Posted on 9/10/2017 by Adrian Kinnersley
Author: Adrian Kinnersley | Global Managing Director
With a record number of young people receiving a university education, securing relevant employment has been a notable challenge for talented graduates in the UK for many years. In fact, just last year it was reported that candidates need to apply for 27 jobs to secure just one interview, on average. However, while there may be many more applicants than vacancies in some sectors, it appears that in industries which are currently undergoing major upheaval and growth, such as finance and accountancy, it’s the companies themselves that are struggling with recruitment, failing to fill a wide selection of related roles.
In August, accounting vacancies rose by 34%; an almost unprecedented rate. And finance recruitment is showing no signs of slowing down, particularly in London which boasts the financial hotspots of Canary Wharf and City of London. In fact, it’s reported that the UK will need 156,000 accountants by 2050. In 2014, there were just 76,000 qualified accountants working in the sector. Of course, this is good news for both qualified accountants and those with an interest in finance, but a big question we need to be asking is exactly why qualified accountants are currently in such high demand, especially in the United Kingdom?
Interestingly, there is not just one reason for the growth in demand. There are many contributing factors which have all come together to make accountancy a highly lucrative career:
- An economy which is well on the way to recovery following the 2007 financial crisis. At this time, businesses are once again beginning to identify new opportunities for growth and development.
- Completely new roles within finance and accountancy are being created to handle the introduction of financial technology or ‘Fintech’ which is destined to revolutionise the sector.
- During this era of what Google calls ‘Micro Moments’, more and more customers are looking for instantaneous, real-time experiences. New roles are being created to handle growing demand which requires an accountancy background.
- An increasing number of people now shop online, sparking the closing of brick and mortar stores. While work will only be temporary, it is expected to increase the need for new hires.
Separately, these factors may not have had much of an impact upon the finance and accountancy sector. However, as they have all occurred at the same time, the effects have been significant.
Financial institutions are being urged to consider their hiring processes to ensure that they are in the best position — and have professional support — to find the right people for the right positions so that they don’t lose out on the most attractive talents. For prospective accountants, the outlook has never been better, with The Independent citing ‘Accountant’ as one of the top 10 graduate careers with best prospects for 2017.
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