A study of business students and their attitudes toward accounting and other business areas of study at Virginia Polytechnic Institute

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute


This study is an investigation of certain background and attitude factors of junior and senior students in the College of Business at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. lts purpose is to identify the nature of the image which students have of the various areas of study and the departments associated with such araas. Particular emphasis is placed upon the accounting department and the field of accountancy.

Information was obtained by the use of a questionnaire. Responses were received from 89% of the junior and senior business students.

The responses show that students have formulated images of each area of study in the College of Business. The students imagine a dissimilar starting salary for graduating seniors, based on their field of endeavor. They imagine that the area that receives the greatest compensation requires the most work for degree completion. Further, they feel that accounting is such a field. Most students select an itinerary between one which requires the most work with concomitant compensation and one which requires the least; work with concomitant compensation.

At least 29% of the respondents, at one time or another, considered accounting as their preferred major. Yet, almost one-third of these students left accounting for other areas of study. These findings suggest that the accounting department loses students because of two problem areas: (1) the image of accounting, and (2) the method of teaching accounting.

Recommendations for improving the accounting image and accounting teaching methods are made in the final chapter of the thesis.