Students are graduating from Universities with accounting degrees but there is an increasing gap between the education they are receiving at University and an employer’s requirements. A skills gap exists between what the accounting educators are teaching and what CEO’s and CFO’s actually want from their accountants.
Accounting educators and employers are now becoming convinced that teaching models need to undergo major repairs or changes in order to keep up with today’s market needs and demands. Accounting education is perceived to have a fair number of problems in areas such as course content and the curriculum being taught, the methods of teaching being used, as well as the use of technology and skill development.
According to research being done by Curtin University of Technology and The American Accounting Association, the content and curriculum being taught needs to be redesigned. The content needs to be driven by market needs and demands. Students need to be exposed to highly relevant concepts such as globalisation, ethics and technology. Accounting schools also need to focus on incorporating more management accounting principles.
Students also need to be prepared for the actual business world by incorporating on site learning in companies. This approach to learning requires co-operation from both sides: the educator’s as well as the company’s. Universities and colleges need to move away from plain text-book learning and exams, and incorporate more learning time in companies and businesses where students can actually apply theory into practice, and companies and local businesses should partner up with universities and colleges to allow students to gain access to the actual working world.
Students also need to be able to develop technical skills while still at college. Students need to understand the impact technology has on accounting, and need to keep up with different trends and changing practices.
It is important for businesses to hire properly educated accountants, as wrong decisions made by unqualified staff can lead to dire consequences for businesses, and family run or small businesses may find bad accounting decisions will lead to the closure of their operations. To make sure that accountants who graduate do have the proper education, it is very important to bridge the gap between what they learn and what is required of them as professionals.
A 'real world' education would be beneficial for both Accountants and companies hiring them. Usually, a lot of time is spent in training new recruits, so having some real world practice would give an extra edge to new accountants skills, and could even have an impact on gaining a decent starting Salary if already equipped with these real world skills. The good news for companies is that they will have to spend less time and money in training and can get a quick start from their newly hired Accountant.
Keep an eye on Accountant Jobs for the latest accounting related jobs, or follow us to stay up to date with our latest accounting blogs. Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn
You might also be interested in: