Why the CPA profession will welcome you with open arms.
If you’re wondering whether or not becoming a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is a smart move in the long-term, fear not.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment of accountants and auditors will grow by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018—much faster than the average for other occupations. The profession is expected to grow for a number of reasons: more businesses, for one, means the world will need more accountants. Increased scrutiny of companies’ finances will also create a need for CPAs in particular. And finally, the increasingly globalized economy will lead to greater demand for CPAs who can handle international accounting rules, mergers and acquisitions.
Another reason young CPAs are and will be in demand is the great exodus of soon-to-be-retired CPAs.
“As we look at the needs for the future, we definitely have a population where we’re going to have a lot of baby boomers retiring and we need to have the younger generation ready for that next move,” says Denny Reigle, former Director of Academic and Career Development for the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).
Reigle says this demand also includes accounting faculty. “The average age of accounting faculty in the United States is 55. The most common age…is 63. Those retirements are going to happen sooner or later.”
Of course, hiring within the accounting profession did slow with the recent recession. According to the AICPA 2009 Trends Report, the number of 2007-08 accounting graduates increased by 3.5% to a record 66,459.
However, compared to most other professions, accounting fared well and most firms say they’re back on the road to recovery. Roughly 80 percent of accounting firms participating in a survey by L. Harris & Associates expressed optimism with regard to the year ahead.
Moral of the story: the accounting profession is making room for you. So get in while the getting’s good.
And now’s your chance. Whether you’re an accounting major or not, you can participate in the 2010 AICPA student accounting competition. You’ll get real-world accounting experience, a glimpse of what the profession is really like — and maybe even the $10,000 team award. Get more info.