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September 13, 2010


Edith Orenstein

Very meaningful post, and postscript. Someone should share this with Paul Volcker, I thought he made a lot of sense when he served on ACAP and was critical of the lack of engineering majors interested in improving the infrastructure of this country, vs. financial engineers (not that we don't perhaps need both, but there was a shortage in one area, and an overflow in the other). This would also be of interest to the new AAA-AICPA committee addressing educational issues.


Thanks Edith. As we all give you credit for knowing where the levers are, there inside the Beltway, this will authorize you to use all your stroke with Volcker.

Dean Fuhrman

As time passes, my memory has faded, but nonetheless herewith: I do not think those comments vary substantially from those of my generation (graduated 1977 ... man that sounds so long ago).

Perhaps we were just cynical back then coming off of events (almost) rivaling today's in terms of lows for the country.


Perhaps I can offer a counter-insight to some of the views expressed here.

I am also part of a conservative Christian university environment, pursuing my masters' degree in accountancy. My undergraduate degree was in finance and most of my internship work before the accounting was in IT.

Currently I'm doing an international billing internship with a Big 4 firm. It's a lot of debits, credits, accruals, etc. I'm in the middle of recruiting season and could not be more excited about starting my career.

A notable difference from myself and accounting "majors" was that I had very little of the debit/credit work and was much more experienced on the IT side. As such, I was recruited into the masters' program to go after controls, systems weaknesses, etc.

It is entirely possible that some of the accounting student malaise is due to the fact that students are expected to unofficially start preparing themselves for recruitment at 19 with internships and coursework. I did something I was passionate about, then moved to accounting because it was a wonderful fit.


I don't know how to respond to this post.

I can lose the forest for the trees and note that accounting is steady, but low-paid in comparison to many higher-prestige and higher-pay finance jobs. If you really want a business career, many others have more to offer.

I could, conversely, get broader and note that choosing accounting as a career is almost always a pragmatist's choice. How many can actually call accounting a calling? I can't. After 15 years as an accountant, I can, with solid assurance, say I know of not one who can. Do something you love instead. You and society will be better off.


P.S. I have a lot of experience with grads from the thinly-veiled university of which you speak. In fact, I married one. While I applaud the university for keeping the game outcome in context with respect to the harsh realities of the historical significance of the date, I have to note that the university's homogenous student body probably doesn't help them develop the diverse attitudes and experiences that will be necessary to help the country heal from the wound of 9/11.

International internship

Every business, whether large or small, already established or just starting, successful or not,involves some kind of accounting.I can lose the forest for the trees and note that accounting is steady, but low-paid in comparison to many higher-prestige and higher-pay finance jobs. If you really want a business career, many others have more to offer.


This was an interesting post. I didn't realize that accountants faced these realities, though it does make sense now. Thanks for sharing and all the best!


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