Cindy Guthrie

Bucknell Ranked 18th Among Private Colleges for Accounting Salaries

May 19, 2023

by Mike Ferlazzo

Cindy Guthrie, interim dean of the Freeman College of Management, teaches accounting. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications

Bucknell University ranks 18th among private colleges nationally for accounting salaries, according to a ranking compiled by the Burning Glass Institute, a nonprofit that researches employment trends, published recently in The Wall Street Journal.

A Bucknell-educated accountant, with an average salary of $77,736 over the first 10 years of his or her career, earns about $10,000 more per year than the median graduate working in accounting, who had an average annual salary of $67,717.

"We have developed a program that prepares our accounting graduates well to enter the profession with the knowledge and course requirements to pass the CPA exam and excel in the field. In contrast to those in many other undergraduate programs, our accounting majors are able to launch into careers without first completing graduate school," says Cindy Guthrie, interim dean of the Freeman College of Management. "One of the most important things to students is the quality of the education that they'll receive, and whether their degree will translate into meaningful post-graduate employment. Our accounting graduates are not only employed but are also receiving exceptional compensation."

The rankings are determined by a Burning Glass Institute analysis of experience and pay data from Lightcast, a labor-market data firm; and Glassdoor, a company-ratings website. To filter for graduates working in accounting, the Burning Glass Institute analyzed only the roles relevant to the profession as classified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Standard Occupational Classification codes and the U.S. Census Bureau's North American Industry Classification System.

Among the 78 accounting & financial management graduates from the Class of 2021, 77 responded to Bucknell's post-graduation survey and 72 reported being employed within nine months of graduation, with four going on to graduate school/continuing education, and one more listing "other." Most of these graduates were employed by the nation's top accounting firms.

Two years ago, Bucknell's Freeman College of Management was named the nation's top business school where students get their desired post-graduation jobs by Poets&Quants for Undergrads, a leading news website dedicated to the coverage of undergraduate business education. A perfect 100% of Bucknell's Freeman College Class of 2018 graduates who responded to the Poets&Quants alumni survey reported landing their first jobs in a desired industry.