Accounting remains a rewarding career option in Australia. With growth prospects for the profession looking good, recent accounting graduates are in a great position to jump into an exciting and satisfying career. But the first step in doing so is finding a graduate position.
So, what are the job prospects like for recent accounting graduates and how can they improve their chances of being hired?
What does the job market look like for accounting graduates?
In short, quite good. The number of accounting roles is expected to grow moderately over the next five years, according to figures from JobOutlook. Specifically, it's forecasted that accountants will grow in number from 189,100 in 2017 to 202,100 by 2020. In that time, there are expected to be around 86,000 job openings from people retiring as well as new jobs being created.*
How can accounting graduates improve their chances?
While it's true to say there's plenty of demand for accounting graduates, it's also true the case that competition for the most coveted positions is fierce. Thankfully, there are steps accounting majors can take to improve their chances of finding a job after graduating.
1. Work on the skills employers want
Beyond the obvious technical skills, accounting employers have certain traits they value in graduates. A study published in the Accounting Research Journal** found that communication, teamwork, self-management, initiative, problem solving and planning were considered the most important generic skills for graduates to have. In their different ways, all of these traits contributed to an accountant being able to do their job effectively. Graduates who can demonstrate these skills will stand out when applying for graduate positions.
2. Gain as much work experience as you can
Work experience is also important for accounting graduates to have. The more that you can show a potential employer you know what you're doing in a professional setting, the more they will be able to trust you'll be able to hit the ground running in their organisation. Before you finish your degree, take advantage of the work-integrated learning internships available through the Faculty of Business and Economics to build your professional work experience.
To learn more about how Monash Talent can help you find the accounting position you've been looking for, contact a member of our team today.
* Accountants: Prospects. Job Outlook (accessed November 2018). URL: https://joboutlook.gov.au/Occupation.aspx?code=2211
** Tempone, I., Kavanagh, M., Segal, N., Hancock, P., Howieson, B. & Kent, J. (2012). 'Desirable generic attributes for accounting graduates into the twenty first century: The views of employers'. Accounting Research Journal, Vol 25 (1), pp. 41-55.