John Wiley & Sons Inc.

03/06/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/06/2021 15:21

New Report from Wiley Identifies Skills Gap of Today's Accounting Students

Research Offers Insights for Firms to Motivate Learners and Help Them Succeed in Their Careers

Hoboken, NJ - March 3, 2021 - John Wiley and Sons Inc., a global leader in research and education, today released a research report detailing the skills gap of today's accounting students - uncovering a disconnect between what accounting firms are seeking and what skills learners believe they possess.

The report, Identifying Skills Gaps and Personality Strengths of Upcoming Accounting Cohort, indicates that 56 percent of the responding firms have difficulty finding candidates with the necessary soft skills. Specific skill gaps identified by the firms - communications, presentations, problem-solving, flexibility, and teamwork - are at odds with those identified by the students. Students are more concerned with their lack of high-level accounting knowledge or experience versus the everyday soft skills needed in the workforce. Students rated themselves higher in all soft skills than any of the knowledge and content-focused categories. Employers and students alike also identified the need to better develop core business skills in data strategies and analytics.

'We know the transition from education into the workplace is never easy, which is why the early identification and remediation of roadblocks, like skills gaps, is so critical,' said Renee Altier, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Business Education, and Careers at Wiley. 'Wiley is committed to helping learners be job-ready on day one as they start their careers. Through Wiley's unique relationships with higher education students, our core capabilities, and our partnerships, we are perfectly positioned to make a difference for the students we serve.'

Accordingly, bridging the skills gap early will not only help newly minted accounting professionals excel in their careers, but maximize the potential of future firm staff. Recommendations for managing the gap emerged in the following areas:

Professional Development: Investment in training around priority skills, such as Microsoft Excel®, data analytics, and communication, will help new graduates proactively close skills gaps. Establishing a clear long-term learning pathway with various skills and certification courses ensures employees can develop needed skills quickly.

Mentorship: Ensure the cohorts have stable study groups or mentor programs, even if they are external, to carry them through the challenging first professional year.

Motivation: These students value high standards, careful analysis, and diplomacy, and for these reasons, they may be resistant to change. Managers should check in frequently to monitor progress and demonstrate support for their employees' efforts, especially during these remote working environments.

Wiley is hosting a bi-annual Career Readiness Conference on March 25th from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm EST to help accounting and finance students hone essential career skills. Speakers will discuss the necessary skills identified by employers to help students differentiate themselves from the crowd. To help a broader community of students in the industry, Wiley has launched the Accounting and Finance Student Scholarship, which awards $1,000 to a new student every month.


Lauren Andrich, +1 201 748 5838
[email protected]

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