A mature student from Meelick, who wanted to help her family’s business enterprise, has gained one of the top marks in the country in the Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI) Diploma exams, for which she studied online.
Maria Sherlock (54), who now lives in Castlebar, worked for her husband David’s business, Enginuity Engineering and Technical Services, before opting to begin the programme, recognised as the fastest pathway to a fulfilling and rewarding professional accounting career.
The mother of two teenage children, Aisling and Conor, Maria took a career break from 2002-2013, returning to the workforce with the family company.
“With two teenage children, my eyes have been opened to online learning, particularly for mature students,” said Maria.
“I have no concerns now about my children making the perfect career choice, as I can see there are many alternate paths at third-level which you can undertake while holding down a job and raising a family.”
Maria said whilst looking after the company’s accounts she realised there were areas she needed to learn more about.
“I liked the flexibility of studying for the Accounting Technicians Ireland Diploma qualification online. I researched it and work colleagues had good things to say about the programme. I chose to study online as I was busy with work and needed flexibility.
“Also, I had not studied for such a long time and I felt comfortable with the online option. The recorded lectures could be viewed at any time. But lecturers were always available to answer questions and there was amazing support from fellow students.
“Fortunately, we had met up in Dublin just before Covid hit and set up a WhatsApp group. There was a great mix of people and we helped each other out. It was a lifeline. I found the entire programme excellent.
“It was exactly what I needed, consolidating everything I had already learned through experience, and putting a strong framework around it. Lecturers were very supportive and knowledgeable.
“The Diploma has been invaluable to me, providing background theory to many transactions I perform on a daily basis. It solidified my understanding, and it made me more confident in decision making.
“It is a well-recognised qualification and has a good reputation in the workplace. It has enhanced my career and given me options.”
Enrolment for the next academic year of the Accounting Technicians Ireland Diploma, starting later this month, is now open until January 28.
Accounting Technicians Ireland provides a nationally and internationally recognised accounting qualification, and graduates are employed in industry, commerce, private practice and the public sector.
The highly-regarded professional qualification can be obtained in as little as two years. Study can be full-time, part-time, and online.
Accounting Technicians Ireland Diploma courses are open to school and college leavers, mature students and people working in business, industry or small practice but who, as yet, have no formal training.
The qualification opens a world of employment opportunities to graduates across a broad range of accounting and finance roles and enables students further progress to senior financial management posts.
Holders of the Diploma are highly-regarded qualified professionals working at all levels of finance throughout the private and public sector, industry and commerce, and in accountancy practices.
“There is continuing strong demand for accounting and financial skills in industry, practice and the public sector, with many employers supporting their staff by meeting programme fees,” says Gillian Doherty, Chief Operations Officer at Accounting Technicians Ireland.
“We work closely with employers to ensure the Diploma qualification prepares our graduates to succeed in the workplace.
“Through our flexible online programme, and partnership with colleges and training providers across the island, students are able to gain a professional qualification whilst working remotely, where required, and living in their local area.
“Graduates go on to join a supportive members’ network of Accounting Technician professionals who occupy the full spectrum of accountancy and finance roles.
“Through Membership of ATI, graduates benefit from regular training and career support, ensuring the continued relevance of the Accounting Technician qualification to the wider professional environment.”
See accountingtechniciansireland.ie for details.