The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Identifying the future skills requirements to better prepare accounting graduates

Nadia Rhodes, University of Johannesburg (South Africa)



This paper reports on an investigation into the current practice in the finance industry in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). There is an ever-present need for further research into the dynamic workplace, 4IR and the future of accounting education. Research is needed into the alignment of the knowledge and skills in accounting education to continue to add value to the graduate employability attributes [5,7].  Emerging technologies, such as AI, are casting doubt into the roles that human workers will play in the near future [5]. It is therefore imperative that these roles and the applicable skills and knowledge are identified as soon as possible. Education needs to adapt to ensure that workers are prepared for the workplaces of the future. The 2019 impact study of the integration of ICT and accounting education highlighted the beneficial outcomes for the accounting graduates that had an ICT integrated course [1,2,4]. It is argued that the framework of the iterative cycles of design-based research is the best fit for this study [3]. The findings from interviews, being the first iterative cycle of DBR, with suppliers of accounting software programs and their associated business partners, alumni, recruitment agencies, a software engineer and an interface accounting software designer, will be presented. In conclusion, education will need to realign and evolve the accounting graduate’s knowledge, ICT skills and other critical skill sets at a pace that surpasses the evolution in the industry 4.0 world of work to enhance the graduate’s employability.

Keywords: Accounting, Education, ICT, 4IR, industry 4.0, Skills


[1] Rhodes, N. Rhodes, R. J. (2019). Enhancing Graduateness and Employability in Accounting Students Through the Integration of Information And Communication. Proceedings of EDULEARN 19 Conference 1st – 3rd July 2019. Palma, Mallorca, Spain.

[2] Rhodes, N. (2012).  Gateways to positioning information and communication technology in accounting education. South African Journal of Higher Education, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 300-316.

[3] Rhodes, N. (2015). Creating value in accounting education with a qualitative research methodology. Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 728-741.

[4] Rhodes, R. (2019) Evaluating the impact of integrating information and communication technologies in accounting education: a case study at the University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg: University of Johannesburg.

[5] Razali, F.A. Jusoh, M.A. Talib, S.L.A. Awang, A. (2022). The Impact of Industry 4.0 Towards Accounting Profession and Graduate’s Career Readiness: A Review of Literature. Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 7(7),e001624.

[6] Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Accounting Students’ Capability to Use Technology. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 247-267.

[7] Rhodes, N. (2019) Sustaining the Integration of ICT in Accounting Education. Conference Proceedings of The Future of Education 9th Edition 2019.

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