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Job Outlook for the Field of Forensic Accounting

The forensic accounting job growth rate in the United States between now and 2018 will be substantially higher than the national average for other jobs, according to the experts at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; however, not all of these jobs will be the same or require the same qualifications.

Find out the hard numbers on jobs in the forensic accounting arena, the facts on why this field is expanding so rapidly, plus tips on how to compete in the forensic accounting job market.

Forensic Accounting Job Growth

The projected rise in jobs sounds cheerful, but what does it really mean in terms of how many positions, and in what areas of the field?  Here are some numbers that will help you make concrete sense of the upcoming trends:

  • Between 2008 and 2018, experts predict the creation of 279,400 new accounting jobs in total, with forensic accounting as one of the top growth areas.
  • Many of these jobs will be in the private sector, as forensic accounting practices are adopted more widely outside of government agencies.
  • There are likely to be particularly high concentrations of new jobs among businesses that are expanding through globalization.

Why Forensic Accounting is an Expanding Field

There are a number of contributing factors driving the demand for forensic accountants in the private sector:

  • Changes in financial law.
  • New government regulations regarding corporations.
  • Stockholders demanding greater accountability from businesses.
  • Greater numbers of new companies, and existing companies hiring new employees, as the economy swings up over the next decade.

Competing in the Forensic Accounting Job Market

As the number of jobs increase, the visibility of this profession will rise, which means more qualified applicants competing to land positions.  There are steps you can take to stand out from the crowd -- both in terms of advanced training and in terms of niche specialization.

  • A CPA license opens many doors in this career, and it will help you advance more quickly, as it makes you more valuable during certain types of accounting processes, such as an internal audit.  Every state has its own licensing requirements for CPAs, which you can learn about from the American Institute of CPAs.
  • Developing management expertise, so that you can provide consultation and advice in addition to parsing and explaining data, will make you more useful to an employer and help you get attention during a job search.
  • Knowledge of accounting rules in the arena of international trade and mergers is expected to prove especially valuable for forensic accountants in the next decade.  Training in the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is a good place to start for this specialization.
  • A master’s degree in accounting, or in business administration with an accounting focus, will help you gain a job both through the “wow” factor of your qualifications and through the interpersonal networking with mentors that you will experience while earning your degree.

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