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    James Serocki
    Tax Careers
    discussion posted September 15, 2010 by James Serocki, last edited April 8, 2012 
    7469 Views, 34 Comments
    discussion:
    Tax Careers
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    I would be interested in participating in a discussion in how best to provide business students (likely accounting majors) sufficient timely information to properly consider a tax career. It appears the recruiting process (e.g. for internships), primarily by CPA firms, comes early in a student's academic process usually junior status, often before any tax courses are taken. Therefore, most students being recruited, have only educational exposure to accounting through their course work and defer to a selection of assurance. As an academic (former practitioner) teaching taxation in a business school, my concern is that some changes need to be made in order to provide accounting majors a balanced exposure to all aspects of a career in accounting, including taxation.  This change process should be a collaborative effort by academia and potential employers (e.g. CPA firms, industry, government). 

    Comment

    • Robert E Jensen

      Here Are The Chances An Internship Lands You A Job In Your Industry ---
      http://www.businessinsider.com/internships-to-jobs-2014-9#ixzz3D1AhroIH

      . . .

      From our reading of 2013 data from LinkedIn, here's the percentage of internships that lead to jobs in the following industries:

      • Accounting: 60% 
      • Oil & energy: 33%
      • Investment banking: 31%
      • PR & communications: 28%
      • Law practice: 26%
      • Apparel & fashion: 25%
      • Hospitality: 24%
      • Government administration: 23%
      • Publishing: 22%
      • Museums: 21%
      • International affairs: 20%
      • NGO management: 19%

      The task, of course, is landing those gigs in the first place. We got you covered: here are our guides to nabbing a Google or Wall Street internship. 

      Bob Jensen's threads on careers ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#careers

    • Robert E Jensen

      How to Mislead With Statistics:  Ignore the Variance and Ignore the Outliers (in this case graduates without law jobs)
      "Why Huge Salaries Don't Necessarily Make Law Grads Rich," bv Akane Otani, Bloomberg Businessweek, October 22, 2014 ---
      http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-10-22/law-school-grads-make-good-salaries-but-have-high-debt-and-few-jobs

      Graduates of Harvard Law School, among all the graduate schools in the U.S., make the most money, earning a median salary of $201,000 once they are 10 years out of school, according to a new report. Law schools rank higher than other graduate programs when it comes to salaries, yet skyrocketing debt and a thinning job market for law graduates may dampen the appeal of a J.D.

      Harvard Law School, Emory University School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law topped salary rankings for graduate and professional programs in a study released Wednesday by compensation-tracking company PayScale. Of the top 20 schools, 12 were law schools. The rest were business schools.

      Despite a few law schools dominating the rankings, law school graduates did not hold claim to the most lucrative degree on the market. The median midcareer salary for a law school graduate was $139,300—a far smaller sum than the figures boasted by the schools that topped PayScale’s rankings. Considering that the median debt load for law school graduates rose to $140,616 in 2012, even a six-figure salary doesn’t sound as glamorous.

      What’s more, Payscale’s data didn’t factor in law school grads who don’t have jobs—and jobs are scarcer for lawyers now than they have been in years. The employment rate for law school graduates has dropped six years in a row. “Since 1985, there have only been two classes with an overall employment rate below [84.5 percent], and both of those occurred in the aftermath of the 1990-91 recession,” the National Association for Law Placement said in a report this summer. Over the past decade, at least 12 firms, accounting for more than 1,000 lawyers, have shut their doors. Others are eyeing cuts among partners.

      One reason why a J.D. isn’t a get-rich-quick guarantee is the wide range of salaries within the field of law. A new graduate working as a public interest lawyer or for local government will make an average of $60,000 or less a year, according to the NALP.

      “If you want to be a public defender vs. a corporate attorney, there is going to be a big difference in terms of ability to pay off your loans,” says Lydia Frank, editorial and marketing director for PayScale. “Because there’s such a wide variety in earnings potential, you can’t assume that any job you’re going to pursue with a J.D. is going to be equal.”

      While the salary rankings may provide a good benchmark for what’s possible with an elite law degree, great job connections, and a lucrative specialty, the average would-be lawyer should think carefully about the return on an investment in legal education.

      “If you’re going to take out ‘X’ amount in student loans, you really want to have a good understanding of the likelihood of being able to repay that loan in a timely fashion,” Frank says. “I think it still behooves everybody to really examine things other than salary potential, such as employment potential for JDs.”

      Jensen Comment
      Traditionally, accounting graduates who go to work for large CPA firms get great training and great client exposure. The bad news is that probabilities of attaining partnerships after 6-10 years are very low. The good news is that prospects of going to work for clients are high, and new graduates never wanted the pressures, travel, and time commitments of partnerships in CPA firms in the first place.

      Among the least-wanted pressures are the pressures to obtain new clients via lots of night and weekend community volunteer work, golf outings that aren't all that much fun, and selling the firms' services over and over and over year after year Some of the things that discourage faculty from striving to be college presidents also discourage staff accountants and lawyers from seeking partnerships.

