Should your teen become a chartered accountant?
Long gone are the days where chartered accountants were destined to be number crunchers.
Teen (Shutterstock)
Many children are not certain what they want to become when they are in Matric, let alone in grade 10. Choosing Mathematics is vital. Enrolling for a degree that puts them in the pound seats and keeps their options open is the smart choice.

Teenagers, and even young adults growing into their twenties, think that they know everything about the world, about themselves and, more often than not, what they want to do with their lives. However, being older and somewhat wiser, an essential idea that parents need to impress upon their children at this stage is the importance of making decisions about their education that leave them with as many options as possible - so that when they do eventually reach the point of having a more informed idea of what sort of career they want to go into, they still have as many options as possible.

"When my daughter was younger," describes Chantyl Mulder, herself a CA(SA) who has dedicated her life to the education industry. "I encouraged her to keep her options as wide open as possible. Parents need to educate themselves about the requirements and subject choices if you want your child to study further because you want them (your children) to be able to choose something that they really like. You are only really good at what you love in life. Many subject choices unwittingly cause children to limit their options."

While at school, it is highly recommended that your child persevere with Core Mathematics. Although not the easiest subject, having a Matric with Core Mathematics - as opposed to the easier Mathematics Literacy - provides school leavers with a variety of choices when it comes to studying further and gaining qualifications towards a successful career. And when it comes to this stage of decision making - deciding on what path to take into tertiary education, there are similar decisions that can be made that would allow your child to have broad opportunities to establish a successful career in the field of their choice. If a child isn’t completely sure about a career, it's just as well to study something that allows them to choose their industry later

One such path to follow is that of the Chartered Accountant South Africa [CA(SA)] qualification. Long gone are the days where CAs(SA) were destined to be  number crunchers. Over the years, the scope of a career as a CA(SA) has expanded considerably, to the point where qualified CAs(SA) are now found in almost all successful organisations. Business leaders, strategists and highly regarded entrepreneurs - across all industries - are often found to have a CA(SA) qualification in their background.

"I always wanted my daughter to become a CA(SA)," says Mulder. "For any young person, it is the one career that allows you to do a range of things. You don’t really know, at the age of seventeen, where you are going to end up. When I look at my life, at the start I didn’t know what a CA(SA) was and I didn’t know where I was going to end up. Now I am involved in professional education and development. Did I know about this when I started out? Not at all!"

The CA(SA) qualification provides an in-depth insight into how business works, no matter what the context. This breadth of understanding means that a qualified CA(SA) can find their way into any industry - from finance to medicine, media, sport, science and many others. Studying towards a particular profession is not necessarily a negative decision but in the modern economy, in which our children are likely to move through several careers in their lifetime, having a qualification that creates high value as both an employee or business owner, as well as creating broad horizons in terms of what direction you would like your career to take, is a  smart choice indeed. 

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