In the News: The State of Accounting Jobs
I don’t really recall my mindset when applying to college (it’s been more than five 15 years), but I can confidently say I should have spent more time thinking about my future employment prospects. Planning ahead would have allowed me to spend less time in college worrying that it would be difficult to find a job related to my major.
Luckily for high school students interested in accounting and college students planning to become CPAs, the job-related news about the profession lately has been very positive.
According to data from a survey conducted in November 2013 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 61% of accounting majors from the class of 2013 had received at least one job offer – the third highest percentage of any major.
U.S. News and World Report develops their annual “Top Jobs” rankings by comparing professions based on the number of expected openings, advancement opportunities, career fulfillment and salary expectations. For 2014, “accountant” ranked as the third best business job. In addition, the unemployment rate for accountants and auditors is 4.2% - compared to a national unemployment rate of 6.7%.
Chris Ekimoff, CPA, a graduate of AICPA’s Leadership Academy, stressed how obtaining a CPA license is a smart career move. "The main focus after graduating from college is getting your Certified Public Accountant license. Those three letters [CPA] really make your career," Ekimoff says. "They will identify you in the marketplace, in the business world and in your career path as a professional willing to hold yourself to a higher standard and operate under a set of guidelines and principles that really set you apart."
Beyond the benefits Ekimoff outlines above, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that a CPA license improves job prospects with the accounting profession. In addition, research from Robert Half’s 2014 salary guide for accounting and finances notes that a professional certificate increases pay by up to 10% - and that the CPA remains ‘the most sought after designation’ for employers.
If all of this great news isn’t enough to energize and encourage the young men and women who are preparing to enter the accounting profession, I direct your attention to a blog post I wrote about the AICPA’s Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits Report. Among the positive stats in the AICPA’s research are a record 40,350 accounting graduates hired by public accounting firms in 2012 and 89 percent of those firms forecasting the same or increased hiring of graduates this year.
Combine all this great news with a BLS projection of 13% growth in accounting jobs from 2012-2022, and future CPAs have even more reasons to feel confident about their job prospects as they enter the profession.
James Schiavone, Media Relations Manager, American Institute of CPAs.
We are hiring image via ShutterStock.