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Engineering Career Vs Accounting Degree

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  • Jan 20th, 2019 2:32 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2009
60 posts
Brampton
How will the industry be for Accountants and Engineers in the future?
Thx In Advance
Banned
Jun 19, 2006
9349 posts
53 upvotes
Starrup wrote:
May 13th, 2009 7:50 pm
How will the industry be for Accountants and Engineers in the future?
Thx In Advance
Very bright for engineers I think in North America. There's a confluence of factors that will make this so:

a) The need to extensively repair/replace/augment the vast majority of infrastructure across almost all categories of infrastructure just to maintain such at current levels of service:

* roads, bridges, sewers
* electrical power production and distribution (most North American power plants are on the verge of physical obsolescence).
* communications, ie: the Internet, and wireless systems.

b) The need to produce more engineered goods and services domestically, the result of greater foreign demand, and to eliminate and repay the trade debt that has been accumulated over time.

* substantially more additional electrical power will be required to run such factories.
* modern manufacturing is far more engineering-intensive than in the past.

c) The need to deal with declining hydrocarbon production due to depletion and global warming.

* substantially more engineering involved in unconventional energy production;
* substantially more engineering involved in advanced technologies relating to the use of energy;
* substantially more engineering involved in utilizing dwindling sources of conventional energy.

d) The need to deal with a declining general labour pool, the result of demographic trends.

* more automation in factories and in retail;
* heavier reliance on communications networks to facilitate a greater amount of 'working from home' to bring more people into the workforce.

e) The need to deal with much more stringent environmental regulatory regimes; ie: its no longer socially acceptable to dump waste into the air/water.

* extensive use of highly engineered systems required.
* additional utilization of engineers to monitor and optimize such systems for efficiency, economical operation, and performance.

f) The insatiable desire of people globally to attain higher living standards, or at least, in some parts of the world, maintain them:

* The majority of the world's population does not have access to clean drinking water.
* One airplane trip to Mexico may very well use more fuel in the span of a few hours, per seat, than more than half the world's population uses in a lifetime.
* At current rates of depletion, many southern US cities will not have adequate water supplies within the next decade.

g) A pipeline of present and future engineers that is extremely impaired demographically by retirements, long term under-production due to inadequate short-term compensation, a poor education system that has de-emphasized science/mathematics, and poor, if not almost non-existent knowledge transfer, especially in certain sectors (aerospace/nuclear come immediately to mind).

h) A rapidly growing public mistrust of people with financial credentials due to the financial crash that has been unfolding over the past decade (or longer) will see the public demanding more engineers in public and private leadership positions.

So, basically, an extremely bright future that should see engineers return to levels of compensation that have been historically similar to that of doctors, dentists, and somewhat above lawyers, accountants, and other professionals.
"I worked with several H1B employees that were/are borderline ********. One of them wanted to spray an electrical patch panel with solvent to see if it would make the “network go faster”". <--- lol (source)
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2009
60 posts
Brampton
Engineering does seem to have a bright future.
What about Accountants?
Jr. Member
Nov 11, 2008
117 posts
1 upvote
Starrup wrote:
May 13th, 2009 8:46 pm
Engineering does seem to have a bright future.
What about Accountants?
Well, the more roads that have to be built, and really, a general increase in any kind of government spending will require hundreds of more accountants.
Member
Apr 19, 2009
271 posts
2 upvotes
accountants with DESIGNATIONS will ALWAYS be needed. its the core of every business. even though there is an influx of people studying accounting, only a fraction would attain a designation. i highly doubt there be too much saturation in the market. getting a accounting degree is one thing but getting a designation is another. the question should be whether the average salary would remain the same or higher in 5-10 years time.
Sr. Member
Sep 16, 2008
725 posts
16 upvotes
aac85 wrote:
May 14th, 2009 1:27 am
accountants with DESIGNATIONS will ALWAYS be needed. its the core of every business. even though there is an influx of people studying accounting, only a fraction would attain a designation. i highly doubt there be too much saturation in the market. getting a accounting degree is one thing but getting a designation is another. the question should be whether the average salary would remain the same or higher in 5-10 years time.
Surprisingly, the average salaries for designated accountants in Canada are inflated compared to the U.S. considering there are almost twice as many designated accountants in Canada.

