Purpose - The objective of this paper is to explore undergraduate students' self-efficacy of their generic skills in an attempt to identify whether a student's choice of a major in accounting develops these types of skills.
Design/methodology/approach - The present paper collected its data from a survey administered in September, 2007 to undergraduate students studying at an Australian university located in the nation's capital. The questionnaires were distributed to students who were enrolled in both a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. In these degrees, students can major in any business-related subject including business administration, human relations, finance, financial planning, and accounting. From a total response of 174 students, 165 students were identified as effective respondents.
Findings - The findings have indicated that accounting programs produce a limited impact on improving students' self-efficacy in relation to what is required in today's accounting profession. An improvement is found in one's self-efficacy of analytical skills only. Further analysis confirmedthat there are other stronger predictors such as job experiences and the native language of English, which will affect students' higher self-efficacy of generic skills.
Originality/value - This paper successfully contributes to the literature on students' self-efficacy by providing the first empirical evidence on the effect that an undergraduate accounting curriculum in Australia has on developing students' self-efficacy of generic skills. Tertiary educators, by revamping current accounting programs, will assist future graduates develop a full range of generic skills that are necessary for them to compete in today's competitive accounting environment.