Michael Brooder, Partner-In-Charge of Firm's Hartford Office, Featured in Hartford Business Journal Article "Despite Tough Job Market, Accounting Grads Flourish"
Hartford Business Journal
By John A. Lahtinen
As many graduates continue to struggle to find employment, those departing college with an accounting degree are finding opportunities aplenty.
In fact, a recent report from the American Institute of CPA’s says accounting graduates are experiencing a record level of demand from accounting firms — and the trend isn’t showing any signs of slowing.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook found that employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow 16 percent from 2010 to 2020, resulting in an additional 190,000 jobs.
“I feel this is accurate; I see the demand for accounting professionals increasing now,” said Michael Brooder, a partner at accounting firm Marcum LLP in Hartford. “As regulations and the need for transparency increase, companies will turn to their accountants to help them navigate through these complexities. In addition, companies will expand as the economy continues to settle and globalization continues. This provides accounting professionals with more opportunity both domestically and internationally.”
Hiring at Marcum has been cautious over the last three years due to the struggling economy. But, Brooder says given the demand, the firm has increased its overall New England staff by approximately 10 full-time equivalents since December 2012. In addition, he projects a need for 10 to 15 new positions from now through the end of 2014, excluding the normal four to six staff positions Marcum fills from colleges and universities each year in Connecticut.
According to Brooder, while Marcum prefers new hires to possess a four-year accounting degree, the firm’s focus is to attract and retain individuals that are, or have the ability to become, certified accountants.
“I think companies are looking for the best and brightest,” Brooder said. “In this tough economy, just like job seekers, companies are trying to segregate themselves from their competition. While you can work in accounting without an advanced degree, it makes a lot of sense to invest in a master’s degree. CPAs with advanced degrees generally find themselves better positioned to advance in their careers and take advantage of new and emerging opportunities.”
With the passage of a 150-hour educational requirement to become a CPA, many colleges and universities are encouraging accounting students to springboard the additional credit requirements into an advanced degree, Brooder said.