During my search for a job while in college, I was offered two posts - a part-time hockey referee or a job as a waiter at a now-defunct budget steakhouse chain.

A colleague of mine broke it down for me. He said I could either freeze in a cold arena and catch errant stick blades and pucks on my shins, or I could eat well and always have money in my pocket.

Choosing the ancient adage that discretion was the better part of valor, I opted for the latter. Truth be told, I did eat fairly well for a college student and made decent enough money.

It was never a decision I ever regretted.

Now my employment decisions upon graduation were another matter, but that's fodder for a future column.

I remembered this vignette of past employment decisions as news of ThisWaytoCPA.com was launched by the AICPA in an effort to encourage a greater number of college students to become CPAs, as well as educating them about the opportunities in the profession.

The new portal is an adjunct to the web site StartHereGoPlaces.com, launched roughly nine years ago, as an enticement to high school students to consider careers in accounting.

I remember its debut at one of the council meetings and since that time, the site, according to the institute, has attracted students in some 180 countries.

But back to the present.

The institute's newest URL contains among other features, journals by those who recently passed the CPA Exam explaining what they did to prepare for the exam, a timeline that maps out the process of taking the exam, and mock job interviews and résumé tips.

If statistics are any indication, it's probably as good a time as any to launch a portal showcasing the opportunities in the accounting profession.

Recently Big Four firm Deloitte announced that it was hiring 250,000 new employees over the next five years around the globe.

To put that number in perspective, it's roughly equal to the populations of Greensboro, N.C., Plano, Texas, and St Petersburg, Fla.

The potential accounting pipeline is apparently growing as well.

According to the institute's"2009 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits" there were more than 66,000 bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting awarded during the 2007-2008 academic year - a record - and more than 213,000 accounting students enrolled in bachelor's, master's and doctoral accounting programs.

That's not necessarily a guarantee that some of those above-mentioned students may not opt for pastures other than public accounting.

But after a blip in the late 1990s where the promotion of the CPA credential got lost amidst the glamour and financial allure of the tech sector and yielded considerable ground to the MBA, it's good to see it back where it belongs.





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