Nine in Ten CFOs Say Work Experience Important for College Grads

College students take note: Prior work experience may be a requisite for getting your foot in the door with employers, a new Accountemps survey suggests. Nine in ten (91 percent) CFOs interviewed said it's important for entry-level accounting and finance professionals to gain practical experience while in college.
 
The survey was developed by Accountemps, a specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance, and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of US companies with twenty or more employees.
 
CFOs were asked: "How important is it for entry-level accounting and finance professionals to have gained work experience in the field while in college?"
 
Their responses:
Very important26%
Somewhat important65%
Somewhat unimportant6%
Not at all important3%
 100%

 

"It's the age-old catch-22 - it's hard to land a job without experience or gain experience without a job," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Job Hunting For Dummies, 2nd edition. "One advantage for students is the availability of internships and temporary work in their fields, which can provide a taste of the working world, help them build their resumes, and expand their networks."

Accountemps offers five tips to help students get a head start on their careers while still in school:
  1. Network early and often. Professionals should build their networks at school, in summer jobs, and through internships. Make a point to stay in touch with key advisors and professors. They can be a resource even after you graduate.
  2. Be active in student and trade groups. Participating in an industry organization will help you gain visibility and expand your network. But don't just join - look for opportunities to take on leadership roles.
  3. Consider temporary work. Staffing firms often have assignments for which students or recent college graduates may be a match. It's a way to obtain work experience, meet prospective employers, and learn about different companies.
  4. Secure an internship. Tap your college career center to identify internships in your field. You'll gain hands-on expertise that will look good on your resume.
  5. Volunteer. Helping out a charitable organization or trade association also benefits your career. In particular, look for roles that align with your professional goals. For example, if you're an accounting major, you could offer to serve as the treasurer for a local nonprofit or student group.

Related article:

You may like these other stories...

In most cases, accountants have gaps in their resumes because they got fired and could not find another job they liked within a short amount of time. If you went back a decade such a gap could have been considered a death...
If you're thinking that bitcoin and digital currency generally are merely some one-off flash in the pan, the new Digital Currency Council would argue otherwise. The council launched in September and already had 400...
An increase in hiring of accounting and finance professionals can be expected in the next 12 months, according to a recently released jobs outlook from staffing firm Brilliant.Brilliant, in conjunction with Richard Curtin,...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Oct 21Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience’s communication style.
Oct 22This webinar will include discussions of important issues in AU-C 800, Audits of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance with Special Purpose Frameworks.
Oct 23Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.
Oct 30Many Excel users have a love-hate relationship with workbook links.