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The accountancy sector has been rated the third most attractive to work for in the UK, according to a survey by specialist recruiters Randstad Financial & Professional.

The poll of over 9,000 people found that manufacturing and pharmaceutical are seen as the most attractive sectors to work in, followed closely by accounting.

The least favourable sectors to work in were business services, utilities, energy, transport and logistics, leisure and insurance.

Accountancy has gone up the ranks this year with 40% of those surveyed saying they perceived it as an attractive industry to work in, compared to just 32% last year.

Tara Ricks, MD of Randstad Financial & Professional, said the results were a sign of improving perceptions of financial services, likely as a result of economic recovery. She said:

“Accountancy was caught in the reputational crossfire aimed at the financial services industry in the wake of the downturn. Too often the general public lumped accountants and financial services together under the heading of “money men” and that did the sector no favours.

“But as the economy picks up and recession falls into the mists of time, people are waking up to what excellent careers the industry offers.”

The Financial Times said last week that the financial sector is still struggling to employ women and improve its gender balance.

A recent YouGov study has shown that 22% of women still cite the male-dominated culture as their main reason for not pursuing a career in financial services.

Photo by David Goehring