Opportunities in the Changing World of Accounting
by FRED M. OLIVER Partner, Salt Lake City Office
Presented before the Annual Initiation Banquet of Beta Alpha Psi Fraternity, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah—October 1965
THE IMPENDING CAREERS of college business students are being profoundly
influenced by a number of significant trends or forces in our rapidly changing world. The enormous increase in total knowledge, changes in the population complex, the unbounded growth in the education
process, all compounded by the vast technological revolution on which our country has now embarked, will have a resounding impact on your careers and your future lives. My hope is that we can usefully examine a number of these important factors for you tonight.
BASIC CHANGES IN OUR LIVES
Although our immediate concern may lie with those trends most evident in the academic and business world, there are a number of underlying
basic changes that will directly affect your lives as well as your business or accounting careers.
Increase in Man's Knowledge
About five years ago, a well-known physicist, Dr. Edward Teller, estimated that in each century since 1650 man has roughly doubled his knowledge of the world and of mankind. Just three days ago, in a lecture in Salt Lake City, Dr. James E. Russell, National Education Association official from Washington, D.C., said "the world's knowledge is now four times what it was when a college senior was born."
According to some further observations by Dr. Russell, expressed in terms of yourselves, in college today, knowledge will have doubled again when your children are entering school about ten years from now. If these ratios hold true, in twenty years, when your children are entering
high school, knowledge will again have doubled, and will then be sixteen times what it was when you were born.
By the time your grandchildren are in high school, knowledge will have expanded to thirty-two times what it was when you were a small child. This will mean that only three per cent of the total knowledge that will then be available was known to the world at the time you were born.