October 20, 2018

exaggerations

Yahoo! Exaggerates Accounting Degree’s Hotness

Check out Yahoo! on in-demand degrees, some of you might recognize #3:

Degree #3 – Bachelor’s in Accounting

The curriculum in this hot degree could prepare grads to pursue number-crunching accountant career opportunities. Courses generally cover basic accounting concepts, preparing financial statements, and research of real-life cases, according to the College Board.

Hot Factor: The numbers don’t lie. The Department of Labor projects 22 percent growth in accounting careers between 2008 and 2018. Career opportunities can include everything from working for companies or individual clients, according to the Department, which notes that the averageccountants was $68,960 in May 2010.

Click to Find the Right Accounting Program

If you follow the link to “the right accounting program,” it will take you to an email form so you can be mailed great educational matches for you, apparently.

It appears Yahoo! ran almost the same accounting advertisement before, calling accounting the #2 career built to last, with an average salary earning potential of $67,430.

The BLS says this of accounting’s unusual makeup in its report (keep in mind it was published in May of 2009):

Although accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services employed a relatively small percentage of all bookkeeping clerks, this was the second largest occupation in the accounting services industry, representing about 11.4 percent of industry employment. (See table 6.) Accountants and auditors was by far the largest occupation in the industry, with 286,110 jobs making up about one-third of industry employment. Tax preparers was the third largest occupation in accounting services, with employment of 61,160. Most of the other large occupations in this industry were office and administrative support occupations.

In that same report, the median salary for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks was $33,800. Maybe I am reading the statistics wrong but knowing a career has “an average salary earning potential of $67,430” is not the same as hearing that the national average for that career is $33,800. Yes, where you live matters. Yes, your lifetime earning potential is influenced by lots of factors that make you notably non-average, like how hard you try, what skills you pick up along the way, how good you are at playing the game…

Anyway, here’s a snip from the report to see how it all pans out:

I still don’t see how those numbers work out to this being a reason those who are desperate to work should pile into this career option.

Yes, if you are a money-hungry, elite accounting program prick (I’m not berating you, in fact I’m in love with a lot of you, your ruthlessness is hot), you will probably come out of the gate making those $33,800 losers fetch your coffee but average is just that, average.

I find it sort of reckless on the part of Yahoo! to post numbers like this without the context of actual prospects in accounting and the caliber of individual needed to thrive in the sort of environment accounting provides. I say “caliber” with the most seriousness I can muster, I assure you.