Belfast Telegraph

Adrian Huston: Degrees of success for Revenue high fliers

Adrian Huston

As the finance world continues to be in turmoil, at least one employer is still hiring — the Revenue.

The jobs I am talking about are for graduates or qualified accountants. These are jobs with a good level of job security and so should be of interest to undergraduates or graduates alike.

They will put you in the fast track for promotion and could be the start of a great career in the public sector.

And while that might seem like a contradiction in terms, there are a lot of people out there these days who would be glad for a stable career in the public sector.

To apply you need to have at least a 2.2 degree or expect to finish university with one. If you are after the tax professional jobs then a 2.1 degree will be needed.

I don’t think you can expect to be working in Northern Ireland, though that is a remote possibility for some stages of your career.

An alternate to these degrees is a professional accountancy qualification — Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants or Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Some other professional membership can work if you also have suitable professional experience.

Applications for the Revenue’s Graduate Development Programme 2008 close at noon on December 3.

Applications are to be made online and you can start the application by going to and then clicking ‘For the Graduate Programme’.

HMRC says that if you are accepted onto the programme it will decide which career route to put you on — it might be accountancy, tax investigations or management — according to which area they think you are best suited to.

The programme takes about four years when you will experience various aspects of work in this very large department.

The pay is not bad for what could be a first job — £23,929 per year, or £26,010 in London.

A valuable precursor to the Graduate Programme is the Internship Programme where you can work (perhaps before completing your degree) for eight weeks with the Revenue.

This gives you a flavour of the department and lines you up for acceptance onto the full Graduate Programme. The pay is great — paid at a rate of £15,262 per year, or £19,419 for London. Better than working down the chippie.

You can read of the experiences of a recent intern at

For internship complete the application by going to and then clicking ‘For the Internship Programme’.

Some jobs in the public sector require you to be a UK national, but not these ones. You need to be one of the following:

  • UK National
  • Commonwealth national
  • National of EEA (European Economic Area)
  • Swiss or Turkish national (with some restrictions).

My career so far went like this — accountancy degree, working for the Revenue and then into private practice.

Many of my Revenue tax inspector colleagues have also left after a period to work in large accountancy practices.

Those that remained in the Department are now senior tax inspectors with handsome pay and pension packages.

I think both sets of former colleagues are happy with the way they have gone and would consider the Revenue training an excellent grounding for their future professional life — inside or out.

If you need one final persuasion to apply for a job in the Revenue, then just imagine what fun you can have at parties when people ask what you do!

Belfast Telegraph


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