German Business Students’ Career Aspirations in Accounting, Taxation & Finance and Their Relation to Personality Traits
53 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 1, 2018
We analyze the interrelation between personality traits and German business students’ propensity to select financial accounting, management accounting, tax accounting, or corporate finance as their major field of study, to seek a first job in one of these areas as well as their intention to pursue a professional examination in audit or tax. The study is based on a survey of 428 students from a German university. Personality traits are measured using the Big Five Inventory, commonly used in psychology and human resources. In contrast to prior studies, we differentiate between students in management, financial and tax accounting as well as finance. Our results indicate different personality traits for students interested in management accounting and corporate finance compared to those interested in financial and tax accounting. Particularly the latter exhibit higher scores in consciousness (i.e., ethical and responsible behavior) as well as lower scores in openness to experience (i.e., conservative values and judging in conventional terms) and neuroticism. However, effects are weaker for financial accounting students. With regard to the intention of a first job, financial accountants are closer to business students in general. Students interested in professional examinations display distinctive personality traits as well.
Keywords: accounting education, career paths, business administration, human resources, Big five inventory, Germany
JEL Classification: A29, G30, H20, M41, M42
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