Master of Accounting (MAcc) Market Data
The current job market for accounting graduates is very robust. In certain parts of the country, accountants are receiving signing bonuses. Much of the current demand for accounting graduates and more qualified graduates is due to the implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. It appears that employment opportunities in accounting will continue given the mandatory sentencing requirements for executives guilty of financial fraud. CPA firms are taking the attestation function more seriously and budgeting more audit hours to complete the job. Furthermore, the specialization area of fraud examination is growing. Graduates from the masters program will have a competitive edge for these positions over graduates earning only a bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, first-time full-time students declaring accounting as their major is currently at a ten year high.
According to the AICPA’s most recent study “The Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits-2005”, both supply and demand are expected to increase through 2009. Some highlights of the report are as follows:
- Females represented 55% of new bachelor’s accounting graduates in 2004.
- Females represented 54% of new master’s accounting graduates in 2004.
- Enrollments in accounting programs climbed 19% from 2000-2004.
- Since 2000, accounting graduates increased by 19%.
- Bachelor’s degree recipients increased by 9% from 2003 to 2004.
- Master’s degree recipients increased by 5.4% from 2003 to 2004.
- In 2004, there was a 17% increase in the number of new accounting graduate hires compared to 2003.
- Bachelor’s hired increased 13% in 2004 compared to 2003.
- Master’s hired increased by 33% in 2004 compared to 2003.
- Fifty-three percent of new graduates hired by CPA firms were females.
- Twenty-three percent of the firm hires in 2004 were ethnic minorities.
- Hiring trends are expected to increase through the forecast period of 2009.
- Seventy-two percent of colleges and universities are predicting higher enrollments for their master’s in accounting programs.
- For accounting graduates with master’s degrees, 74% were masters in accounting, 12% were MBA’s in accounting, and 14% were master’s in taxation.
- Seventy-nine percent of new accounting graduates with master’s degrees hired by CPA firms held a master’s in accounting.
According to state-wide employment data, demand for accountants and auditors ranks third highest for college graduates. According to the Pennsylvania Institute of CPA’s, CPA revenue grew 9% in 2004 compared to 2003. Also, the amount of billable hours has increased and 6% of the firms expect to outsource a large volume of tax returns.