Forget the stereotypical bookkeeper, stuck behind a desk, tapping away on a calculator.

Today’s accountants solve financial puzzles. They build careers in management consulting. They audit not just taxes, but also corporate social responsibility initiatives. Accountants craft corporate and government budgets and help prosecute criminals. Sure, you still need to know your way around a spreadsheet, but you also need the people skills to work with clients and colleagues.

In booming economies or lean times, companies of all sizes and in all sectors of the economy, financial institutions, government agencies, and individuals always need accountants. Consider:

  • The Big 4 accounting firms recognize the skills and talents of UC Berkeley alumni: 142 work at PwC, 127 at Deloitte 104 at KPMG, and 126 at EY (Linkedin).
  • In the next 7 years, the demand for accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 13%, and to represent 1.4 million jobs by 2022 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • The average salary among the top 10% of people working in the field is $111,150 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • 64% of CFOs surveyed said it was “very or somewhat challenging” to find skilled job candidates (Robert Half).