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Accounting & Finance Careers in Canada

Students planning on a career in finance or accounting often graduate from commerce or business program. Finance and accounting professionals work in auditing or accounting firms, government, banks or other financial institutions, investment companies or securities-related businesses such as stock brokerages or any corporate environment.

According to Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) work prospects in these areas are fair to good. The most recent survey published by HRDC showed lower than average unemployment rates and higher than average earnings for people in these occupations.

HRDC advises that more than 90 percent of graduates from commerce and business programs were satisfied with their work, and more than 70 percent said they would make the same educational choice again. About 30 percent of graduates felt they were overqualified for their work, which is about average for all graduates, but almost 60 percent, slightly higher than average, thought their training directly matched the work they were doing.

Statistics showed that graduates in the area of auditing, accounting and investing did not change jobs frequently.

According to Canada's Best Career Guide, the number of accounting graduates is declining, which it suggests means there will be less competition for jobs. It also suggests, however, that large auditing/accounting firms are merging, which will result in the reduction of full-time employees. This said, the author Frank Feather -- reported to be Canada's leading business futurist -- still lists accountant/ auditor in the top 30 careers for 2000-2010, noting reasonably low (2 out of 5) stress levels and relatively high income (3 out of 5).

In the areas of banking and brokerage, Canada's Best Career Guide suggests that the old standard jobs, such as bank tellers and stock brokers, are disappearing. Automated services are eliminating jobs in those areas, which are being replaced by either broader skilled employees or more specialized positions.

Human Resources Development Canada seems to agree. HRDC noted that financial institutions are increasingly seeking professionals with a broad range of financial sector skills and that computerization increasingly affects these occupations: "With the re-engineering of the workplace, administrators with specialized skills in data or communications should be more successful in the labour market."

HRDC predicted that most of the increase in labour requirements in finance and accounting will occur in professional services, insurance and real estate and business service sectors.

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