In today’s job market, qualified candidates seek employment with long-term growth potential. Careers that project industry growth, low unemployment rates, and high income are what job seekers are looking for when choosing their path. With the economy slowly but surely recovering, lucrative opportunities in the accounting and financial industries are on the rise.
The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that, between 2010 and 2020, the overall job market in the United States economy will increase 14%. Within that, the BLS reports that the business and financial industries are projected to grow 17%, adding an estimated 1.2 million new jobs before 2020.
The projected growth can be attributed to the increased scrutiny of financial documents that public and private companies produce. Corporation are creating more and more positions in accounting and finance, ensuring that sound and legal accounting practices are used in private and public sectors. New, more strict financial industry laws are creating more of a demand for accountants with up-to-date skills.
In the current economy, there is a push towards corporate financial responsibility. Corporate financial reporting, Sarbanes-Oxley reporting, the knowledge of where to place investments, how to nurture them, and capitalize on those investments in a corporate setting can lead to a wide range of job categories. Every business is in need of qualified accounting professionals. From billion dollar corporations to small start-up companies, there is a demand for people who can prepare, analyze, and verify financial documents.
Large corporations are not the only drivers of money management today. More often employees are investing and managing their own 401(k) plans. These plans are a necessity for individual and family retirement. People want to be properly educated on where their money is going. Questionable past practices have made the average employee more inquisitive. Understandable explanations of where and how investments are best placed can lead to recurring business. The trusted neighborhood car mechanic, the friendly family dentist, and the reliable account/financial planner are what people are looking for. Word-of-mouth is a powerful and widely successful marketing tool that co-workers, friends, and families use.
One of the more sought after and rewarding careers in finance is financial advisors. Financial advisers help businesses and individual clients navigate through insurance policies, federal and state government tax laws, and various investments vehicles. If you are looking for employment where there is incredible growth, consider becoming a financial advisor – it is an industry that seeks young talent. Of the 316,000 advisors in the country, less than 5% are under the age of 30. Corporations and senior advisors are looking for college graduates to replenish the field. There are also the monetary gains associated with this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed a median salary for a personal financial advisor as $64,750 in 2010. This salary can be quadrupled in some cases depending on the area of the country a person reside. Due to the overwhelming shortage of new advisors, Wall Street firms and independent firms are reevaluating their recruiting policies.
Some recent grads have the preconceived notion that accounting and financial professionals must have an extensive background in math and finance. While a working understanding of these concepts is necessary, firms today concentrate on mentoring and creating pathways for success for candidates and employee associates who do not have an extensive background in finance. For example, most companies encourage their senior professionals to work with younger associates with the intent of creating successors. Indeed, in the past, new associates were left to figure best practices on their own. Now, today’s job seekers are looking for training and associate development programs which create a softer learning experience. As a result, firms are beginning to adjust and have created programs to meet their employee associate needs.
With an interest in finance and a keen eye for these changes in the business industry, an enterprising individual can pursue careers in accounting and finance, among others. In addition, there are a wide range of job opportunities for individuals interested in the accounting and financial field. Careers include:
- Financial Analysts
- Financial analysts inform companies as well as individuals who are looking to invest. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.
- Budget Analysts
- Budget analysts advise various institutions—including governments, universities, and businesses—on how to organize their finances. They prepare annual and special reports and evaluate budget proposals.
- Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents
- Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents are responsible for ensuring that individuals and businesses pay the taxes they owe. They ensure that tax returns are filed properly, and they follow up with taxpayers whose returns are questionable or who owe more than they have paid.
- Management Analysts
- Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve an organization’s efficiency. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.
- Financial Examiners
- Financial examiners ensure compliance with laws governing financial institutions and transactions. They review balance sheets, evaluate the risk level of loans, and assess bank management.
Accordingly, careers in accounting and finance are on the rise. New tax laws translate to continued grow in this line of work. Corporations need associates that are qualified and thorough in the handing their corporate finance matters. As a result, there will be a continued need for professionals who are educated and personable. The ability to connect with people will aid in the success of tomorrow’s accountants. In the finance industry, growth rates are expected to rise, which will keep unemployment rates in these fields low. Prospective candidates can look forward to the autonomy, creativity, and personal satisfaction that come in this industry. These aspects will encourage the best and brightest to revive this underrepresented field.
Lexacount Search is grateful for Oz Dawson’s hard work and research assistance. This posting would not have been possible without his exploration of this topic area.