Accountants are kings among graduates

Essay by vodkaspyCollege, UndergraduateA, June 2005

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In this paper, I will focus on the business-world king. King? Let me expplain. While it is not quite the days of the dot-com boom, when companies lured graduates with promises of six-figure salaries and ping-pong tables in the workplace, corporate recruiters are once again combing campuses for the best of the Class of 2005.

"People ask me all the time 'So you graduated, are you looking for a job?' And I'm like: 'I already have one,'" said Pauline Livaditis, a 22-year-old accounting graduate who was hired by Ernst & Young before she finished school in May.

"The friends I had classes with all have jobs -- they were recruited on campus," said Livaditis, who graduated with a combined Masters of Business Administration and accounting degree from St. John's University in New York.

Hot degrees in 2005 included business administration, management and electrical or mechanical engineering, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. But no degree is more in demand than accounting, where the starting salary averages $44,564.

"The market is very, very robust, and so we need many, many accountants," said Karen Glover, director of recruiting at Ernst & Young. "A great person will have many offers."

Demand for accountants and auditors soared after Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley reporting rules in 2002 in response to high-profile scandals that brought companies like Enron and WorldCom to their knees.

Glover said Ernst & Young is looking to hire 4,500 accounting graduates this year, up 30 percent from last year. To lure new hires, it has boosted benefits -- including a concierge service for employees too busy to run errands.

"(Graduates) are in a very competitive space right now where you have lots of opportunities and choices of where you go to start your career," Glover...