One bit of career advice I have always given job seekers is to do an analysis of current job ads to see which skills are most in demand by employers, and then to compare those skills with the job seeker’s own career history and expertise to see if any gaps need to be filled in.
Recently, Hunter Richards from SoftwareAdvice.com wrote to me offering an analysis of which software skills are most in demand for accountants. To determine what employers want, Mr. Richards looked at job ads from Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, CraigsList, Simply Hired, and Accounting Jobs Today.
I am happy to publicize his work because this is exactly the type of job skills analysis I recommend.
Here are some key points that Mr. Richards makes:
- If you don’t already know Excel, learn it. You have to know Excel if you want to land a job in accounting.
- SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, and Oracle are great accounting systems to learn early in your career because knowing those systems makes it easier to land other jobs later on.
- A key skill to acquire is business intelligence, meaning the ability to analyze financial data to uncover business trends and opportunities. Mr. Richards advises that you gain experience in Business Objects, Crystal Reports, and Cognos.
- Big corporations tend to use SAP and Oracle; mid-sized companies tend to use Sage and Microsoft Dynamics; small companies tend to use QuickBooks.
- Mr. Richards predicts that Oracle will shift their focus from PeopleSoft and JD Edwards to its Fusion apps.