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...

Event Date: August 20, 2014, 2:30 pm ETIn this session we'll review best practices for how to generate interest in your firm’s services. Topics include:Web Based Marketing StrategiesAppointment SettingNetworking...
Recently, there has been a lot of buzz about the future of continuing professional education (CPE). The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) created a task force on the Future of Learning with an accompanying fancy website. In...
Your 15-year-old may be tech-savvy enough to debug your computer, back-up data on your mobile devices, and help you stream episodes of Game of Thrones, but chances are you can’t expect them to display the same level of...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.
Aug 20
In this session we'll review best practices for how to generate interest in your firm’s services.