While Some Industries Struggle, Employment in Accounting Remains Strong

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Accounting career outlooks remain promising as other industries feel the brunt of this economic downturn.

Today's accountants are fast becoming financial managers and leaders within their organizations, and students interested in an accounting career need a skill set that includes strong communication, leadership and financial skills

While many industries are reducing hiring needs due to the current economy, the accounting industry projects jobs to maintain at their current rate or possibly increase. Colleges are responding to this need by reevaluating accounting degree programs in order to ensure that students are being taught the desired skill sets to enter this market successfully.

According to the 2009 Robert Half Salary Guide and the 2008 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), 91 percent of accounting firms expect hiring to remain steady or increase.

As companies look to cut internal costs and not overspend, a renewed focus has grown on hiring qualified accountants that not only have advanced knowledge in programs such as Microsoft Excel and Access, but also a familiarity with enterprise risk management applications, and the payable/accounts receivable modules of software packages. Communication and leadership abilities remain important as well when it comes to hiring considerations according to the Salary Guide.

Rasmussen College, a regionally accredited private college, is one of these institutions that is re-energizing its accounting focus to get new students engaged. Offering both Bachelor's and Associate's degrees in Accounting, students take courses online and on campus where they learn about new trends and technologies from industry professionals such as business owners and CPAs.

"Today's accountants are fast becoming financial managers and leaders within their organizations, and students interested in an accounting career need a skill set that includes strong communication, leadership and financial skills," Rasmussen College School of Business Director Kathy Heldman said. "We are finding that the role of accountants is expanding along with the growth in employment opportunities, and higher educational institutions must prepare their students for this change in professional duties."

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow 18 percent between 2006 and 2016, which is faster than the average of all occupations. Accountants and auditors that hold a college degree or any other certification will have the best job prospects.
Heldman continued, "Rasmussen's versatile Accounting degree programs provide top quality courses in critical areas, enabling our graduates to provide immediate value to their employers. We want our students to meet this growth successfully."

The Associate's degree in Accounting is a part of the School of Business at Rasmussen College. The Florida campuses at Rasmussen College offer the Bachelor's degree in Accounting program online as well.

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Erin Werthman
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