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Accounting

What can I do with this major?

Area

Employer

Information/Strategies

Public Accounting

   
  • Auditing/assurance Services
  • Tax
  • Environmental Accounting
  • Forensic/Investigative Accounting
  • International Accounting
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Public Accounting Firms:
    • Large, multinational
    • Regional
    • Local
  • Sole practitioners
  • Public accounting firms hire candidates who meet the educational requirements for sitting for the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam: 150 hours of education including 24 hours of accounting, i.e. the equivalent of an undergraguate degree in accounting.
  • State laws govern the practice of accountancy and specify the requirements to be eligible to sit for the CPA exam. In most states, the State Board of Accountancy has a website that outlines those requirements.

Corporate Accounting

  • Financial Management
  • Financial Reporting
  • Internal Auditing
  • Cost Accounting
  • Tax Planning
  • Budget Analysis
  • Companies of all sizes, in all industries
Many managers in corporate settings obtain an MBA degree after several years of work experience.

Government

   
  • Auditing
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financial Management
  • Budget Analysis
  • Research

 

Federal agencies and departments including:
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Department of Treasury
  • General Accounting Office
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Securities Exchange Commision
  • State and local agencies
  • Complete an internship in a government agency.
  • Become familiar with the government application process.
  • Accounting is a "hot area" in government hiring and many opportunities exist in the public sector.

Education

  • Teaching
  • Researching
  • Consulting
  • Universities and colleges
  • A Ph.D. in Accounting or a DBA, Doctorate in Business Administration, in accounting is generally required.
  • Maintain a high g.p.a. and secure strong faculty recommendations for admittance into graduate school.

Non-Profit

  • Accounting
  • Internal Audit
  • Financial Planning
  • Budgeting
  • Money Handling
  • Record Keeping
  • Social service agencies and organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Public school systems
  • Universities and colleges
  • Religious organizations
  • Libraries and museums
  • Political parties
  • Labor unions
  • Volunteer at non-profit organizations and build a network of contacts in the non-profit sector.

General Information and Strategies

  • Earn good grades. Grades are an indicator of technical competence in accounting and of a person's work ethic.
  • Potential employers place a big emphasis on strong interpersonal skills. Demonstrate these skills by having a well-rounded background.
  • Actively participate in student organizations to develop leadership skills.
  • Develop excellent computer skills.
  • Learn to work well within a team.
  • Develop strong communication skills.
  • Gain work experience and learn information about careers through internships. Consider completing internships in the spring semster, not just summer term.
  • Join Beta Alpha Psi, the honorary fraternity for accounting and finance information professionals, to gain knowledge about the accounting profession.
  • Certifications available through the Institute of Internal Auditors or the Institute of Management Accountants may increase job marketability in some areas of accounting.
  • Accounting students should develop their analytical, critical-thinking and problem solving skills. Develop high ethical standards.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail are important traits for accountants.
  • Accounting is a versatile degree. Students who graduate with a major in accounting may find jobs in many areas of business including: banking, financial planning, sales, production management, client management, product development, procurement, and general management.

Last modified: Oct 20, 2011

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