Survey: What was the salary at your first accounting job?

Author: Caleb Newquist

I imagine most people vividly remember their first job's salary. The feel of the paper it was printed on or the person who called with the news. But the number, number, comma, followed by three zeros that fell in line behind the dollar sign, that's the detail that trumps all. It's such a paramount moment in a young 20-something's life to get that first job out of college; I'd be surprised to meet someone who doesn't have a slew of memories about the events that led up to that first job offer. Sure, once the green washes off, it's easy to trivialize your giddiness about that first salary, but you can tell by reading the new hire threads that those kids are wet-their-pants excited.

Which is why we're sharing with you this story of a Notre Dame professor who's collecting data on first full-time positions for people who obtained accounting degrees.   

Her name is Jennifer Stevens and she is an Assistant Professor at University of Notre Dame's Mendoza School of Business. She claims to be "an accountant all the way" because she has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Miami University (OH), plus a Ph.D. in accounting from The Ohio State University.

After obtaining her master's she worked in fraud and forensic accounting for EY in Chicago. She then joined a boutique consulting firm, Alvarez & Marsal. Dr. Stevens says that she enjoyed the corporate world, but "I am glad I returned to academia. I absolutely love my job (and football season)."

And before you start, she doesn't get summers off, she spends them doing research. Which brings us to the survey. Dr. Stevens is interested in studying the labor market for accountants. She hopes to build on prior work done in labor economics and "investigate the unique complexities related to our profession."

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