Student Perspectives on The Accounting Profession
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Many significant conclusions were drawn from the survey, and complete analysis is included in the final report. Among the findings:
- Public accounting is still the path of choice - More than 70% of respondents were "very inclined" to pursue a career in public accounting, versus 41% in private industry and 11% in government.
- Confidence in finding a job after graduation is mixed - The security of the job market has been negatively impacted by the economy and the Enron debacle, and has taken a toll on the confidence level of students - over 40% indicated that finding a job would be "somewhat difficult" or "very difficult" after graduation.
- Long term commitment to an employer rules, but decreases as experience increases - 60% of respondents hope to find a position and grow with a firm for the long term, and nearly 3 out of 4 expect an equal commitment from their employer, but the numbers drop as work experience increases.
- Flexible schedules lead the list of desired benefits - Sixteen other employee benefits were also measured and the results show what's important and what's not to students.
- Catching their attention in college isn't all that difficult - Thirty-five specific recommendations are offered in the report for ways potential employers can capture the attention of students while in college.
- Students have some burning questions - but might not be asking them - There are questions that students want answers to that they may feel uncomfortable asking. Over 30 such questions are listed in the report which can help guide you to addressing their concerns in an interview.
- Recruiters have a long way to go before they achieve a comfort level in students' eyes - Students were most vocal in offering ideas to potential employers on how to make the recruiting process more "user friendly." The survey report highlights three pages of suggestions offered by students.
- Other findings in the final report discuss salary expectations, which factors influence their decisions on career paths, partnership desires, perceptions of Big Five versus regional and local firms, geographic perception differences, and overall perspectives of the accounting profession in this post-Enron era.
The complete survey report, which includes over twenty significant findings, question-by-question results and student recommendations to potential employers, is available for purchase on the AccountingWEB Web site for just $99.00.
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Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.