Accounting: A Degree You Can Count On

As many students or job seekers search for fulfilling career paths, perhaps now is the time to seize an opportunity in accounting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow 16 percent by 2020. This outpaces the projected 14 percent growth rate for jobs in general, and could mean over 190,000 new accounting jobs through 2020.

The profession is expected to grow for a number of reasons: • An expanding economy means more businesses, and more businesses inevitably mean more accountants • Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) will be in demand as companies face increased financial scrutiny, and the globalized economy will require accountants capable of navigating complex international accounting rules • Lastly, many “baby boomer” CPAs will be retiring within the next ten years, creating job openings for today’s young professionals prepared to fill the void

What you can expect as an accountant With the advent and growing adoption of technology such as cloud computing and advanced mobile applications, the responsibilities of accountants are rapidly changing. Cumbersome data entry and compilation is becoming more of an automated process with the help of advanced software like Oracle/Peoplesoft, SAP and Epicor, thereby freeing up accountants at all levels and in all industries to take on more consulting, advisory and supervisory roles for their companies and clients.

While traditional accounting principles still apply, the integration of technology has created exciting accounting specializations within the field. For instance: • Green accounting: looks at operations costs as they relate to the environment • Forensic accounting: analyzes numbers involved in disputes or litigation, often for issues like data loss or theft • Healthcare IT auditing: evaluates the numbers associated with healthcare and information technology systems

Who is hiring accountants The job market for accounting is increasing. Job opportunities are especially strong for tax professionals, financial analysts and compliance officers in manufacturing and food services.

An accounting degree is one you can count on, and it’s a field that is rapidly growing each year. Do you see your future career in accounting?

Barbara Davies is an adjunct instructor at DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management. Prior to joining DeVry in 2002, she was an adjunct instructor at Upper Iowa University and an accountant at Deloitte Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte & Touche LLP). Davies holds a bachelor’s of science degree and a master’s degree in management with a specialization in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.