Prospective students interested in financial management and accounting careers search for on-campus and online programs that offer the best major for accounting. Accounting graduates with professional accounting skills can find a variety of job roles in the field.
If you are wondering how to choose a major for accounting and what degree for accounting you should consider, this article will guide you every step of the way. Learn about the significant factors to consider when looking for the best accounting jobs, such as their annual salaries, job growth opportunities below.
Why Choose a Career in Accounting
If you have taken accounting courses and love to problem solve with numbers, a professional accounting career might be right for you. An accounting degree program generally teaches you accounting principles, accounting practices, cost accounting, managerial accounting, tax accounting, financial accounting, and other areas of the accounting field.
A degree in accounting can open doors to a wide range of careers in both private sectors and public accounting firms. A comprehensive accounting program will also equip you with some practical experience and soft skills to land a high-paying accounting job.
Accounting Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 135,000 accountant and auditor job openings are expected each year through 2030. Accounting graduates find career opportunities across industries like accounting firms, insurance companies, real estate markets, government institutions, or the accounting department of any large organization.
The job outlook for accounting positions is expected to grow by seven percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accounting majors can land entry-level accounting jobs that involve tax preparation, producing financial documents, maintaining bookkeeping records, and handling financial transactions.
Accounting Job Satisfaction
The average starting salaries for accounting professionals are satisfactory. According to Glassdoor, accountants are fairly compensated with salary and benefits but struggle with maintaining a work-life balance.
The job satisfaction levels might vary for the company employees are working in and different managers have their own style of managing accounting activities and teams. In general, accountancy is a job capable of good work-life balance and a high undergraduate employment rate.
Your annual salary will increase as you gain hands-on, professional experience and work on projects. Due to the competition in the job market and the demand for expertise, there is also more job satisfaction and growth opportunities. Accounting careers may be a good fit for you if you combine initiative with accounting knowledge.
Accounting Salary Potential
|Career||Minimum Level of Education||Average Salary|
|Financial manager||Bachelor’s degree||$95,515|
|Financial examiner||Bachelor’s degree||$66,835|
|Budget analyst||Bachelor’s degree||$62,980|
|Financial analyst||Bachelor’s degree||$62,774|
|Tax accountant||Bachelor’s degree||$57,970|
How to Choose a Major for Accounting: Tips for Selecting the Right Accounting Degree
Tip 1: Explore career paths and schools
If you want to pursue careers in accounting, prospective students should look for a community college or university with accounting educational programs in different areas of study. Research potential salaries and in-demand accounting skills. When choosing a college major, explore the various paths in an accounting career, topics that intrigue you, and also the acceptance rate of schools of interest.
Tip 2: Streamline your career goals
You must focus on writing SMART goals for a career in accounting. It is a good idea to follow an educational degree that aligns with your career goals. To pursue a role in business analytics, personal financing, or tax auditing, you can complete a degree with a concentration in auditing or taxation. You must also look up the state requirements for licenses in accounting.
Tip 3: Talk to professionals in the accounting field
Participate in extra-curricular activities and business networking events to meet others who work in accounting. Professionals in the field and aspiring accountants often attend business events to discuss financial activities and related software. On these occasions, you can learn a lot about what happens in an accounting department and accounting firms.
Tip 4: Talk to a mentor
It is a good idea to discuss the challenges and benefits of a career in accounting with a mentor. Your mentor can be a professional in the accounting field or the career support department of a school for professional advice. They can also guide you on how to gain expertise in a subject and build an effective resume for an accounting job.
Tip 5: Talk to admissions support
If you have made a list of schools and programs that might be suitable for your accounting studies, discuss your concerns and questions with the admissions of the schools. Most accredited schools and universities offer admissions support to potential students in their undergraduate and graduate programs.
What Degree for Accounting: Best Majors for an Accounting Career
If you want to manage the big picture in your accounting career, you can earn an academic degree in management with accounting. Tulane University is a private school that offers a Bachelor of Science in Management with a Minor in Accounting. Active students have good communication and interpersonal skills and develop accounting as well as management principles.
- Associated Career Paths: Financial manager, corporate auditor, accounting professor
- Levels of Education: Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, PhD
The best schools offer undergraduate accounting degrees as well as transfer opportunities to earn a Master of Accountancy. If you are detail-oriented and have problem-solving skills, an undergraduate accounting program will help you gain the technical skills required for accounting jobs.
- Associated Career Paths: Certified public accountant, forensic accountant, financial analyst
- Levels of Education: Bachelor’s degree
Accounting and Finance
If you can’t decide whether to study accounting or finance, you can take another path and pursue a degree in an accounting and finance major. This is an interdisciplinary degree that also allows you to pursue finance careers. You can also work in roles in international finance and financial consulting.
- Associated Career Paths: Private banker, financial manager, financial analyst
- Levels of Education: Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree
If you have an interest in technology and numbers, a program that covers accounting technology will be beneficial for you. Accounting software is being widely used by all accountants, financial managers, and financial data entry professionals. Accounting software and technology have been developed to provide features to make better financial decisions and support activities.
- Associated Career Paths: Auditing clerk, tax preparer, payroll specialist
- Levels of Education: Associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree
If you want to pursue a career in business, you can get a business administration degree with an accounting concentration. A degree in accounting and finance will provide you with a broad range of business skills and knowledge, allowing you to pursue a successful business career and specialize in accounting and finance.
- Associated Career Paths: Financial project manager, personal financial advisor, budget analyst
- Levels of Education: Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree
Other Accounting Related Majors
Accounting programs cover various topics including accounting concepts, auditing, payroll, accounting software, tax returns, cost accounting, public banking, business law, insurance, real estate, and international accounting. If you want to learn accounting, the list below will help you choose an academic program other than a traditional accounting degree.
- Accounting and Data Analytics
- Accounting Technician
- Business Consulting
- Financial Management
- Forensic Accounting
- Real Estate
- Accounting and Taxation
Is a Career in Accounting Right for Me?
Yes, a career in accounting is right for you because it is a field with plenty of opportunities for accountants and growth opportunities. If you want to become a public accountant, cost estimator, budget analyst, or accounts manager, earning a degree with an accounting major is the right move for a career in the field.
There are several accounting degree programs that focus on taxation, real estate, or investments and will help you advance in an accounting career as a financial manager, financial analyst, and tax specialist. Accounting helps businesses grow and assist financial officers and business managers in making business decisions.
In an accounting career, you can also earn a Certified Public Accountants (CPA) certification to become a successful public accountant. If you want to work in a private accounting firm, you can prepare financial reports, interpret financial regulations, prepare taxation documents, and manage corporate finance activities.
Best Major for Accounting FAQ
If you want to make a college decision, the University of Minnesota offers an online accounting degree in the form of a Bachelor of Science. You can also check out undergraduate programs with an accounting major at the undergraduate level at Texas State University in Austin.
Yes, earning a two-year accounting undergraduate degree from one of the best colleges and universities will help you enter the accounting field. Columbus State University is one of these universities that offers a two-year Associate Degree in Accounting.
You can study accounting online as there are several online accounting courses that can provide relevant knowledge and help you advance in your career. You can also take undergraduate-level programs online through various colleges and universities.
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No, accounting jobs aren’t stressful careers. As accountants, auditors, and bookkeepers spend time crunching numbers and preparing financial statements, there can be less excitement in the workplace. The repetitive nature of the work can be challenging in general.
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