Job prospects in many industries have dwindled as the country still struggles with the lingering effects of the recession. But while the economy has undermined opportunity in many industries, it's also spurred growth in others. Job opportunities for accountants and auditors are expected to grow
22 percent between 2008 and 2018 at the national level, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
New emphasis on accountability, transparency and financial reporting is expected to spur the increased demand, the BLS says in the 2010-2011 edition of its Occupational Outlook Handbook, which can be found online at www.bls.gov/oco. The handbook notes that most accounting jobs require a bachelor of accounting degree.
While the BLS's statistics and projections are national figures and estimates, and employment conditions can be different for each area, the bureau also notes that the growth rate in the accounting industry is growing "much faster" than national averages. The expansion in the industry could benefit both those already working in accounting and those looking to enter it.
There are four major fields of accounting (public accounting, management accounting, government accounting and internal auditing) according to the BLS. Within those fields, there are many job functions, including tax preparation, financial analysis, investment planning and public records keeping. Job duties vary widely, as do the job market and career opportunities, depending on where in the country you're looking.
Fortunately, those seeking a bachelor's or master of accounting degree have more options than ever. Schools now offer both brick-and-mortar programs and online degree programs in multiple accounting disciplines.