      My point is that winnings of the  highest salaries as partners in both law and accounting firms are not all they're cracked up to be in terms of job stress, long hours, frequent travel, glad-handing, broken marriages, neglected children, etc. Most of the very good lawyers and accountants want no part of this partnership lifestyle even at much higher compensation. Men and women partners who are also parents are advised to have spouses who will take on the chores of child rearing and keeping the home fires burning.

      A bummer for finance and marketing graduates is performance-based compensation. For example, landing that job on Wall Street sounds great until you realize that your pay is really based upon sales commissions. It's not a great life unless you really like to spend your days wooing customers to buy what you're selling (like bonds and derivatives) year after year after year.

      Bob Jensen's threads on careers ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#careers

    • Robert E Jensen

      Jensen Note
      Entry level accountants are usually called "staff accountants." Upon graduation some of the most plentiful jobs in the world are for staff accountants. Note that in the USA, however, CPA firms generally require that students become qualified to immediately take the CPA examination, and that generally takes a fifth year of study, usually but not always for a masters degree. The same can be said for chartered accountants in many other nations.

      Staff Accountants are in the Top Ten Below
      "10 jobs with the best salary potential," Jada A. Graves, US News & World Report, February 3, 2015 ---
      http://www.businessinsider.com/jobs-with-the-best-salary-potential-2015-2

      Jensen Comment
      Also important is job-change opportunity. Many college graduates go to work for CPA firms never intending to stay with those firms. Those firms offer terrific opportunity for technical training and exposure to clients needing accounting, internal auditing, forensics, information technology, and tax services. More often than not those that leave the CPA firms and stay in the work force go with clients.

      Salaries may or may not be higher, but there is often less travel and job stress when working for a client. Making partner with a CPA firm often entails long hours and public relations skills requiring special talents. Partners are paid well, but less than 15% of the new hires in large CPA firms become partners. Partners generally have skills in obtaining and retaining clients. The same, by the way, is true of law firms where much of the technical work is often performed by lower-paid non-partners.

      My point is that students hoping to become partners in CPA firms and law firms should take courses in communications. Foreign languages can also help since sometimes the path to partnership is easier for USA accounting graduates to work in off shore offices of multinational CPA firms such as working in offices in Moscow, Mexico City, and various cities in South America and Asia.

      Bob Jensen's threads on careers ---
      http://www.businessinsider.com/jobs-with-the-best-salary-potential-2015-2

    • Robert E Jensen

      "The Fields That Students Flock to During Recessions," by Josh Zumbrun, The Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2015 ---
      http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/07/17/the-fields-that-students-flock-to-during-recessions/ 

      Graduating into a recession stunts the careers of the young men and women entering the labor market. But it turns out a lot of students don’t sit back and passively accept this outcome: Many students who see a recession during their early college years switch to majors with better job prospects.

      According to new research from Benjamin Keys at the University of ChicagoBrian Cadena at the University of Colorado Boulder and Erica Blom at Edgeworth Economics, the shifts can be dramatic.

      When the national unemployment rate rises by 1 percentage point, the share of women studying business rises by nearly two-thirds of a percentage point. The share of women studying nursing climbs by nearly a third of a percentage point. An additional quarter percentage point switch into accounting. Meanwhile, enrollment in education, literature and languages, sociology and psychology drops.

       

      Jensen Comment
      Accounting ranks number three from the top. It may well be on the top if it did not take five years (150 selective credits) and a certification examination to become a CPA. It is true that accounting firms are always hiring when the economy goes up or down. However, in public accounting there's a lot of forced turnover before employees are eligible to become partners. The secondary market declines somewhat for accountants who do not become partners after working in CPA firms for 5-10 years.

      The low-ranking fields tend to be low ranking in boom or bust in the economy. Also many high-ranking fields like nursing are high ranking in boom or bust.

    • Robert E Jensen

      "The Fields That Students Flock to During Recessions," by Josh Zumbrun, The Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2015 ---
      http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/07/17/the-fields-that-students-flock-to-during-recessions/ 

      Graduating into a recession stunts the careers of the young men and women entering the labor market. But it turns out a lot of students don’t sit back and passively accept this outcome: Many students who see a recession during their early college years switch to majors with better job prospects.

      According to new research from Benjamin Keys at the University of ChicagoBrian Cadena at the University of Colorado Boulder and Erica Blom at Edgeworth Economics, the shifts can be dramatic.

      When the national unemployment rate rises by 1 percentage point, the share of women studying business rises by nearly two-thirds of a percentage point. The share of women studying nursing climbs by nearly a third of a percentage point. An additional quarter percentage point switch into accounting. Meanwhile, enrollment in education, literature and languages, sociology and psychology drops.

       

      Jensen Comment
      Accounting ranks number three from the top. It may well be on the top if it did not take five years (150 selective credits) and a certification examination to become a CPA. It is true that accounting firms are always hiring when the economy goes up or down. However, in public accounting there's a lot of forced turnover before employees are eligible to become partners. The secondary market declines somewhat for accountants who do not become partners after working in CPA firms for 5-10 years.

      The low-ranking fields tend to be low ranking in boom or bust in the economy. Also many high-ranking fields like nursing are high ranking in boom or bust.