Career Trends: The Evolution of a Workforce

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This year's Salary Survey from gives an interesting perspective on career decisions and the job market following quite a demanding year for the industry. In addition to questions solely based on salary, we asked respondents about their career histories, the job market and future trends. A number of notable reactions emerged in the shadow of an unstable economy and an evolving industry -the demise of Andersen alone was enough to drastically change the careers of thousands in the industry. What else did we find?

Raises are not as common and not as large this year. Only 37% report a raise of more than 5%. Last year, 42% could claim the same thing. More raises, 6% more are falling into the category of less than 2%.

Loyalty is becoming more popular. 67% of respondents have been at their current position for more than one year, compared to only 52% claiming the same thing last year.

A challenging economic environment has meant more pink slips, naturally. This year, 27% of respondents left their positions because of downsizing. Last year, only 20% left a job for the same reason.

On the same note, smaller salaries still seem to be enough cause for leaving a position, regardless of the unstable job market. 30% of respondents and 31% last year's said that "Not enough money; was the reason they left their position."

And despite this more unstable economy we're now living with, only 5% fewer respondents are leaving positions to set off on a new career path. Could people's willingness to pursue a new career be caused by recent events in the accounting and finance industries? Perhaps, and you can be sure we'll keep an eye on those issues for next year's survey. The industry continues to develop and the professional careers of those involved can only follow suit. We'll keep an eye on trends and continue to monitor and report on a profession and a workforce in a state of evolution.

Robert G. Epstein, CPA, is the President and CEO and one of the original founders of He is a certified public accountant with more than 15 years of experience in the accounting profession and accounting/finance career placement industry. Robert writes articles covering the accounting industry, career development and staffing. He has been interviewed by, Reuters, Accounting Today, Business Finance Magazine, Practical Accountant and many other leading business publications and news services.

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