Accountants play may roles in our society. Without accountants, our economy could not exist as it does today. In recent history, about four to six members of Congress have been accountants by profession.
What do accountants do? Some accountants put data together into financial statements to communicate information to stakeholders in a business: its owners and lenders, and to government agencies. When you learn accounting in college, you learn how to prepare these financial statements. You also learn how to put data together to assist those inside the organization to make decisions. How much does it cost to produce our inventory? How can the company save money? An accountant can help answer these questions. Often the accountant is involved in the decision-making, as well. It can be exciting work.
As business becomes more complex, the need for good accountants continues to grow, as do the opportunities and pay for professional accountants. Right now there is a high demand for accounting graduates with a bachelor’s degree and a good grade point average.
Career paths within accounting include the areas of auditing, taxation, consulting, fraud examination, financial analysis, and general accounting. Professional licensing for accountants includes a CPA [Certified Public Accountant], a CFP [Certified Financial Planner], a CFE [Certified Fraud Examiner], or a CMA [Certified Management Accountant]. Passing the related exam and gaining work experience requirements for any license is evidence you are capable, and helps you achieve your career goals. Some decide to continue their education by getting a master’s degree, and some decide to go on and get a Ph. D.
A degree in accounting does not mean you must enter the accounting profession. The individual with an accounting degree can be versatile in his or her career path. For instance, the FBI finds a bachelor’s in accounting the most sought-after degree because it is the most versatile: with it candidates can work in any area within the FBI.
One Last Thought:
Let’s assume you get a job where 40 hours is an average work week, and you plan to work 50 weeks a year, give or take. If you work for 30 years, that is 60,000 hours on the job! That is a long time to work if pay is your main focus. Make your most important focus finding something you enjoy doing, something that floats your boat, so to speak. 60,000 hours is a long time to spend doing something because a job affords you a fancy lifestyle. Do something you enjoy; I guarantee you will do it well.