Young Accountants Want Dynamic Careers

The young finance professional of the 21st century has a confident and clear vision of their career progression, demands job security and is motivated by money, finds new research from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and Mercer, the human resource consultancy.


The research – called "Generation Y: Realising the potential" - shows a generation of young finance professionals seeking aspirational and dynamic career paths, both inside and outside traditional mainstream finance careers.


It presents a wake up call to employers of finance professionals to embrace the career aspirations of the youngest generation and offer dynamic career routes that capitalise on their finance skills, or risk losing future talent.


Over 3,200 individuals responded to the research, from 122 countries around the world, making this one of the biggest ever studies of the youngest generation presently in the workforce. Leading global organisations were also interviewed to provide unique insights into managing this generation effectively, including RSM Tenon, Santander, UK Government Finance Profession, Pannell Kerr Forster, Hays, Aviva, KPMG, Unilever and the UK’s National Health Service.


While the survey reports that most Gen Y finance professionals suggest they are satisfied with their current role, concerns are expressed regarding the future, with half suggesting their organisation is not able to offer them sufficient career development opportunities.


The research also reveals that remuneration is important to this age group and they seek out competitive packages. But they also want a good contractual  package – they want money, work-life balance, and they want to work for an attractive brand that reflects their own values.


Employers and Gen Y themselves see experiential learning as key to developing the skills required of today’s finance professional. Interestingly, face-to-face learning still resonates with this generation and they are less reliant on e-learning than may have been  previously thought. Thus, organisations need to develop a wide range of learning opportunities to engage this generation successfully.


The study urges employers to put career development at the heart of their proposition to make them attractive to Generation Y. Contrary to popular perception, the survey shows this is a generation who value job security but are prepared to leave if career promises are not fulfilled.

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