Choosing a career path is one of the most challenging choices you might have to make in your life. You have to look into a myriad of factors before opting for a specific degree program-for instance, your interests, demand in the market, and possible benefits for you.
Undoubtedly, accounting is one of the most famous, in-demand, and remunerative degree programs out there. The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) predicts that accounting jobs will grow by almost 10% by 2026.
However, it is imperative to understand that a career in accounting is not for everyone. Becoming an accountant requires enjoying numbers and technology, being a good communicator, and being an even better leader.
If you wonder whether accounting is the right fit for you or not, ask yourself these questions.
1. Is Accounting a Suitable Degree For Me?
The demand for accounting graduates is skyrocketing. And hence, pursuing a degree in accounting would be an intelligent move especially considering all the benefits you could get. It could provide you with career stability, carry excessively high earning potential and teach you transferrable skills. You also can partake in graduate schemes and training programs and work in different industries.
However, an accounting degree requires determination, constant concentration, and a lot of hard work. It is no piece of cake, and therefore, you must make your decision wisely. It would also be a good idea to look into how long does it takes to get an accounting degree and whether you are willing to dedicate that much time to your higher studies.
2. What is the Current Scope of Accounting?
As mentioned above, accounting is currently one of the few highly in-demand degrees. A profession in accounting carries a broad scope with a huge demand in private, public, and governmental sectors. There is an excessive need for accountants in businesses, financial institutions, individuals, trade, and even law firms.
Several people associate an accounting degree’s scope with mere financial transactions of businesses. However, that is not true. Accountants are a crucial part of every organization. Most of them perform extended roles in analysis, budgeting, reconciling, predictions, consultancy, etc.
3. What Careers Can I Pursue After Completing a Degree in Accounting?
Again, accounting offers you a wide variety of career options with varying tasks and responsibilities.
Here are the top accounting careers for the upcoming year:
- Auditor: An auditor inspects and evaluates the validity and reliability of a company’s financial records. They are responsible for preparing audit reports, making inquiries, reporting any fraud, and lending assistance in cases of branch audits. All auditors must adhere to the company’s code of ethics and comply with auditing standards.
- Forensic accountant: Forensic accountants investigate fraud, embezzlements, and other irregularities in a company’s financial statements. Forensic accountants might also have to show up in court in some cases.
- Managerial accountant: Managerial accountants are in charge of directing internal financial processes. These might include planning and preparing financial statements and analyzing costs and profits.
- Senior financial analyst: A senior financial analyst overlooks budgeting, forecasting, assists with financial planning, and builds economic models. A senior financial analyst is also one of the top managerial positions offered in most companies.
While these are the top four career prospects, you can do a lot more with an accounting degree.
4. How Much Can I Earn After Completing a Degree in Accounting?
Accounting majors make big bucks. However, let’s look at some stats to confirm our claim. According to the US Bureau of statistics, accountants with a bachelor’s degree in 2019 earned around $79,000 on average. The bottom 10 percent earned almost $44,000 annually, and the top 10% earned more than $120,000.
The average salary for managerial accounts is $60,444 in the US. Financial analysts earn up to $86,660 per year, and cost estimators make around $66,610. Forensic accountants with little to no experience earn $59,430 annually, and highly experienced ones earn more than $102,000.
These stats prove that accounting is indeed a remunerative career option.
5. What Skills Can I Learn From an Accounting Degree?
An accounting degree prepares you for your future career and teaches you excellent, life-long skills. It teaches you transferable skills like:
- Written communication
- Verbal communication
- Active listening
- Personal motivation
- Numerical skills
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Strategic and big picture thinking
- Research and analysis
You also learn hard skills such as:
- Tax law and liabilities
- Internal controls and audits
- Financial statement preparations
- Cost management
- Accounting information systems
- Mathematical and deductive reasoning
- Systems analysis
6. Do I Want to Go Into Public or Private Accounting?
The demand for accounting majors is massive in the public and private sectors. However, there is a considerable difference between public and private accounting. Public accountants and public accountancy firms do not work for a sole client but an entire organization. They are also not part of their client’s corporate structure but are solely responsible for reviewing the financials of a business before public disclosure.
In contrast, private accounts or private accountancy firms work for a single company. They overlook accounts payables, send invoices to customers, and review clients’ internal business documents. They are also responsible for formulating budgets and evaluating performance. Many private accountants also help companies forecast future stats and figures.
Hence, it would be best to decide whether you want to go into public and private accounting. It might not sound like a vast difference in each’s roles and responsibilities. Still, there are significant variations in the work environment, duties, and requirements.
Selecting a major is a significant decision. Not only will it impact your future career opportunities, but it will influence your personal development. Deciding a career path is unarguably the tensest phase of anyone’s life. Therefore, you must always do your research and think through your options.
Accounting is an excellent choice. It has a broad scope, massive job prospects, and several career designations options. Many industry leaders also refer to accountants as the backbone of businesses. They play a central role in maintaining a company’s financial position and enhancing its image to the public.
Hence, accounting could be the perfect choice for you if you are looking for a major with abundant growth opportunities. But keep in mind that pursuing an accounting degree will require constant effort and resolution.