A Study of the Scarcity of Qualified Applications for Governmental Accounting Positions

A Study of the Scarcity of Qualified Applications for Governmental Accounting Positions

Author: 
Renée Christine Sinclair
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
The purpose of this qualitative exploratory case study was to investigate the reasons why there are an insufficient number of qualified applicants for governmental professional accounting positions. The 2014-2015 curriculum catalogs of four-year colleges and universities were examined to determine if governmental accounting courses were offered as part of the business administration degree programs. Twenty past and current post-secondary business administration students were interviewed to collect data about their educational experiences and their perceptions of careers in governmental service. The data were triangulated using NVivo 10® qualitative analysis software to identify significant patterns. The five significant patterns identified were: a) scarcity of governmental accounting courses, b) no discussion of governmental accounting as a career, c) compensation and job stability most considered factors, d) negative perceptions of a career in governmental service and e) state and local government human resources personnel need to be active in campus recruitment activities. The analyses revealed postsecondary business administration students are not aware of the opportunities in governmental accounting careers. Therefore, findings and recommendations from this research will enable state and local governmental human resources personnel to develop recruitment activities to increase the number of qualified applicants for governmental professional accounting positions.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to the one true living God, Jesus Christ, and to my husband, Michael, who have significantly defined my life by transforming me into who I am today. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has enabled me to endure through trials and tribulations; He has sustained me and He has proven I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I am extremely thankful and blessed to be a child of God. Michael has encouraged me throughout my educational journey, sacrificing significant periods of time when I was fully focused on completing this study. His unfailing love, support, and unwavering belief in my ability to achieve this significant milestone will never be forgotten. This dissertation is also dedicated to the memory of my father, Blair Armitage, and the memory of my grandmother, Isabella Blair Armitage. When told he should not pursue a career in education due to irreversible damage to his vision, my father changed majors to mechanics, completed a bachelor degree, and designed and patented soft wood sawmill equipment. My grandmother returned to college three times to complete the necessary coursework to continue her profession as a third grade teacher as the requirements to teach K-12 students evolved beginning with certification in 1920 and culminating in a bachelor degree in 1950. Without their unyielding belief in the importance of education, I would have never begun this journey. I only wish they were here to see me complete this terminal degree.
Acknowledgements: 
This dissertation would not have been completed without the guidance and support of my committee. I gratefully acknowledge my mentor and chair Dr. Julie Overbey. Thank you for stepping in mid-way in my doctoral journey and being willing to work with me outside of class. Your expertise and guidance was invaluable as I worked through the various challenges of completing my study and dissertation. I also gratefully acknowledge my committee members Dr. Julie Ballaro and Dr. William Hettinger. Thank you for your valuable time, guidance, words of encouragement, suggestions and insight throughout the past three years. I want to also acknowledge some very special instructors who were instrumental in my successful completion of this program: Dr. Francis Wardle, Dr. Marla Kelsey, and Dr. Sandra Kolberg. These three instructors, each of whom facilitated the first year, second year, and third year residencies respectively, provided detailed, clear and constructive guidance for completion of the dissertation according to the recommended schedule. Because of their strong recommendations regarding completion of the various phases of the proposal and dissertation I was able to maintain forward progress in spite of disruptions caused by events outside of my control. To my children, Matthew and Stephanie, thank you for your support and encouragement throughout this journey. Your patience and understanding as I worked on and completed my seemingly never-ending graduate and terminal degree programs is greatly appreciated.