No, accounting does not sound romantic or creatively fulfilling, but it’s smart. For students who are dreaming of the liberal arts college experience, accounting may sound like a mean joke. We’re seeing, though, that there is a ripple in the math-friendly field that is prime for pouncing.
“We are seeing the most opportunities for new grads or young workers who majored in accounting, business administration or computer science,” says Lori Hourigan, regional manager for staffing firm Robert Half in Philadelphia.
It’s important to look at all the clues when trying to figure out which field is the most fruitful for entry level grads. For example, accounting classes may be losing students, but that’s just pushing up the demand of qualified candidates.
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“The market for accounting is strong and is projected to stay strong in the coming years. Over the years, the number of students taking accounting as a major in college has declined,” explains Paul Brazina, Dean of the School of Business at La Salle.
Being an accounting major is rigorous, and Brazina believes that is part of reason students shy away from it. “The requirement for candidates is to have 150 credit hours of coursework to take the CPA Examination. Most undergraduate degrees are 120 credit hours. Therefore, Accounting students either must incur extra time and cost to get the credit hours at the undergraduate level or take a master’s degree. The accounting profession, on the other hand, needs qualified graduates,” Brazina adds.
The lull that we’re seeing between the number of enrolled accounting students and the need for entry level positions to be filled means that today’s accounting grads have the odds working in their favor.
According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers , the average salary in business-related fields has increased 7.1 percent in the last year. Math-related fields have also increased, according to the survey, by 3.1 percent.
Looks good to us, but you do the math.