June 2008

The largest number of accounting graduates in the 36 years that the American Institute of CPAs has been tracking this information was reported in its latest study. According to the AICPA’s 2008 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits, there were more than 64,000 students graduated with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in accounting, and 52 percent of them were female. This is 19 percent more graduates than was found in the previous report period, of the 2003‐04 school year.

Another 19 percent increase since 2004 was found in the number of students enrolled in accounting programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, up to more than 203,000.

The jump in numbers was attributed by the AICPA to the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act, which spotlighted the critical role of the accounting profession and also increased the hiring of new graduates by public accounting firms. According to the AICPA study, hiring by the firms in 2006‐ 07 rose 83 percent over the previous three years.

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