An investigation into the relevance and sufficiency of third level accounting courses to career needs from the perspective of accounting employers.
This research was conducted with the aim of investigating the relevance of third level accounting education to accounting graduate roles and to determine its sufficiency in preparing graduates for the workplace, from the perspective of accounting employers, working in small to medium sized accounting firms within the Leinster region. The author of the research outlined three objectives to answer this question. The first objective was to investigate if third level accounting courses’ content is relevant and sufficient to prepare accounting students for the workplace from the employers’ perspectives, focusing primarily on the extent of knowledge covered. The second objective was to identify the skills and competencies employers feel are important for graduates to have to begin a career in accountancy and to identify existing shortcomings in graduates’ skills and competencies. The final objective was to obtain suggestions from the knowledgeable perspective of accounting employers, for the improvement of accounting students’ preparation for the workplace in college. The methodology chosen for this study was to conduct a research survey and administer questionnaires to a sample of forty-five accountancy firms in Dublin, Athlone, Kilkenny, Tullamore, Portlaoise and Birr. It was the author’s opinion that this choice of methodology would best answer the research objectives. The questionnaires were distributed to accounting employers or management within the accounting firms, in order to collect the qualitative primary data. This qualitative study would extract specific information from reliable and respected sources about the education and preparation of accountants for graduates’ roles in training firms.
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