Accounting Jobs Rank High on 2013 UC San Diego HOT Careers List

Accounting Jobs Rank High on 2013 UC San Diego HOT Careers List

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 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 Accessed Oct. 24, 2013.

Survey Shows Promise for Women Seeking Top Careers in Finance while Men Still Dominate

Promise for Women Seeking Top Finance Careers

Some intriguing highlights from a new survey of chief financial officers were released in advance of the October 2013 Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA) Annual Conference held in Indianapolis. One of the key findings shared was that many CFOs believe there are more career opportunities for women in finance and accounting than ten years ago.

The survey was conducted by staffing firm Robert Half,® and results were based on interviews with 2,100 CFOs from “a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. markets.”1

Improvement in the Past 10 Years Seen by 42 Percent

Specifically, the firm asked CFOs, “Compared to 10 years ago, in general, are there more or fewer opportunities for women to advance through the ranks in accounting and finance?”1

The responses broke down as follows:

Significantly more: 12 percent

Somewhat more: 30 percent

No change: 53 percent

Somewhat fewer: 3 percent

Significantly fewer: 1 percent

Don’t know: 2 percent

(Responses total more than 100 percent due to rounding.)1

Based on these results, 42 percent agreed that growth opportunities for women seeking an accounting or finance career have improved in the past 10 years. While this news is positive, more than half of the CFOs surveyed have seen NO change. Therefore, it seems as though women have a way to go before closing the gap on the number of high-level positions held in the finance and other industries vs. men.

Men Still Earn More than Women

It’s no secret that across all industries, men still earn more money than women. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE), women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men – and this number hasn’t budged in the past decade.2

Women are also under-represented in top-level positions and partnerships at accounting firms, according to research conducted by the American Institute for CPAs (AICPA). Only 19 percent of partners in CPA firms are women. This is a 2 percent decrease from the 21 percent reported in 2011.3

New Grad Finance Opportunities Abound for Both Sexes

While the struggling economy has made it difficult for many new graduates to find work in their chosen fields, recent finance and accounting graduates have plenty of opportunities to consider.

Recruiters in the finance and accounting industry are always looking for good talent – both for entry-level finance jobs and for positions that require more experience. It all depends on what you want to do, whom you want to work for and where.

If you’re willing to take a position at a smaller, private firm you could have an easier time finding that first or second job. On the other hand, if you aspire to work for one of the larger, elite firms – you will need to work hard to differentiate yourself from other candidates.

Where you attended school, which degrees and certifications you have acquired, your grades – these things are all important. But the competition for the best entry-level accounting jobs and finance gigs is stiff. Focusing on areas of specialty; finding great mentors; and building and working your professional network all need your attention if you want to rise to the top.

At Doostang, we are committed to helping you stand out from the competition.  To find out how we have helped other candidates land the accounting and finance positions they were striving for, check out Doostang success stories. To learn more about our services and process, visit our website and sign up today.

Photo Source: Shutterstock


1. “Career Paths Improving for Women In Finance And Accounting,” (press release). Menlo Park, Calif.: Robert Half® Finance & Accounting; Oct. 15, 2013. Available at Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.

2. Adams S. “Are Women Catching Up in Pay?” Forbes website,; April 9, 2013. Available at Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.

3. El-Ramly, Y. CPA/CITP. “Women’s initiatives: A strategic advantage.” Journal of Accountancy website,; September 2013. Available at Accessed Oct. 18, 2013.