The Charger Blog

Looking for a Hot Job? Consider Accounting

Here’s something to take into account if you’re considering becoming a CPA: The job market is already hot after years of growth, and experts predict that it will continue to sizzle in the years to come.

July 11, 2019

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of Accounting students at Marcum accounting firm.
(L-R) Molly Abdelhamid '13, '18 MBA, a senior auditor at Marcum LLP, one of the largest independent public accounting and advisory services firms in the nation, and Caroline Consorte '16, '17 MBA, a staff accountant at Marcum, are among the many graduates of the University who are excelling in the accounting industry.

The numbers are looking positive for accountants. With an unemployment rate below the national average, accountants are in demand.

The American Institute of CPAs, the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, outlines several trends that are heating up the job market for accountants, including new compliance and regulation standards, the healthcare boom, and the digital revolution that is transforming accounting departments and resulting in a demand for expertise.

Accounting graduates are as attractive as ever to employers. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Job Outlook 2019 Spring Update survey, accounting services was one of the industries that was projected to grow the most – by more than 20 percent. Furthermore, the organization found that employers in the fields of government, finance, insurance, real estate, and manufacturing are especially eager to hire accounting graduates.

In addition to a job market that is finding accounting degrees to be especially appealing, the starting salaries for accountants are also above average. Accounting graduates are among the top earners with degrees in business, with a starting average salary of nearly $58,000.

"This is an exciting time to be in the field of accounting, and developing these competencies will give job seekers an edge to succeed in this cutting-edge field."Brian Kench, Ph.D.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for accountants and auditors was more than $70,000 in 2018 (the most recent year for which data are available).

The digital transformation, industry experts say, is fueling growth in the accounting industry. Departments are using technology to enhance accuracy and analytics, and the use of cutting-edge technology is actually contributing to a need for more staff. Many of the jobs that are most in demand are specialized, and job seekers with competencies in areas such as data analysis and forensic accounting – which are featured in the University of New Haven’s accounting program – are especially sought after.

The University's master's degree in accounting also features a STEM-certified concentration in AI/analytics, making the University one of eight schools in the country to offer this cutting-edge academic opportunity. This, says College of Business Dean Brian Kench, is part of a strategic focus in the college to incorporate across the curriculum the STEM principles of science, technology, engineering and math that are essential to economic competitiveness and growth.

The CEOs Dean Kench has talked with all say the same thing: "We’ve got data everywhere we look, and we have no idea how to make it work for us." So, Kench told Poets & Quants, "STEM-certified programs were a no-brainer for us."

"It is crucial that graduates are not only well-versed in accounting principles and the skills to put them into practice, but they must be competent in the sub-disciplines to stand out," continued Kench. "This is an exciting time to be in the field of accounting, and developing these competencies will give job seekers an edge to succeed in this cutting-edge field."