Top Reasons To Study Accounting
Published 3rd Feb 2017. Updated 22 May 2019
It’s more than just numbers…
What do famous personalities like Sir Mick Jagger (The Rolling Stones), Julia Sweeney (American comedian and actress), Kenny G (saxophone extraordinaire) and Peter Falk (TV’s legendary detective Colombo) all have in common? Accounting – they either studied accounting or were professional accountants!
Ask any student, and they will readily affirm that studying and practicing accounting is not just about the numbers..
There are far more reasons to study accounting than you may realise and its influence in business and society, in general, goes much beyond ledgers, sheets and invoices.
As a student of accounting, you don’t necessarily need to end up working as a ‘traditional’ accountant, recording transactions in ledgers and preparing profit and loss statements.
Numbers Do matter
While the current workforce in accounting and related jobs is estimated at around 199,200 (as of May 2019), a 5-year projection by the Australian Government, in their Job Outlook (to 2023) has determined that there will be over 84,000 new job openings for accountants (and associated jobs). That’s 16,800 new jobs every year!
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) research indicates that not only is there a healthy demand for accountants, but that full-time workers earn around $1,400 per week, compared to the national average of $1,230. According to salary data processing website PayScale, accountants in Australia beginning their careers in 2019 can expect to start out on an annual salary of $51,000. As your career develops, this will jump to $65,000 (mid-career), and from $76,000 to upwards of $80,000 for more experienced accountants.
However, accounting in Australia is a diverse industry with lots of opportunities for specialisation. Business analysts earn $55,000 to $120,000, audit partners and principals bring in over $200,000 annually in the major markets, while financial controllers can expect to ask for $81,000 to $134,000.
Age doesn’t matter
Accounting students, enrolled in a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or professional degree today, should be heartened by the fact that they could be absorbed into the workforce shortly upon completing their course.
ABS data from 2017 shows that 31% of accountants are in the 25-34 age group, compared to 23% for all other professions. That means more opportunities early in your career! Studying accounting can also bring youngsters from the 20-24 age group into the workforce. The need to fill the imminent void left by retiring accountants (Boomers and Gen X’s) means you are more likely to position yourself to fill those roles if you start your accounting studies now!
Great employment potential
When considering reasons to study accounting, we’ve got even more exciting news for you! Research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics from 2017 projected to 2023, shows that accounting offers greater job security and long term opportunities than other fields.
Studying accounting opens doors to employment:
The high demand for this skill set means a low unemployment rate. You’re more likely to be hired than the average worker!
Accounting studies lead to full-time (and not casual or part-time) employment:
Most people in accounting work full-time (81.5%) compared to the national average (68.4%).
Studying accounting offers you great long-term potential for employment, whether you are an Australian or overseas student studying accounting at an Australian institution.
Overseas students wishing to pursue accounting will find that Australian educational institutions are second to none in the world. Equipped with an Australian accounting degree, international students can confidently return to their home countries with a competitive advantage over their peers and continue to advance in their accounting careers.
If you want to work in Australia in accounting and you’ve already completed your studies, you’re also in luck. With the current strong economy, business growth in Australia increases the need for professional in the financial and accounting services sector. It’s currently on the 2019 Shortage Skills Occupation List, as a Short-term Skilled Occupation. With demand only projected to increase, that’s unlikely to change any time soon!