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  • Jane Tran

How Declining Accounting Degree Enrollments Are Affecting Every Industry




According to the Journal of Accountancy, accounting degree enrollments have declined. From 2016 to 2020, we have seen a significant decrease in account degrees. Due to the pandemic, we have seen a reduction in degrees from all types of majors, but accounting has seen a more considerable decline. Here are some ways that faculty are addressing the decline:


1. Giving Students Real-World Experiences


A dark-skinned man sits in front of a dark-skinned person with bound hair. The man is holding a piece of paper and is smiling.
Through volunteer work or internships, students in the accounting field can contribute to the industry and also learn from the industry.

Many students don’t pursue their interest in accounting because they cannot experience that career path in the real world. Through volunteer work or internships, students in the accounting field can contribute to the industry and also learn from the industry. This hands-on work allows students to learn firsthand and see whether this is a career path they are interested in.


2. Working with Firms


Two women are standing next to each other. One is holding a large book with red binding, and is showing it to the taller woman.
Students can learn these skills through working with firms and even apply them in the real world.

Accounting students need more skills to work in accounting due to limited resources to practice accounting. Students can learn these skills through working with firms and even apply them in the real world. The best way to learn these skills is directly from firms and businesses. As a managing director with PwC, I understand the importance of getting hands-on experiences directly with your clients. Schools and accounting programs will only sometimes have the right resources to give to students, but working directly with firms benefits both the student and the firm.


3. Active Recruiting


A black woman with curly hair is sitting in front of a man. The man's head is slightly out of frame, and both people are smiling. Each person is holding a clipboard with papers on them.
[Identify] the students interested in accounting earlier in their careers and putting them on the right path...

Before starting accounting as a career, students must undergo intense coursework and exams. This can be a significant roadblock for students, so firms are beginning to actively recruit students are they work towards their degrees to make the transition to their profession a bit easier. Identifying the students interested in accounting earlier in their careers and putting them on the right path to complete the proper coursework will help the number of students stepping out of the accounting field.


What Does this Mean?


This shift in accounting talent will have repercussions in every industry. Like marketing or product development, accounting is an aspect of every business. After 20 years of working as a public accountant and a leader at PwC, this decline raises some concerns for me and my industry. Here at VEGA, we are all about finding SOLUTIONS to challenging situations. Through our coaching programs and consulting, we can help you navigate this new shift in the industry.


Need help optimizing your talent and business? We are here for you at Vega Inspired Solutions. Contact us today to learn how to manage your business and clientele. We specialize in helping our clients develop a process to hire the best talent by diagnosing their needs and values and designing a system that can always hire the best candidate that aligns with the company.

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