The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants says more than 64,000 students graduated with accounting degrees in 2006-2007. As such, it marks the highest number of accounting degrees in more than three decades.
WebCPA credits Sarbanes-Oxley requirements with the jump, which represents a 19 percent increase from the AICPA's last survey, which covered the 2003-2004 school year:
Over 203,000 students enrolled in accounting programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, a 19 percent increase since 2004. The demands of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance have led to substantial hiring increases by public accounting firms, the primary employers of new graduates.
Specifically, hiring by public firms nearly doubled, jumping 83 percent. The survey also found that two-thirds of the firms participating plan to further increase their hiring in years to come.
And I'm sure the subprime lending fallout will also be a big motivator for upping accountant demand.