Number of designated accountants in the U.S.
CPAs ---------> 667,000 (2006 estimate)
CMAs---------> 20,000 (2008 estimate)

Number of designated in Canada
CAs----------> 70,000
CMAs--------> 50,000
CGAs--------> 48,000
Sr. Member
Sep 16, 2008
725 posts
16 upvotes
aac85 wrote:
May 14th, 2009 1:27 am
accountants with DESIGNATIONS will ALWAYS be needed. its the core of every business. even though there is an influx of people studying accounting, only a fraction would attain a designation. i highly doubt there be too much saturation in the market. getting a accounting degree is one thing but getting a designation is another. the question should be whether the average salary would remain the same or higher in 5-10 years time.
Here is the problem.....you can't compare the salaries of designated accountants to that of your average engineer.

In order to be fair, we should compare average salaries of all designated accountants (not just CAs) to the that of a P.Eng.
Jr. Member
May 26, 2008
129 posts
18 upvotes
Toronto
hugh chung wrote:
May 13th, 2009 5:02 pm
I am an engineer... I am wearing sandals, cargo shorts and a hawaii shirt today... dont think there is a dress code, we need to be comfortable to do our jobs.
wow i can't believe ppl r actually arguing about this...wat's so wrong with wearing suits etc :S

u will always have to dress up for your work...if u wanna be really casual then just look for a job that lets you work from home or sumthin...
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
6678 posts
1013 upvotes
Toronto
I would speculate that generally a person with an engineering degree will be more insightful WRT a person with an accounting degree.

I do not know sh*t all about accounting, but I know that the zen of engineering is about balancing the trade off between; cost, performance, and reliability. It is not about following rules and regulations dreamed up by a Bureaucrat, you follow the rules of physics which is dreamed up by God.

If you are a creative person then go into engineering because you have a real opportunity to create things. If you are not creative, then engineering or accounting will make no difference because in either case you will likely just do calculations all day to meet objectives that someone else dreamed up, your only stake is your paycheck.

Regards,

Alan To
I workout to get big so I can pickup bricks and ****.
Banned
Jun 19, 2006
9349 posts
53 upvotes
dandy2008 wrote:
May 14th, 2009 8:15 am
Here is the problem.....you can't compare the salaries of designated accountants to that of your average engineer.

In order to be fair, we should compare average salaries of all designated accountants (not just CAs) to the that of a P.Eng.
Not everyone who is an engineer is also a P.Eng.; in some disciplines, the number of people who become P.Eng's is notoriously low. Traditionally, the non-P.Eng. jobs have been some of the highest paying as well.

Also, lots of people practicing in the overall accounting realm, with, for instance, CGA designations, don't have university degrees, just as, I would submit, many people engaged in engineering activities don't have engineering degrees, but are rather, technologists.

Its really hard to make direct comparisons, although comparing a CA to a P.Eng., probably is reasonably appropriate if you want to compare professionals with similar stature in their professions.

As for the future of accounting, I suspect it will be less susceptible to the downturn, overall, than pure finance. Once manufacturing ramps back up, accountants displaced from the financial industry definitely will be very much needed for tasks such as supply chain management, inventory management, and to some extend, project and logistical management. Accountants have useful, transferrable skills which would be useful in a more engineering-centric world, most definitely, where attention to accuracy and detail is a requirement.
"I worked with several H1B employees that were/are borderline ********. One of them wanted to spray an electrical patch panel with solvent to see if it would make the “network go faster”". <--- lol (source)
Member
Mar 4, 2007
385 posts
27 upvotes
Calgary
I'll give my 2 cents...

All my best friends and brother are Engineers here in Alberta and when I was going to school with them they had by far the worst lives. They couldn't go out at all during the school year and were working hard pretty much after the second week into the semester. But just remember the semester only lasts 3-4 months.

It has paid off for them since they graduated and they were enjoying their lives immensely till the Bubble burst last year. Most of them graduated between 2006-2008 years. Their starting salaries ranged from $42K to $74K. But all of them got upto atleast $74K within a year or two and a couple of them reached earnings over $120K/yr. However, now these guys are in a little bit of panic as there are not too many projects going on at the moment here in Alberta and they are in a state of uncertainty about their employments. Some have even taken paycuts!

