Accounting degree adds to career choices

24 May, 2023
Accounting degree adds to career choices

How can an Accounting degree boost your career options?

That was the key question explored at a recent event hosted by AUT Business School in collaboration with industry leaders and practitioners.  Their compelling anecdotes shed light on the role of soft skills, the influence of artificial intelligence (AI), and the importance of continuous learning.

The value of soft skills – effective communication, collaboration and problem solving – was given particular attention. While technical expertise is crucial, the combination of soft skills and business acumen paves the way for success in any industry. As Shailan Patel, Education Manager, MYOB, explained, soft skills give employees the ability to adapt to changing technologies and leverage AI as a tool for digesting vast amounts of information.

The potential of AI to revolutionise industries was another hot topic. Hannah Gillespie, Head of Strategy, Craigs Investment Partners, is an advocate for technology and digital solutions. She emphasised that AI has the power to collate information from across the globe, providing unparalleled access to data.

The panellists also highlighted the opportunities for efficiency and growth that AI presents, ultimately allowing professionals to allocate more time to serving clients and nurturing stakeholder relationships.

Despite its downsides – including the need for continuous learning and adaptation as new technologies emerge – the consensus was that AI brings positive changes to the sector.

The discussion also highlighted the importance of transferrable skills, with panellists encouraging students to embrace a mindset of lifelong learning. Peter Prema, Director, Direct Air Limited and a CA professional with over 10 years of experience in accounting, emphasised the importance of being business-minded and people-minded simultaneously.

AUT Business School students Jack Wang and Kaycee Intic brought a student perspective to the panel. They highlighted how extracurricular activities – such as joining a student-led club or attending events and networking functions – can foster personal growth and cultivate professional and social development. Jack and Kaycee said that by stepping outside their comfort zones and interacting with diverse individuals, students can simultaneously ground themselves and expand their horizons.

Based on audience feedback, the evening’s wide-ranging yet relevant discussions gave students and parents a deeper understanding of the multifaceted nature of career success and the skills necessary to thrive in an evolving world.

The event was a collaboration between MYOB, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), and the Institute of Finance Professionals NZ Inc (INFINZ) who, along with AUT, are passionate about the future career paths of Aotearoa’s rangatahi.

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