Tax Day may be something that is circled on the calendar of most folks, but it isn’t necessarily celebrated with the same enthusiasm as, say, Christmas. However, in the face of a looming accountant shortage in the coming years, there are plenty of opportunities for students and current professionals to meet this challenge.
Georgia State’s Master of Taxation program is fully online, allowing students the flexibility to enhance their existing expertise and better position themselves for a changing professional environment.
An industry-wide challenge
While several sectors of the economy, from nursing to hospitality to technology, have seen steady growth in recent years – both in terms of the number of employees and increases in salary – accounting has faced a myriad of barriers to growth.
Aside from a general decrease in interest in the field, for a long time lower-than-expected salaries put off many potential employees with pay ranges around $50,000 for some entry-level positions. When factored in with the long hours associated with those roles, particularly ahead of key tax deadlines, it has grown more difficult to attract students to the field.
This has contributed to a shortage in workers that shows no sign of letting up in the immediate future. In fact, the total number of corporate finance workers, CPAs and accountants fell by 17 percent in 2021, according to a report from the Controller’s Council. Additionally, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts roughly 136,000 vacancies for accountants or auditors will be created each year before 2030.
A shifting landscape in favor of students
Fortunately, the accounting industry is rising to meet this shortfall, boosting salaries and expanding opportunities for graduates moving into the job market. In fact, according to data from Revelio Labs, starting salaries for entry-level positions rose nearly 15 percent from 2021 to 2022 – nearly three times the standard increases from previous years.
In 2023 alone, entry-level pay has grown by 21 percent to nearly $67,000 this year through February when contrasted with prior-year periods. Compensation for more senior roles, such as vice president positions, is up as well, up by 9 percent this year through February.
Employers are not simply moving more money into these pivotal roles, they’re also increasing responsibility and expanding flexibility. To better engage with students, remote working options and flexible working hours are becoming more frequently used, while entry-level accountants are increasingly being trusted with more responsibility on key projects and important clients to minimize burn-out and attract more applicants.
A top-tier, flexible opportunity for growth
Located in the Robinson School of Business, the Master of Taxation program is ranked No. 1 in the Southeast and No. 12 in the nation by TaxTalent. This fully online program satisfies the 30 credit hours of upper-level accounting coursework needed to meet Georgia CPA requirements.
Students will be able to build practical skills, such as solving complex tax problems using data analytics, as well as the business expertise needed to start one’s own tax firm. Additionally, class work can be completed in two years or less, while evening classes give greater flexibility to working professionals.
In 2020, graduates recognized a 47 percent increase in their salaries, as well as a 100 percent job placement rate within three months of completion of the program. Program graduates have gone on to work for several well-respected companies, including many of the most prestigious accounting firms in the world like Deloitte, Ernst Young and PwC.Interested in learning more about the Master of Taxation program? Reach out to our enrollment coaches at 404.413.4393 or by emailing us at [email protected]. Interested students also can set up an appointment with a recruiter by clicking here.