Accounting can be a fantastic career path for analytical, detail-oriented individuals with a desire for stable work and strong professional opportunities. Accounting as a profession carries ample peace of mind, simply because accountants play such an essential role in our society. From individuals who dread tax season to corporations with complex budgetary concerns, people and businesses will always be clamoring for accounting expertise. While the specifics of the industry may evolve over time, accountants can take solace in knowing that they will be highly employable in the years and decades to come.
What Is an Accounting Degree?
An accounting degree is a crucial credential for accountants and many other business or administrative professionals. While various accounting degrees are available, many aspiring accountants seek their Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting (BBA). This bachelor’s degree indicates that the graduate in question has mastered core concepts such as:
- Financial Statements
- Business Law
- Forensics Examination
- Business Ethics
Beyond accounting-specific coursework, this degree incorporates courses, which allow aspiring accountants to develop skills that will serve them well in other fields. Examples include:
- Business Communications
- Managerial Finance
- Data Analysis and Statistics
In addition, general elective courses give students a broad-based education. Many accountant jobs demand skills such as exceptional communication, collaboration, and time management. These and other vital qualities are developed through the full range of courses integral to the accounting degree.
Do You Need a Degree to Become an Accountant?
In most cases, obtaining a bachelor’s degree is necessary before working as an accountant. This is best evidenced by the standards for taking the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, which is typically only available to college graduates. While it’s sometimes possible to find related positions (such as bookkeeping) without a degree, the best opportunities are typically reserved for those who have graduated from reputable BBA programs.
Is an Accounting Degree Worth It?
The answer to this question is simple: yes, an accounting degree is worthwhile. The circumstances underscoring its value may differ a bit from one aspiring accountant to the next, but these benefits should be especially compelling:
Demand for Accountants Is Growing
Not only has the demand for accountants remained strong over time, it’s actually on its way up. The New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) revealed in its highly-regarded Practice Management Survey that staffing is a crucial concern for today’s accounting firms, many of which struggle to find highly trained accountants.
An Accounting Degree Is Flexible
What if, upon earning your degree, you decide to take your career in a new direction? Your versatile degree will allow you to do just that. Accounting skills are valued in many fields and by all types of employers. We’ll dive more into specific career options below but remember: opportunities abound when you’re equipped with the right skills. The skills and analytical mentality developed through foundational coursework should ensure that accounting graduates succeed regardless of the direction they take.
Accounting Is a Well-Compensated Field
Salary is a priority among practical-minded accountants who want to know their investment in high-level training will pay off. There’s no need to worry; this can be a lucrative career path. While a lot depends on the capacity in which trained accountants work, it’s more than possible to earn a respectable income in this field. This is evidenced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which highlights the average base salary for many types of accountants. Examples include:
- Finance & Insurance: $79,310
- Government: $77,290
- Tax Accountant: $77,080
- Accounting Supervisor: $80,351
These salaries can increase substantially upon gaining several years of experience or, better yet, earning a graduate-level accounting degree. Still, the starting salaries for entry-level accountants can be impressive.
Which Jobs Can You Get with an Accounting Degree?
As we’ve discussed, accounting is an important skill set in many fields and positions. As such, accountants can often move between career paths rather than limit themselves to a specific type of job. The following are just a few of the many professions accounting graduates pursue:
When most students enter accounting programs, they anticipate eventually working as accountants. This typical path involves graduating from a BBA program, taking the CPA exam, and either working for an established accounting firm or becoming a sole practitioner. Either way, their work centers around preparing and examining financial records.
Representing the divide between finance and law, financial examiners are responsible, above all else, for ensuring compliance. To that end, they review budget sheets, examine meeting minutes, and delve into expense accounts to assess whether financial transactions are handled correctly. Their work tends to fall into one of two main subcategories: consumer compliance and risk assessment.
A variety of organizations rely on budget analysts to plan their budgets while maintaining full compliance. Budget analysts play an essential role in this endeavor. Their work largely centers around preparing budget reports, although they may also be tasked with reviewing budget proposals, monitoring spending, or explaining funding requests.
Operations Research Analyst
Problem-solving is at the heart of operations research analysis. This is where organizations turn when they need to identify critical problems and determine which solutions best suit their current concerns. Operations research analysts can serve in many capacities but are often integral for setting prices or other accounting-related essentials.
Is Accounting a Good Degree?
No one college program is ideal for every student, but there’s no denying the far-reaching benefits of an accounting degree. If you’re interested in pursuing an accounting career or entering another analytical field, an accounting degree isn’t merely helpful — it’s essential.
Learn More Today
By now, you should be convinced that an accounting degree is a worthwhile path to your dream career. Now, it’s time to find the right program. At SHU Global, we’re pleased to provide amazing opportunities via the Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. If you’re ready to learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch.