Industries across the world are preparing to face the big technological and social changes that a new generation of “millennial” workers will bring. So what does the accounting industry have in store? Last year ACCA conducted a survey of over 18,500 ACCA students and members aged 16-36 from 150 different countries in order to discover their career ambitions.
Tomorrow’s accountants are aspirational
Respondents were keen to advance their careers and frustrated when their employer did not offer enough opportunities. Only 38% believed their organisations offered sufficient opportunities to achieve their career goals, and 27% thought that a lack of training in their organisation was a barrier to their career development.
Not only that, but a huge 81% said that they hoped to one day start their own business. Young accountants are not committed to staying within the accounting profession for their whole career, but highly value the skills they are gaining in their current area. 85% said that experience in a finance career would prove useful for organisation leaders in the future.
How ACCA helps: Professional qualifications are the perfect way to advance your accounting career, either supported by your employer or under your own steam. Plus, the skills you’ll learn on an ACCA course will be invaluable if you decide to start your own business one day.
They’re more likely to job hop
Long gone are the days of joining a company at 16 and staying until you’re 65. 70% of those asked said they would like to move to a new role within two years. That figure rises to 98% within five years. 61% said their next career move would be external, so unless employers start doing more to retain them young accountants may already be eyeing up their next move.
How ACCA helps: When looking to get promoted within an organisation, professional qualifications are more about gaining key skills than proving your effectiveness (since your employer already knows you). When applying for jobs externally however, a qualification can be invaluable in backing up what you say in your CV.
They want to work anywhere
The new generation of accountants don’t just want to move jobs; they want to change location as well. 80% of respondents expressed a wish to work in a different country or region at some point in their careers. This might stem from lower levels of home ownership, making it easier to move, or it could just be that young people want to experience new places and cultures.
How ACCA helps: The ACCA is a globally respected organisation, with members in 181 countries. With an ACCA qualification under your belt your CV will stand out to employers all over the world. If you’re still studying, our online campus is accessible 24/7 wherever you are, so there’s no need to be tied down to one place.
Networking will be more important
As a result of the trend towards switching companies, careers, and even countries, building up a solid professional network is going to be more important than ever for tomorrow’s accountants. Building relationships with senior leaders, even those from other industries, can help with finding exciting new career opportunities. Fortunately, social networks like LinkedIn make it easier than ever to stay in touch with valuable contacts.
How ACCA helps: Once you become an ACCA member you’ll be joining 188,000 committed professional accountants worldwide. You’ll be able to connect with them through ACCA’s social media groups or at exclusive face-to-face events, so there’s plenty of opportunity for networking. Plus, when you study with AVADO, you’ll be able to chat to rest of your cohort on the course in live classes and student forums, so you can start building up those contacts right away!
One more insight from ACCA’s report caught our eye: tracking the most effective learning activities against those most used by employers found that “Professional qualifications” ranked near the top for effectiveness, but lagged 5% behind in usage. Given how beneficial ACCA qualifications will be for the needs of young accountants, will companies need to start offering more of them if they want to retain young talent.