Making use of your accounting degree after college

Imagine working with rich and famous people or setting your own work schedule. Imagine traveling to exotic locales while working with some of the most well-known and established corporations, not to mention the opportunity to learn new languages. With an accounting degree, college graduates have a number options as it relates to the direction that their careers take after graduation.

Conventionally, the typical path of someone working in accounting begins with a bachelor’s degree. Common occupations for people with bachelor’s degrees in accounting are accounting clerks and assistants. Tax firms and accounting departments are also places where those with this degree can begin their career. At some point, those who wish to work as CPAs (certified public accountants) can take the certification exam after a year of employment. With this certification, more doors open for those with accounting degrees. In addition to public accounting, some of the fields that people might find themselves working in as CPAs are asset management, tax planning services, risk assessment and management, financial compliance, and performing internal reviews. Other popular fields include:

  • Forensic accounting, which involves the identification, investigation, and evaluation of financial crimes.
  • Auditing, which involves working with firms to ensure that the company’s financial records are in compliance. Internal auditors do the same job, except that they are hired by the company.
  • Loan officers work in banks and other financial institutions and are responsible for declining or accepting client loan applications.

If the person prefers to work independently, this certification also allows the person to be self-employed.

Like with most occupations, the more degrees and certifications that you have earned, the more money and opportunities become available. This is also the case for those working in accounting. Job opportunities for master’s of accounting graduates include moving into management or high-level positions such as CFO (Chief Financial Officer). In general, those high-profile, high-level positions require that the degree holder have an advanced degree and have years of work experience.

However, if the individual invests their time and money into an accounting degree and finds that at the end of their education, none of these fields are appealing, a number of unconventional opportunities for employment also exist. Some of the careers that accounting degree holders might find themselves attracted to are:

  • Environmental accounting: in this particular field, a person with a degree in accounting combined with science could work with businesses and government entities that need to comply with environmental law.
  • International accounting: if the prospective employee is bilingual, they might find themselves working in anyone of the above occupations but in an international locale. If you like to travel, then this would be a great opportunity.
  • Entertainment accounting: expertise in earnings and royalties in addition to the accounting degree will give the person entry into positions with video production companies, film studios, radio stations, television networks, and other organizations within the media.
  • Education and research: those with practical work experience might teach accounting as a part-time or full-time professor at a college.
  • Healthcare: degree holders would use their degree to oversee compliance mandates with health-care organizations.
  • Financial analyst: these are the people in the media who forecast and analyze current economic trends.

Those with degrees in accounting have many opportunities to use their education and expertise while working in a field that is not traditionally in the accounting area.

Regardless of the occupation, an accountant’s job responsibilities might be related to preparing profit and loss statements, setting account practices for new businesses, analyzing budgets and other financial information to determine where savings can be made, helping prepare budgets, and ensuring that businesses file their taxes. Because of these responsibilities, accountants are privy to very sensitive financial information regarding the agencies for whom they work. Ethical responsibilities related to the job include making sure that you always work within the law and never advising clients to do something illegal or unethical. At the same time, accountants are required to alert the authorities if something is amiss, which requires a certain amount of impartiality.

The degree gives those graduates seeking employment many avenues to go down when looking for a job. Because of the type of degree earned, a person can make both upward and lateral moves as it relates to mobility, so if the person decides that their original job aspirations are not working out, there is room for growth with this degree. Everyone, upon graduation, looks out toward their future in hopes of finding gratifying employment with opportunities for growth. Those graduates earning degrees in accounting can find themselves standing on a hill looking down on a sea of opportunity.

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