Factors influencing the career choice of accounting students: A New Zealand study

Authors: Susan Jackman and Adam Hollingworth

Abstract: There is growing concern amongst the accounting profession for the falling numbers of new entrants both in New Zealand and overseas (Marshall, 2002; Felton, 1994). This study examines the factors that influence students when choosing a career.

A survey was sent to high school accounting students in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was found that accounting students who intend to study accounting after leaving school do not have different preferences or influencing factors from those who do not intend to study accounting further. All students placed a high level of importance on long term career factors such as the future availability of employment and long term career and advancement opportunities. Significant differences were found between males and females in the importance placed on a future job’s contribution to society and the level of ethics associated with a job. In addition, evidence of a continuing gender and ethnic imbalance in the accounting profession was found.