One of the biggest challenges for college grads is to find a job when they don’t have experience working in their field. In the February 2013 issue of the Monthly Labor Review, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 12.6 percent of recent college graduates under the age of 30 were unemployed, and lack of real world experience often holds them back.1
This factor isn’t necessarily true for all occupations, though. The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) recently released a report that would help college students identify career options that required a minimal need for supplemental experience or education. In its report, “HOT Careers for College Grads and Returning Students 2013,” the school compiled a list of “HOT Careers” that took into account the ability to secure a job after graduation with little on-the-job experience or an advanced degree.2
UCSD refers to this factor as “bridgeability,” and it is based on “whether a college graduate could bridge into a career with one or two years of study or reskilling.”
The school also considered four other factors in their evaluation, including:
Current rates of employment.
Projected growth for jobs in the field.
Median wage for jobs in the field.
Typical work environments in the field.2
These four factors could each contribute up to 25 points to the total score of 100. The “bridgeability” factor then came into play. If the occupation in question didn’t fit “bridgeability” guidelines, it didn’t make the list.2
How Did Jobs in Accounting and Finance Fare?
If you’re a recent college graduate looking for an entry-level accounting job and a role as an accountant or auditor is your goal, congratulations! Accountants and auditors fell under one umbrella and landed at No. 4 on the list, with a total of 67 points. Careers focused on software development (71.4 points) and market research analysis (69.5 points) topped the list.2
For graduates looking for entry-level finance jobs, two occupation categories also made the HOT Careers list. Financial analysts ranked No. 11 with a total of 57.7 points and Securities/Commodities/Financial Services Sales Agents came in at No. 14 with 54.6 total points. Both of these finance careers ranked high in median wage, with each scoring 20 points, but the current levels of employment weren’t nearly as high as for the accountant/auditor category.
Why Are Accountants and Auditors So “HOT?”
The accountant/auditor occupation ranked the highest in points across all occupations listed for current rates of employment with a score of 22.5. According to the UCSD report, 1,129,340 people in the U.S. were employed in these occupations at last count and growth rate for the field is strong with a rate of 16 percent projected by 2020. Finally, accountants and auditors can expect to see a nice growth in salary as well, as the mean salary (presently $71,040) has increased by close to $10,000 in the past three years.
If you are preparing to launch a career in finance or accounting, your prospects are brighter than many other fields. Across the board, the number of open positions remains high, pay rates are competitive to high, salary growth estimates are solid and opportunities for career advancement abound.
For recent college graduates in accounting and finance, the “bridgeability” factor is also working in your favor. And if you’re looking to secure one of the more coveted positions in finance or accounting, Doostang can help give you the edge. We specialize in helping recent college graduates with bachelor degrees and MBAs stand out from the competition.
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1. Spreen, LT. “Recent college graduates in the U.S. labor force: data from the Current Population Survey.” Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review. 2013 Feb. Vol. 136, No. 2. Available at http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2013/02/mlr201302.pdf. Accessed Oct. 24, 2013.
2. DeVries, H., MBA; Baru, S, Ph.D.; Shapiro, J., Ph.D. “HOT Careers for College Grads and Returning Students 2014,” (special report). 2013. UC San Diego Extension. Available at http://extension.ucsd.edu/about/index.cfm?vAction=reports. Accessed Oct. 24, 2013.