I have a tertiary degree in accounting and finance. I always ask myself if I should study for the professional qualification in my field, especially when the job market in New Zealand is different from my home country, Malaysia. So, I want to gather my thoughts on this post and conclude why I should go for it.
I didn’t know the importance of a professional qualification until I quit working for my ex-employer
If you have been following my blog, you may know that I had been taking a career break and travelling. It was fun and exciting, but I have to face the real challenge post-travel – job searching.
I thought job searching should be easy because I had great working experience and amazing feedback from my previous work. But I was wrong. I thought of a few reasons:
- Maybe the job market in Wellington is too small
- Maybe I am not good at ‘selling’ myself
- Maybe I do not have public sector experience (Wellington is mostly about government)
But those are just excuses, I would be wanted if I am great. So I have to invest in myself to become better.
To invest in myself…!! ❤️
I was working for the same employer for more than 5 years, so I never felt the need to study. When I was searching for a job in Wellington this year, I realised that more than 70% of the job listings in my field require either CAANZ or CPA qualification. Those do not require were mostly temporary jobs.
Even though job searching is stressful but is a good way to know how well you stand in the market. I believe in myself, but there are also so many good candidates on the job market – it is hard not to do the comparison. I must stand out. One of the good ways to invest in myself is to study and upgrade myself (which I should do so as young as possible).
Acknowledge the differences in different countries
In Malaysia, I took very less time to land a job. But in Wellington, I took nearly 6 months. My friends told me that I am not the only one, as many of my friends in Wellington also took about 4-6 months to land a job.
In my home country Malaysia, having the postgraduate qualification is a ‘good-to’have’ kind of thing. But in New Zealand, it looks like a ‘must-have’ as I mentioned earlier that more than 70% of the job listings in my field require either CAANZ or CPA qualification.
But maybe, it is just me getting older and looking for different positions than last time. When I first started my job in Malaysia, I do not mind doing junior jobs. But now I may be ‘over-qualified’ for some jobs in A&NZ, yet still ‘under-qualified’ for many jobs…
Anyway, I just started my new job as a management accountant last month and have many colleagues in my team who are at around my age, so I can ask them for career advice. I did not have this advantage in my ex-company because the finance team was too small (in fact, I was the only finance person in the team in my previous position!). Hence I should make use of this opportunity now.
By the way, I have been considering to study for the courses of CPA Australia or CAANZ, both of which are popular in Australia and New Zealand (A&NZ). I have also considered ACCA, a UK course (since I have UK tertiary degree), but unfortunately, it is not well recognized in A&NZ. After much consideration and receiving advice from others, I most likely will choose CPA Australia.
Be humble and keep learning
I cannot deny that it is the sense of job insecurity that urges me to study, but I also know that it shouldn’t be the only reason.
It is not only for the qualifications itself but for the knowledge as well. A workplace is a good place to gain skills and experiences, but it is nice studying the textbooks so I can learn theories and knowledge that will help me in my work.
I should be eager for the knowledge, not the title of the qualification (have to keep reminding myself!). This is also one of the reasons I prefer CPA Australia because I think this course is more interesting.
If I enrolled in the study, it most probably will be the last study in my life. So just enjoy it! 🙂