Professions in healthcare are often touted as secure, but with the growth of the economy, these jobs have seen increased competition from the business world, especially in the field of accounting.
The health of the economy has improved since the days of the Great Recession and, as it continues to grow, more accountants will be needed to both manage and examine the processes of money flowing in and out. In fact, employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031, with estimates of 136,000 openings each year. Many of those openings are expected as a result of workers seeking to retire.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Here’s why professionals who hold degrees in accounting are finding that they have a significant job market advantage, and how you can use this industry boom to advance your own career.
1. There’s always a need for Tax Day specialists.
It’s official: the federal government doesn’t plan on repealing corporate or personal taxes anytime soon. The U.S. population and business profits are both projected to increase over time. As such, the government is also expected to continue to modify tax laws. The result: American households and corporations will continue to seek finance professionals to relieve them of the odious task of preparing and filing quarterly and yearly tax returns as well as other government-mandated forms and statements.
2. As long as there’s money to be made, the world will need accountants.
Money and business go hand in hand, and both require wise management. Accountants are essential to making the sound financial decisions businesses need to maximize profits and minimize losses in a competitive environment. The demand for accountants and auditors with expertise in areas such as international trade, and mergers and acquisitions will continue to grow, especially as businesses become more globally focused.
During recessions and in industries with stricter financial regulations, companies will find it even more important to employ experienced, educated accounting professionals who understand the present economic landscape and will help them to comply with relevant standards and regulations.
3. Accounting has become a diverse field.
Although most positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, most of these professionals aren’t just accountants. There are a multitude of roles that exist even just within the industry, aside from the obvious choices such as staff accountant. For example:
- Forensic accountants combine their knowledge of finance and law to investigate financial crimes like fraud and embezzlement.
- Government accountants manage public funds and perform necessary financial audits for government agencies at all levels.
- Financial accountants focus on earnings statements and shareholder relations.
- Certified Public Accountants (CPA) are always in demand, as the law requires organizations and individuals disclose certain financial documents.
And that’s just a fraction of the specializations available to those with an accounting degree.
4. Accountants perform a broad range of indispensable business and personal financial functions.
Without accounting, it would be impossible for any company to function, let alone stay in business. Accountants have a hand in every business decision – from marketing, to sales, to research, to production – through their dealings with customers, vendors and financial institutions. With this kind of flexibility, accounting offers the background necessary to transition into other areas of a business or department.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated for accuracy.
Written by Thomas Edison State University