Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hiring Good at Accounting Firms

While U.S. markets are getting squeezed and Wall Street firms hand out pink slips by the hundreds, accounting firms are expected to buck the hiring trend.

The Big Four accounting firms plan to hire roughly the same number _ or more _ of interns and entry-level employees for 2008 as they did last year. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' 2008 job outlook survey, accounting is the No. 1 bachelor's degree in demand by employers.

Fortunately for these firms, the number of undergraduate and graduate-level accounting majors keeps rising.

"It's often the case that accounting hiring is countercyclical to the strength of the economy," said Ira Solomon, head of the department of accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"It's not the case that as the economy goes down, the demand for accountants goes down," he said. At Solomon's school, ranked second among college accounting programs by U.S. News & World Report, the number of undergraduate and graduate accounting students rose 27 percent in the past two years to 653 students.

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