It looks like the major U.S.-based accounting firms are in a hiring frenzy -- they just can't get enough bean counters. Whether it's because of the oddly bullish stock market, growth in the economy or the trend for big businesses to hire outside contractors rather than full-time accountants of their own, if you work in tax or finance, you're literally in the money.
For example, according to CNNMoney, Deloitte plans to hire 17,000 experienced workers in the United States and India in 2011. Ernst & Young wants to hire 7,000 employees from college campuses (4,500 full-time and 2,500 interns) and 6,000 experienced staff, totaling 13,000 people in 2011. Other major firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG also plan to increase their staffs, in keeping with the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report that predicted employment in accounting and auditing would grow by at least 22 percent.
Those graduating from college in accounting are finding that they are suddenly hot commodities, with firms going on campus to compete for the top grads. Some universities are reporting 90 percent placement among grads in their accounting departments.
Those with experience, especially those who have qualified to be CPAs, are also in demand, and will find the big accounting firms adding all sorts of perks and pay to lure them into their corporate folds. Like the top candidates in tech fields, accountants these days are increasingly able to write their own tickets.
Opportunity is also rising for in-house accountants, although that demand is not quite as steep. While many companies are using contractors until they're more certain of the recovery, others are finding that the myriad new financial regulations require them to have in-house accountants working for them full time. Also, the financial services, health care and consumer goods sectors are doing so well they're staffing up again.
The image of bean counters is no longer mild-mannered, timid and dull. They're the darlings of the job market right now, and can pretty much pick and choose where they'd like to work. In the financial sector, they have become the rock stars!
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