Not Your Father's Job: Why More Millennials Are Getting Into Accounting

by Drew Carrick
Paramount Pictures

For the most part, Millennials are not fans of “the system” that is corporate America.

In this system, men and women are forced to sit in offices, working from 9 to 5 at a job they hate, just so they can afford to have items they don't even have the time to enjoy.

We are all aware Millennials value time over money, which is why so many of us follow entrepreneurial dreams.

We hope to find a career in line with our own passion.

But is there any job Millennials might accept, where they are okay being part of the system?

The answer to that is yes: in the accounting industry.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

Accounting is stereotypically a dull and boring career for people who are good with numbers.

While those who are left-brainers and mathletes do often gravitate toward accounting, there are a lot of people who don't give it the chance it deserves.

When I decided to choose accounting as my major, I had no idea what types of jobs were in the accounting field besides tax.

As it turns out, accounting is to running a business, like language is to writing a book.

You need to know how to read before you start to write.

Accounting is the language businesses speak.

By diving into accounting, you learn how to understand the company financial statements.

I've had dreams of owning my own successful business since I was a child.

What better way to learn how to run a business than by going to various businesses and learning how they operate?

As an accountant, I essentially am required to learn the ins and outs of a variety of companies of all different sizes. Whether it's the audit, tax or advisory service line, my mission is to become an expert in my client’s business.

Suddenly, this boring career path seems to have a little more to offer.

But it gets better.

Public accounting has always been a field with a high turnover rate.

Many employees put in their time to gain the required experience, and then leave to join a company with a more stable environment.

This career tactic is very useful, as outgoing public accountants are treated like war heroes by accountant-hungry companies, for all their “noble work” performed.

However, with the rise of Generation-Y in the workforce, accounting firms are changing their ways to become more Millennial-friendly.

They've realized that, in the long run, it's more beneficial to hold onto current talent than to constantly recruit new talent.

With all the positive changes being made to retain employees, it's never been a better time to be in the industry.

The Baby Boomer and Generation-X bosses are seeing Millennials put their social lives in front of their work lives, regardless of the cost.

To combat this mindset, accounting firms have been doing everything they can to satisfy employees, by creating a culture that aligns with the Millennial mindset.

Companies have offered frozen yogurt machines, coffee machines, ping-pong tables, free food and various happy hour events to show employees they are appreciated for the time they spend at work.

While accounting does have a busy season that entails a couple of months of very long hours, the rest of the year is much more relaxed.

Firms are aiming to make employees enjoy being at the company.

National accounting firm, Grant Thornton, actually just announced unlimited vacation days for its employees (talk about summer break).

There are so many other great benefits when it comes to accounting.

One of these is the fact the accounting industry is one that doesn’t really get damaged by any economic crisis.

As a matter of fact, the AICPA has recently come out and said jobs and salaries in accounting have gone up, and are continuously better than the national average.

One of the biggest concerns college graduates have had over the past five years is getting a job within the first year after college.

If you choose accounting, however, you know you have a job before you hit senior year.

Accounting firms go after all accounting majors, offering well-paying internships across the country.

Nearly every large accounting firm guarantees a raise and promotion every year (given you aren’t an absolutely terrible worker).

That’s right; you're moving up the ladder and watching your salary go up every year.

I know several accountants anywhere from 10 to 30 years older than me, and all of them are very successful and enjoying life.

While I wish I could live that way now, I know the lifestyle is available to me if I work hard and continue on my current path.

I do work a lot, and it’s not the job children wish for growing up (I still want to be an entertainer).

But it's the job that can help you get what you want from life.

I still manage to have fun with the job, be creative, write articles, hang out with friends and work on personal endeavors.

As much as accounting stereotypes make the job seem negative, when you take a second look, you might see it's the one industry Millennials might actually be okay with.