"Growth in hiring is attributable to a growing
economy and an increase in positions needed to meet Sarbanes-Oxley
compliance," says Bill Kuchar, a CPA and managing partner of
Lucas Group. "Our placements for accounting and finance professionals
have substantially increased from last year, and we expect the increase
Overall, however, the bureau reports that job opportunities
in the accounting and auditing fields remain spotty, with the industry as a whole
projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2012
-- between 10 percent and 20 percent.
Federal legislation "should
lead to increased scrutiny of company finances and accounting procedures, and
should create opportunities for accountants and auditors, particularly Certified
Public Accountants, to more thoroughly audit financial records," the bureau
writes. "Those who pursue a CPA should have excellent job prospects. However,
many accounting graduates are instead pursuing other certifications, such as the
Certified Management Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor, so competition
could be greater in management accounting and internal auditing than in public
NACE reports 2005 accounting grads in the private
sector enjoyed average starting pay of about $42,000, while those
employed in public auditing received first-time offers of nearly
$44,000. Business administration and management grads engaged in
financial analysis took home $44,185, and those who specialized
in investment banking earned closer to $49,000.
For college students deciding which professional path
to pursue, or anyone considering a change of career, labor market
trends provide valuable insight into earnings potential and future
demand. In the coming years, job seekers in the health-care and
information-technology fields should be best positioned to negotiate
hefty pay packages from employers.
"Looking at where job growth
is happening, or most likely to occur in the future, can give you a better understanding
of the kinds of skills that are most in demand," Challenger says. "They
can also give you a reason to go out and acquire those skills, whether you're
going back for more training, getting an education or volunteering for new assignments
on the job that intersect you with the kind of skills employers need."
|10 fastest-growing occupations||Expected
Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2005 Occupational Outlook Handbook.
of growth rate spans from 2004 to 2014.