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Accounting Graduate Employment in Australia Report

Article from MacroBusiness about Deakin University report “Australian International Graduates and the Transition to Employment” related to accounting graduate employment and careers.


Accountants highlight 457 visa flaws.  Back in July controversy arose after it was revealed that the Abbott Government had chosen to keep accountants on a list of in-demand occupations for skilled migrants, going against the both the Department of Employment’s and the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency’s (AWPA) recommendations to remove accounting from this list due to significant labour surpluses and “deteriorating outcomes for graduates . . . relatively low pay rates for bachelor graduates and weak employment outcomes for masters graduates”.

It was understood that universities, which derive income from international accounting students, and two of the major accounting bodies, which charge foreign accountants fees for membership and ­evaluating qualifications for migration, supported keeping the occupation on the list.

The reasons are obvious: international accounting students are a cash cow for universities, ­making up a record 79% of the 17,600 enrolled postgraduate students in 2013, and some 55% of the 25,400 enrolled ­undergraduate students, according to The AFR….

… When added to the recently announced loosening of 457 visa requirements, the Abbott Government seems intent on making it systematically easier to import labour from offshore, while at the same time cynically tightening eligibility requirements for under-30s receiving unemployment benefits and raising university fees.

The Coalition’s approach will deprive Australia’s youth of employment opportunities, and is hardly a recipe for social cohesion….



….. Federal Labor member Kelvin Thomson said the “Coalition ­government should remove accounting from the Skilled Occupation List”.

“The government should also review the overseas student sector in ­conjunction with migrant worker ­programs, to cut the links that have developed between permanent ­residency, revenue-raising dependency by education providers, and reduced employment opportunities for young Australian graduates”…

The federal government said it would review the list early next year.


Related comments:

What expertise does Kelvin Thomson have except for liaising with Sustainable Population Australia, Bob Birrell and the US based, oxymoronically named group, Progressives for Immigration Reform PFIR, who according to Imagine 2050 are not very progressive:

What is So “Progressive” About Progressives for Immigration Reform? Um, Nothing.  FAIR front group Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR) is continuing to inject itself into mainstream political discourse.  The John Tanton Network of anti-immigrant groups has a long history of trying to hoodwink the public, so it comes as no surprise that they’ve started an organization of fake progressives. This lame-duck group just released a “study” on self-identified liberals and their feelings on immigration….’


Regarding career planning and employment:

‘Like most traditional occupations accounting is changing, like in the past it was IT, now it is digital both automating and producing rich MIS.  My advice to anyone who wants a career in accounting is to also study IT, and vice versa, if you work in IT, you must develop management skills. 

Unfortunately, if you cannot supervise or manage in IT, you will not progress very far…… and will be competing at the bottom or middle of the pile…..

Related, if all the international accounting graduates are not at optimal competence or skill level for the workforce, then nobody will employ them, then what is the threat to Australian graduates (especially as employers say not worth employing internationals)?

My understanding is that if an international cannot gain enough experience after graduation, they are not eligible to apply for residency, and must return home.  Nonetheless, with unemployment and under employment being present, most reports do not look ahead to medium long term….. baby boomer bomb whose cohort has started to retire, and will continue……. workforce planning is not an exact science.

Further, I don’t fall for the ‘immigration = unemployment’ line, it’s been around for centuries, the ‘powers that be’ playing off locals against newcomers……. However, begs the question, not just in accounting, but also other occupations such as hospitality, retail etc. (vs blue collar e.g. mining, construction etc.), where are the unions supporting conditions and wages?


For more information about accounting occupation career employment outlook in Australia click through.

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