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Accountancy recruiters everywhere can breathe a huge sigh of relief – Generation Z love the idea of becoming a professional accountant!

December 2018

Accountancy recruiters everywhere can breathe a huge sigh of relief – Generation Z love the idea of becoming a professional accountant!

‘Make Way for GEN Z: Identifying what matter most to the next generation’, a report from the International Federation of Accountants, found over a fifth (21%) of all respondents have already decided to pursue a career in the profession. You can add to this a further 73% who said they are open to the idea of a job in accountancy. Accountancy is winning out as the career of choice for many 18-23 year olds because it aligns with their top priorities – a stable career path and good salary. A stable career path was important/very important to 89% of respondents to the survey. A competitive salary and benefits came next at 87%, followed by a work-life balance at 84%. The least important factors are the opportunity to work abroad, to be a business leader and to drive business strategy.

The report claims that Gen Z’s preferences are a notable departure from the traits that have come to define their predecessors, the Millennials, including the desire to ‘live the dream at any cost’ and pursue career independence.
Gen Z’s desire for stability could also be seen when it comes to their politics and the economy. The study, for example, found that 51% of Gen Z feel it is important for their government to prioritise a national approach to policy, while
32% prefer a globalist approach. However, there are stark divisions between countries. Gen Z’ers in France and Germany most strongly support international policy collaboration, while national sentiment is strongest in China, India, South Africa and Russia. Gen Z also anticipate digitalisation and emerging technology will be a double-edged sword, both bringing new ways of doing things, meaning new and more interesting jobs, but also seeing traditional jobs declining as a result. They see the greatest potential for technology to drive job growth in accountancy, engineering and health care.

The study also asked where Gen Z picked up their career information, and professional bodies should take note that magazines beat them as a reliable source. Top of the list is the internet and social media. IFAC CEO Fayezul Choudhury said: “Generation Z brings a great wealth of new and unique talent to the global workforce. This survey identifies why the global accounting profession is well positioned to attract and retain next-generation talent, particularly as the role of the accountant becomes ever more strategic.”
Generation Z, for the purposes of this study, includes individuals born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000. Variously described as the ‘post-Millennial generation’ or ‘iGeneration’, Gen Z are distinguished as the first true digital natives, having been exposed to the internet and a prevalence of digitalisation and social media from birth or a very young age.

• You can download the report by going to

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