Factors Affecting Students' Career Choice in Accounting

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American Journal of Business Education – October 2011

Volume 4, Number 10

Factors Affecting Students’ Career Choice In Accounting: The Case Of A Turkish University Ali Uyar, Fatih University, Turkey Ali Haydar Güngörmüş, Fatih University, Turkey Cemil Kuzey, Fatih University, Turkey

ABSTRACT This study investigates the reasons that influence students’ career choices in accounting. In order to determine these reasons, a questionnaire survey has been employed. The empirical findings can be divided into two categories. First, students who have a desire to work in accounting field assume that accounting field provides good job opportunities, and the field matches with their abilities and interests. Second, students who have no desire to work in the field of accounting assume that other fields provide wider job opportunities and are less stressful, tiring, and tedious. In addition, the association of the factors that play role in choosing or not choosing a career in accounting field with student performance in accounting course is investigated. Keywords: Accounting; Accounting Education; Accounting Career; Performance

INTRODUCTION

I

n recent years, the decline in quantity and quality of student enrollments in accounting majors alerted academicians, professionals, and professional bodies (Mauldin et al., 2000; Nelson, 1989; Adams et al., 1994; Glass and Oakley, 2003; Tan and Laswad, 2006; Smith, 2005; Chen et al., 2002; Garner and Dombrowski, 1997). This led researchers to investigate the reasons regarding career choice in accounting field. Mauldin et al. (2000, p.142) state that the primary objective of accounting programs is to produce a sufficient number of graduates who possess substantial accounting knowledge, with the strong communication and analytical capabilities demanded by employers. In order to meet the demands of employers, accounting programs must graduate the best and brightest students with high aptitudes, but decreasing quantity and quality may mean the inability to meet the demands of the job market. Geiger and Ogilby (2000) emphasize the importance of the introductory accounting course, saying it is “a student's first and potentially only, exposure to accounting”. Therefore, they state that the quality of the instructors' assignments during the course is important, in part, because it can impact the supply of accounting majors to both an accounting program and the accounting profession. The purpose of this study is to investigate the factors why students choose or do not choose a career in accounting field. Furthermore, the paper examines the association of these factors with student performance in accounting course. The paper is divided into five parts. After this introductory first part, the second part provides a literature review about the subject. The third part explains the scope and methodology of the study. The fourth part presents the results of the study, and the last section provides concluding remarks. LITERATURE REVIEW Cohen and Hanno (1993) conducted a survey with 287 students who had either declared or intended to declare themselves as accounting majors and those who had either declared or intended to declare themselves as majors in a business field other than accounting (e.g. marketing, finance, general management, hotel management, © 2011 The Clute Institute 29

American Journal of Business Education – October 2011

Volume 4, Number 10

economics). The results indicated that non-accounting majors may choose a major other than accounting because they believe accounting to be too number-oriented and boring. The students’ choice of a major was consistent with their referenced opinions about majors. Success in introductory courses, skills and a background in math, as well as the workload in accounting courses were also identified as factors that facilitated or hindered choosing accounting as a major. Mauldin et al. (2000) investigated students’ choices of an accounting...
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