Stick with current job or move to big 4 audit? [UK]

Hi everyone, first post here and I am in need of some advice. 

I am a Russell group university graduate from the UK with a first class degree in economics and since graduation, I have been working for a large professional services firm as an insurance broker. I'm coming up to 2 years in this role now.

The problem is I just don't enjoy my job and its not technical enough for me. I really want to work in investment management specifically in an equity research role. So I have been applying for jobs in this industry recently but I've had little success.

Just recently, I received an offer for a big 4 audit graduate scheme in a non London office. I applied for this role because I've read that once you are ACA qualified, it's quite feasible to go into equity research. However there a couple of things that are making me hesitant to accept this offer:

  1. The audit salary is 40% lower than my current salary. Whilst I am not in desperate need for the money, I still feel this a huge drop-off. Also even if I obtain the aca qualification after 3 years, I will only be earning slightly more than what I am currently earning.
  2. The work is just as if not even more boring than my current role and will involve longer hours. I'm not sure whether I will be able to handle this for 3 years.
  3. Once I join, I am essentially locked in until I qualify in 3 years, since leaving before then will entail having to repay the exam fees.

So essentially my dilemma is whether to stick with my current role and keep on applying to equity research jobs

OR

Join the big 4 firm and obtain the aca qualification which will put me closer to my goal of working in equity research but at the same time I have to deal with all the drawbacks I mentioned above.

P.S

In terms of extra info, I have done a two week internship at an asset management company at the end of my second year, and I served as a fund manager for a university investment society. I have also registered to take the CFA Level 1 exam in February 2022.

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Comments (6)

Aug 22, 2021 - 8:40pm

You're not getting into any reputable ER shop, buyside or sell-side if you're not in at least B4 audit/TAS/corpfin, with an ACA. Just isn't happening.

So yes you probably need to move. Once you're there are and you've got your qualifications, doors will open.

Aug 25, 2021 - 5:35pm

It is pretty rare to see anyone come from professional services to ER who was not at B4. This is just in my own experience but I've done a fair bit of research into this when looking at my options.

To fact check me on this, all you have to do is go on LinkedIn and try to find anyone in ER from a non-B4 shop

Aug 26, 2021 - 3:29am

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