I still think you are far better off(financially, stability wise) being an Engineer in the long run than just a regular Accountant. But don't just do it for the money, try to find out which profession you will dislike the least because honestly at the end of the day no one wants to actually have to work for a living :}

Also, being an Engineer doesnt mean you're better than other people like some people hint at on these forums. I know plenty of Engineers who have no social skills, common sense and other traits which makes a person a well rounded individual.
Banned
Jun 19, 2006
9349 posts
53 upvotes
Siralex wrote:
May 14th, 2009 12:17 pm
I still think you are far better off(financially, stability wise) being an Engineer in the long run than just a regular Accountant. But don't just do it for the money, try to find out which profession you will dislike the least because honestly at the end of the day no one wants to actually have to work for a living :}
Yeah, just to add, engineers have the advantage of, in many cases, earning counter-cyclical income. In other words, since engineers are the first to be hired to develop a project/design a factory/rebuild an economy, they are in a unique position of being able to use their earnings to buy things at relative bargains, ie: investments, houses, etc., that are being liquidated as the result of a cyclical economic downturn.

Engineering employment does seem to taper off at the end of a long economic expansion cycle, compared to other professions though. But this isn't a huge problem, as most assets, by then, are massively overvalued and not worth buying anyways, especially on credit.

Another thing to point out is that 'engineers' would seem to be far more bifurcated along disciplines than CA's. MechE/CivilE/ChemE/GeoE/PetroE/MiningE have done very well over the past few years, especially in Alberta. ElecE/CompE have performed very poorly (lowest average salaries of any discipline, massive job losses and unemployment). I'm not so sure that Accountants have so much trouble moving between different functions (ie: audit, to corporate finance) within their overall profession, but if anyone wants to enlighten me??
I know plenty of Engineers who have no social skills, common sense and other traits which makes a person a well rounded individual.
And I know plenty of Accountants for which the same could be said. For instance, the 'perpetual growth in finance can keep us alive' crowd, or the 'lets pay long-term employees short-term rates and pray that they'll stick around' crowd, a total lack of common sense there too :) . Or the, heaven forbid, "lets go take out an overnight loan to finance an asset that we'll be paying on for the next 40 years" people, lol.
"I worked with several H1B employees that were/are borderline ********. One of them wanted to spray an electrical patch panel with solvent to see if it would make the “network go faster”". <--- lol (source)
Sr. Member
User avatar
May 19, 2008
530 posts
6 upvotes
Wherever my job take…
I'm not exactly sure how we can compare Accounting to Engineering. Both fields require a different educational background.

I know that right now, accounting and commerce graduates are having a terribly difficult time obtaining work. My colleagues are working as volunteers for Bell to get some industry exposure. They finished commerce degrees with specializations in accounting. There are jobs paying $10/hr for them to do paper pushing and mundane number crunching.

Also, engineering degrees offer transferable skill sets. You can work in software, finance, marketing, business or IT if engineering slows down. If you excel in engineering studies, there is always an opportunity to obtain a concurrent degree with medicine, law or business.

Engineering offers endless possibilities to those who take advantage of their time at school. Contrary to popular belief, companies do look at your grades, work experiences.
Sr. Member
Apr 27, 2008
726 posts
19 upvotes
mike24 wrote:
May 14th, 2009 1:30 pm
If you excel in engineering studies, there is always an opportunity to obtain a concurrent degree with medicine, law or business.
If you excel in commerce studies, there is also always an opportunity to obtain a concurrent degree with medicine, law, or MBA.

The point is that, it is much more difficult to get a high GPA in engineering studies, as compared to commerce. For the same amount of effort, it's possible that one can get a 3.5+ in commerce while only achieving a B-/C+ in engineering. I know of many people, bright students back in high school, who got screwed by engineering so badly that they had trouble switching out to even general arts program. Putting a bunch of smart, high-achieving high school graduates in the same program has one unavoidable effect: someone has to be at the receiving end of those C's and D's thanks to the bell-curves!

Not to mention the quality of university life in commerce is far superior to that in engineering. Being successful isn't only about marks and degrees; it's also about the networks and connections you make throughout your lifetime. Being in commerce gives you that edge that most geeky engineers do not possess.

If your ultimate goal is to do medicine / law, then you're doing yourself a disservice by getting your bachelor's in engineering. Much better to choose an easier major (eg. commerce) where you have a much bigger chance to excel in, enjoy your undergrad years and not get burnt out, and then apply to medicine / law with a stellar GPA and extracurricular activities record.
Member
Apr 19, 2009
271 posts
2 upvotes
kind of off topic...

but sardaukar, you can't compare high school smarts with university. i think its a joke when i keep hearing people have 90+ avg in high school and failing miserably in university. no offense to those still in high school....but there is such a wide discrepancy in standards and grade inflation across the country. i seriously doubt high school grades would be a consistent indicator of post-secondary successes.

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