Are We There Yet? Changing Perceptions of Accounting as a Career Preference

By Tracey Mc Dowall, Beverley Jackling and Riccardo Natoli.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Much has been written about student attitudes and perceptions of the accounting profession over the past decades. Similarly various efforts have been undertaken by accounting educators and professional accounting bodies to change negative perceptions of the profession. Efforts to improve the perception of the profession have been driven by evidence that demonstrates that perceptions are important in career choice. This study examines whether efforts to change perceptions have filtered down to secondary school students who are contemplating career choices. The study specifically examines perceptions of secondary school students about the accounting profession. The results at the secondary school level suggest that the stereotypical negative image of the accountant continues, with students expressing the view that the work of an accountant is boring and precise. However, the study showed that attitudes toward accounting differed significantly depending on whether or not students were studying accounting at secondary school. Overall, the results of the study suggest that we are ‘not there yet’ in terms of projecting positive and accurate perceptions of the accounting profession to a broad range of secondary students.

Keywords: Perceptions, Secondary School Students, Accounting Profession

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp.335-352. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.487MB).

Tracey Mc Dowall

Lecturer, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Prof. Beverley Jackling

Professor of Accounting, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Professor Beverley Jackling is Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at Victoria University, and a Professor of Accounting. Her primary research interests have included the educational aspects of business and accounting education. Beverley’s research has been informed by strongly established links with professional accounting bodies nationally and internationally.

Riccardo Natoli

Research Fellow, Accounting and Finance, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Riccardo Natoli, B.A., B.Bus. (Econ) (Hons), Ph.D., is a research fellow at the Financial Education Research Unit (FERU) at Victoria University, Melbourne. His research interests include financial education, financial literacy, human progress measurements and history of economic thought. His academic interests include philosophy and theology.


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