Is accounting still a relevant and attractive career path? As it turns out, yes. According to a recent report by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), “Make Way for Gen Z: Identifying What Matters Most to the Next Generation,” a career in accounting still appeals to recent college grads and young professionals.
A survey of more than 3,388 individuals between the ages of 18 and 23 in G20 countries -- including the US, UK, Germany, France, China, Argentina, Russia and India -- indicates that the cohort, born from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s, claims to be the first to focus on Gen Z career ambitions and perspectives on public policy across G20 countries. The G20 collectively accounts for two-thirds of the world’s population, 85 percent of the gross world product and 75 percent of world trade.
Among a list of 14 must-have perks, Gen Z’s biggest concerns include national economic stability, quality of education and availability of work.
What’s more, 55 percent of survey respondents indicated an interest in working as accountants, with over a fifth pursuing this career.
This line of work meets many of their top career priorities, which included a stable career path, a healthy work-life balance and a competitive salary and benefits. In fact, the vast majority (89 percent) ranked the first list item as important or very important.
These priorities were chosen over being a leader, going overseas to work and driving business strategy.
In a prepared statement in the report, IFAC president Rachel Grimes and chief executive officer Fayezul Choudhury said, “We urge leaders to start listening, and to involve the next generation in policy development and decision-making, and in shaping our future workforce.”
Furthermore, Gen Z believes technology will drive job growth in accounting, engineering and health care. In fact, 74 percent indicate that they get most of their career information from the internet. The least input comes from professional organizations.
Finally, the report indicates that Gen Zers anticipate digitalization and emerging technology will be a double-edged sword: The combination will bring new and more interesting jobs with an accompanying decline in traditional ones.
Terry Sheridan is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate, mortgage finance, health care, insurance, personal finance, and accounting and taxation issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A Chicago native and former South Florida resident, she now lives in New England.