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Accountants top list of most in-demand jobs


Rounding out the top three were IT project managers and office support professionals, according to recruitment agency Hays.

By Christine Chen 10 minute read

Accountants have emerged as the most in-demand professionals in 2024, beating out software developers, business analysts and engineers in recruitment agency Hays’ latest top 10 list.

Asia Pacific CEO Matthew Dickason said accountants shot to the “top of employers’ wish lists” due to a tight skills market and fewer students studying accounting degrees.

“We’re only eight weeks into the new calendar year, but it’s clear that certain skills are sought after more than others,” he said.

“These roles are at the top of employers’ wish lists, with the ongoing skills shortage amplifying existing attraction and retention challenges for organisations.”

While accounting professionals were sought after by employers across the board, those with intermediate-level skills and qualifications were the most in-demand, according to Hays.

Technical financial accountants and experienced management accountants were also highly regarded by employers, as well as assistant accountants, finance managers, accounts payable officers, and payroll officers.

“A decline in people undertaking an accounting degree is adding to the skills imbalance”, Hays said.

This reflected findings by CPA Australia that showed the number of students completing bachelor-level and above programs in accounting had almost halved in the decade to 2020 to just 2,278 a year, while students opting for banking and finance had risen 23 per cent.  

The recruitment agency, which compiled the list during the first months of the year as the “peak period for job searching”, said the 2024 recruitment market was very active and continued the trends observed in 2023 which saw an “incredibly tight” market with 88 per cent of employers experiencing a skills shortage.

Mr Dickason said: “We’ve seen a very active market so far. After the anticipated lull over the Christmas period, we witnessed a swift return to pre-Christmas levels of vacancy activity.”

“This year, some employers contacted us in early January to get the jump on competitors and secure strong talent. The first quarter of a calendar year is traditionally a peak period for job searching, so savvy employers know they can make strategic hires to lay the foundation for a strong year ahead.”

Hays, citing ANZ-Indeed Jobs Ads data which showed a 1.7 per cent month-on-month increase in job vacancies in January, said there was a growing need for skilled professionals to fill key roles across the country.

After accountants, employers valued IT project managers as organisations that embedded technology into their operations and office support professionals like executive assistants due to them not remaining in the job market for long.

Rounding out the top 10 were electricians and diesel mechanics, engineers, software developers, procurement specialists and communication specialists.

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Christine Chen

Christine Chen


Christine Chen is a graduate journalist at Accountants Daily and Accounting Times, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting sector.

Previously, Christine has written for City Hub, the South Sydney Herald and Honi Soit. She has also produced online content for LegalVision and completed internships at EY and Deloitte.

Christine has a commerce degree from the University of Western Australia and is studying a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Sydney. 

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