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Wanted: Accounting Professors; Flexible Hours; Good Lifestyle

Here's a career option that offers a chance to stay involved with finance while limiting personal financial risk, gaining a degree of freedom rare in the corporate world (and still rarer in financial services), being a role model and making a difference: college accounting teacher.

A recent blog post on Going Concern outlines those upsides of working as an accounting professor, as stated by Brigham Young University Professor David Wood:

Every day is filled with exciting new challenges-from thinking about how to improve business through my research to trying to better communicate and reach students...

In the classroom, professors are role models to their students and teach students how to make the world a better place...

Not only do professors largely work when and where they want, but they also choose what they do...

I don't know any other career that offers the flexibility of academics without bearing substantial financial risk.

On that last point, professors' salaries obviously don't approach those of bankers, hedge fund managers, or even CPA firm partners. But the supply-demand balance appears attractive: academics and policy markers have long bemoaned a shortage of professors of accounting, and the financial crisis didn't seem to make much of a dent.

Aid is available for professionals to transition to academia. The AICPA Foundation administers a two-year-old Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program targeting current practicing auditors and tax accountants, backed by more than $17 million contributed by accounting firms and state CPA societies. The AICPA and at least three of the Big Four CPA firms also offer funding for minority group members to pursue doctoral study in accounting.

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AUTHORJon Jacobs Insider Comment
  • Jo
    Jon Jacobs
    7 May 2010

    djhanson,

    If by "opportunities for obtaining credentials" you mean special aid/incentives similar to those being waved in front of accountants to go into teaching, the short answer seems to be, "No."

    The areas you named are all hot: Job demand and stature of those quant skills within finance is enjoying what's likely to be a sustained upswing. But I've heard nothing about a shortage of people to teach those subjects at the academic level. Hence I'm not aware of any special incentives to draw people into teaching quant finance or risk management. I suppose the market demand (and high pay) those skills command is incentive enough for people to acquire the credentials, which of course can be utilized in both a university teaching role and private-sector work at the same time.

    What's more, teaching at the university level nearly always requires "the traditional PhD" - and that seems even more true for quantitative subjects than others. I've also noticed that the vast majority of financial job postings for quants specify a PhD as a requirement - even when the job says "junior quant" or "entry-level quant" or something like that.

    -Jon Jacobs, eFinancialCareers News staff

  • dj
    djhanson
    7 May 2010

    Any opportunities for obtaining credentials (other than the traditional PhD) to teach other quantitative areas of business, such as financial risk management, derivatives pricing, business statistics, or quant programming?

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