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Figures from the recent Course Experience Questionnaire survey
show that 39 per cent of accounting graduates were still seeking
full-time work four months after course completion, suggesting
that, despite the skills shortages in the accounting profession and
the increase in availability of cadetships, employers may still be
looking for more experienced professionals to fill vacancies. The
average starting salary for graduates in 2013 was $49,965, an
increase on the year prior. Around a quarter of graduates went
onto further study before seeking full-time employment.
FOR FURTHER HELP...
• To compare the pros and cons of accounting with other
fields of study, see the table on page 64 and the institution
profiles in Section 4.
• For more about jobs and careers in this field, see the Job
Guide website at http://jobguide.thegoodguides.com.au.
• For ratings of postgraduate accounting courses, see the
Hobsons Course Finder website at
Alice — Bachelor of Business (Professional Accountancy)
Why did you choose to study
I have always enjoyed working with
numbers, so I decided to try accounting
as an elective in Year 11. I did well in the
subject and was drawn to the idea of
working as an accountant after the class
was visited by spokespeople from the
‘big four’ accounting firms. Accountants are always going to
be needed in the world, so I also like the stability of this field,
as well as the opportunity for travel.
What was the best thing about your course?
The large number of lectures and tutorials that you could be
timetabled into was a major benefit, enabling students to
attend night classes or cram all of their subjects into two or
three days so that the other days of the week were free for
part-time work (or an extended weekend).
What was the worst thing about your course?
Given that a number of the subjects are required to be taken
by all business students, I found it was quite easy to feel like
‘just another number’. That said, there were a few subjects
with smaller classes, and all lecturers and tutors encouraged
students to ask questions after class or via email.
What did your course involve?
My course consisted of three years of full-time study. The
initial two years are spent studying the compulsory core
business subjects, as well as the specialist accounting
courses required to obtain the accounting major and meet the
membership requirements of professional accounting bodies.
All are delivered in the typical lecture and tutorial format, with
some student-run interactive tutorials and lab classes for
business computing. The third year required a year-long work
placement, as well as a capstone subject that incorporated all
of our prior learning into a business design project and
allowed students to act as the chief decision-maker in a virtual
Have you found work in your field?
My work placement was with one of the large accounting
firms in Melbourne and I was offered a graduate position after
completing this work experience. The knowledge obtained
during my degree was directly transferrable to my workplace.
What advice would you give to students considering
Accounting is no longer just a number-crunching game. The
top accounting firms are looking for well-rounded individuals
who can communicate effectively to clients and interact well in
team environments, as well as having the technical
knowledge that an accounting degree gives you. I would
encourage students to take part in extracurricular activities,
be part of a student group or have a part-time job — anything
that can teach you important leadership skills and
demonstrate to an interviewer that you have the ability to work
well in a group under time constraints or pressures.
Have you completed further study?
I am currently in the process of completing the Chartered
Accountants Program. My firm supports all graduates through
this program, paying the cost of the subjects and textbooks,
as well as providing time off to study and attend the exam.
National average rate of retention
52–58 59–65 66 –72 73–79 80–86 87–93 94–100
92% 79% 83% 90% 88%
87% 91% 95%
100% 88% 97% 100%
86% 89% 89% 93% 100%
88% 74% 67% 89%
86% 88% 86% 80%
100% 89% 90%
92% 83% 85% 88%
National avg. rate of
retention by ATAR
93% 77% 79% 85% 85% 93% 92%
GUG 2015.book Page 70 Friday, June 13, 2014 11:51 AM
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