to Big Law.

Absolutely not.



Rightly so, if you can’t get the grades to get into university then you shouldn’t be in the race to become a lawyer quite frankly . It’s offensive to people who have worked really hard to get to where they to turn their hard work into a criticism of the profession.



If your 2:2 can’t secure a TC or pupillage, you can still dispense legal advice and tribunal advocacy in certain organisations as a ‘Legal Officer’.

Again, absolutely no chance of these people being jealous whatsoever of students who worked hard at uni and secured pupillage or TCs.

Who wouldn’t want to be ‘Legal Officer’ rather than ‘barrister’?

The public really hasn’t got a clue that bad grades or a lack of a degree is no barrier to being able to argue a client’s case.


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