Employment for Accountants Will See Continued Growth

calculator-1180740_640It’s no surprise that the accounting profession is projected to grow in the next decade. Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate an estimated 11 percent increase in job opportunities between 2014 and 2024. Additionally, several factors may contribute to these gains. Staffing giant Robert Half International cited the rise in aging Baby Boomers, employer attempts to combat turnover and a need for expanded skill sets in a 2016 blog post on upcoming trends in the field.

Furthermore, many individuals are taking advantage of higher education in the field to make themselves more employable. The American Institute of Certified Professional Accountants’ 2015 Trends report revealed a steady increase in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the discipline, rising to 54,423 in the 2013-2014 academic year. That’s a significant rise from the 2004-2005 school year figure of 34,000 undergrad degrees earned. Schools have been increasingly readying themselves for the demand, so there’s a significantly high chance that you’ll find an accounting program to prepare you to seize new job opportunities in the future.

Schools Work to Stay Ahead of the Curve

Since the early 2000s, federal regulations have increased significantly in response to economic developments and scandal. The last decade and a half have given us the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as well as a score of other laws and regulatory developments shaping the field. In Deloitte’s 2016 regulatory outlook in the banking industry, it cited beefier efforts at compliance and risk management as well as new, top-down approaches to corporate ethics as anticipated developments in accounting.

Additionally, broader-scale economic shifts over the last twenty years are retooling private sector industries. These include innovations such as online commerce and the development of niche markets. However, some trends have unintended consequences. With more professional workers becoming freelancers and middle-class incomes shrinking, it’s apparent that those who do not anticipate changes and adapt will see themselves sidelined in the economies of the future, both nationally and globally.

With rapid developments in the accounting field and in business overall, it’s logical that higher education curricula are becoming more sophisticated in response. Moreover, these schools are increasing the number of programs being offered. It’s not just public universities and Ivy League institutions that are innovating to stay ahead. For example, Maryville University’s MVU Online includes bachelor programs in accounting that prepare learners for a wide variety of roles. Also, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is another school with a vast array of curricula available through its Collat School of Business. Among these, UAB offers a bachelors in accounting online.

Accounting Professionals Strive to Be Ready for Opportunities and Developments

While the next few years proves to be potentially lucrative for new accountants, they will also prove to be incredibly challenging. Would-be professionals in the field would do well to return to school now or hone their existing skills to take advantage of the growth in employment. Furthermore, increasing regulations and a changing financial landscape mean that experts must adapt and upgrade their knowledge. These actions will be key to not only becoming employable but also remaining relevant and indispensable for future employers and clients.

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