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Revisiting hiring decisions by public accounting: the impact of educational path, age and gender

Advances in Accounting Education

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1458-4, eISBN: 978-1-84950-519-2

Publication date: 27 June 2008


Changes in the public accounting labor market and accounting student demographics motivate updating our understanding of the student profile most attractive to CPA firm recruiters. In this exploratory study, public accounting assurance recruiters evaluated hypothetical job candidates with varying educational path, age and gender. We investigated whether accounting courses taken in a non-degree or post-baccalaureate certificate programs are valued differently than the same courses taken through a degree program. We also studied the effect of age and gender on recruiter decision-making. Our results indicate a recruiter preference for Master in Accounting and Management Information System degrees, and the post-baccalaureate certificate was not valued any differently from a bachelor's degree. Although gender appeared to have no effect on the recruiting decision, older students appeared to be assessed less favorably on some dimensions than their younger counterparts. These results are important to both accounting program administrators and students for the insights they provide into program design and counseling.


Dreike Almer, E. and Christensen, A.L. (2008), "Revisiting hiring decisions by public accounting: the impact of educational path, age and gender", Schwartz, B.N. and Catanach, A.H. (Ed.) Advances in Accounting Education (Advances in Accounting Education, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 77-94.



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