Majority of Gen Z open to accounting careers: IFAC

Move over, millennials: members of Gen Z, the latest age group entering the workforce, are seeking accounting careers, according to new data.

The International Federation of Accountants' new report, "Make Way for Gen Z: Identifying What Matters Most to the Next Generation," polled 3,388 individuals from ages 18 and 23, across G20 countries on topics ranging from public policy to their own careers. The report found that there has been a dynamic shift from the millennial to the Gen Z workforce, with Gen Z generally favoring career stability and salary/benefits.

"Gen Z demonstrates an overarching desire for stability and a passion for advocacy in key areas," stated Rachel Grimes and Fayezul Choudhury, IFAC's president and CEO, respectively, in the report. "This generation is concerned about financial security, and favors conservatism in government, economics and their careers. Gen Z’s preferences are a notable departure from the traits that have come to define their predecessors, the millennials, including the desire to 'live the dream at any cost' and pursue career independence."

80 percent of respondents cited a "stable career path" as an important characteristic in choosing an accounting career, with another 76 percent and 71 percent citing "salary and benefits expectation" and "work life balance," respectively.

"Gen Z’s professional accountancy perceptions are highly aligned with their top two priorities in choosing a career," the report noted. "Eighty-seven percent of Gen Z see professional accountancy as attractive or very attractive in terms of offering stable career path, 86 percent in terms of salary and benefits expectations. ... It is [that] clear sustained effort is needed to inspire them about the variety of experiences (50 percent attractive/ very attractive) and potential to make a meaningful impact (54 percent) through a career in professional accountancy."

Other findings from the report include:

  • 37 percent of respondents believe jobs will "get more interesting" in accountancy, with another 38 percent believing "more jobs will be created" in the profession.
  • 58 percent believe they have a "clear plan" for their careers.
  • 74 percent of respondents learn of new job opportunities on the Internet.
  • 50 percent of respondents cite "a stable career path" as "very important" to their careers, while 46 percent consider "work-life balance" to also be "very important."
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For the full report, head to IFAC's site here.

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