Two of the college majors that may continue to increase in demand from employers are accounting and nursing. Accounting will continue to increase in importance because first of all, new financial regulations continue to be enacted. Second, globalization is encouraging more and more organizations to establish international operations as well as go public. Third, IFRS is expected to become a global accounting standard and may even replace the U.S GAAP in the near future. Nursing will continue to increase in importance due to aging population not only in developed countries but even developing countries. In addition, nurses are increasingly being sought for services in non-hospital settings.
As one analyzes accounting and nursing majors, they have both similarities and differences. While accounting is primarily concerned with assessing the financial health of organizations and suggesting ways to improve it, nursing is concerned with assessing and taking care of human patients. While accounting is both art and science because organizations have leeway in accounting rules they may adopt, nursing has historically been mostly a science but art elements are finding their way into nursing profession. Nurses now take care of increasingly diverse patient groups who have different communication styles and nurses, thus, nurses require more soft skills than ever. While most accounting professionals are expected to hold at least an undergraduate degree, nursing professionals can start their career with just an associate degree though advanced academic credentials are recommended. While career pay for accountants may be higher over lifetime, nurses have probably higher job security. This is because nursing tasks are more difficult to outsource and nurses often require face-to-face interaction with patients they are providing services, too.
Both nursing and accounting majors will have ample overseas opportunities which should enhance their job security. Nursing majors will benefit from global aging population while accounting majors will specifically benefit due to single set of global financial accounting standards in the form of IFRS. In this regard, both accounting and nursing majors may need to learn some of the same soft skills such as communication and cross-cultural skills.
If it’s up to me, I will pick accounting major. First of all, I like business courses and especially analyzing financial statements. I am also attracted to accounting because it will enable me to have a better work-family balance. In addition, my overall lifetime income potential will also be greater as an accountant. Even though both professions are expected to grow, nurses are in greater supply than accountants. Accounting profession also fits in well with my long-term goal of opening my own asset management firm.
I am also attracted to accounting because career choices for accountants are wider in my opinion. Almost every profit and non-profit organization needs the services of accountants, thus, I can literally work in any industry. I am fascinated by investments and one of the most important skills for investors is financial statement analysis which accountants are particularly trained in. Once you become a good investor, there is no upper limit to income potential and I would like to donate money to education and health causes. I believe being an accountant will enable me accumulate far more financial resources than being a nurse over lifetime. I have respect for the nursing profession and their commitment to their work but my interests and skills are better suited to accounting profession.