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Accounting & Finance Jobs in Grant Accounting are Growing

It’s easy to view the job market as a singular entity. People will say that “the job market is down, unemployment is up, businesses aren’t hiring.” Broad trends can be useful, but they can ignore the fact that certain segments of the job market grow robustly even in a downturn. Today, I’m blogging about accounting and finance jobs in grant accounting and management, a segment of the job market that is hot even as the broad contours of the job market remain in a bit of a chill.

The Job Market for Accounting & Finance Pros with Grant Experience is Hot

Demand is high right now for Accounting and Finance professionals with grants experience. Increasingly, the government and other actors are pushing to confront social challenges by offering competitive grants to non-profit organizations. For example, the federal government recently awarded $4.35 billion dollars in Race to the Top funds. These funds will help state and local governments and non-profits work toward improving America’s public education system, but these funds have strings attached.

Accounting and finance people are needed to navigate the intricate reporting and administrative requirements. This need is made more urgent as we see more money become available in the form of restricted grants and a growing complexity of government reporting and compliance obligations. Non-profits really need folks that understand what it takes to fulfill these reporting requirements, meet deadlines, manage award documents, and provide expert advice and execution in this specialized field.

The Talent Pool Does not Currently Match the Demand

Right now, non-profit organizations are unable to find a sufficient number of job candidates with the right experience and expertise. This stems from the rapid growth in this type of work and its fairly specialized nature. What does this mean to you the job candidate? I would offer two pieces of advice. First, leverage this experience if you already have it. Second, consider acquiring this type of experience if you are seriously interested in considering the non-profit sector.

Leveraging and Developing Accounting and Finance Grant Accounting Experience

Leveraging this type of skill set is a common sense thing to do if you are interested in this work and working environment. It is a niche skill set that provides some extra job security and a clear career path. It can be very satisfying, particularly given all the recent disruptions in the economy, to combine challenging work today with a clear career path for the future.

What about job candidates that are interested but lacking experience? The job market in this space is growing and creating avenues for entry. Perhaps you haven’t managed grants directly, but you have worked for a public accounting firm and have A-133 audit experience. You have great experience with complex billing or allocating and tracking expenditures. Perhaps you have experience in the non-profit sector generally. You can use these experiences to move into a role handling the other side of grant administration.

Work with a Recruiter to Learn More about these Emerging Job Markets

It’s easy to hear the bad news about the job market and economy and apply those trends to the entire marketplace. Yet, there is growth out there in certain industries and jobs. Grant administration and accounting are two of the hot spots during a cold stretch in the economy. While I would never push a job candidate toward a market just because it is hot, I would urge job candidates to think about this market if they have applicable or related experience and enthusiasm for work in the non-profit sector.