What Jobs Can You Do with a Degree Accounting Degree?
If you’re considering pursuing a degree in accounting, you are likely wondering what your career opportunities will be after graduation. An accounting degree can open the door to a wide range of careers in finance, business, and beyond. From working for a large accounting firm to launching your own accounting practice, there are myriad paths you can take with an accounting degree.
We’ll explore some of the top careers for accounting graduates, as well as what you can expect in terms of job duties, salaries, and growth potential. Whether you’re just starting your academic journey or are considering getting an advanced degree, such as a Master’s of Science in Accounting (MSA), read on to learn more about the many job opportunities available to you.
Common Jobs for Accounting Majors
Accounting is a vital aspect of any organization’s success, and professionals with accounting degrees are always in high demand, especially those with advanced degrees. From auditing and bookkeeping to financial planning and analysis, there are many career opportunities for those with an accounting background.
The roles and salaries available to you will depend largely on your experience and level of education. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an entry-level accountant is $49,284, whereas those with advanced degrees have the potential to make over six figures. Furthermore, a master’s degree doesn’t only increase your earning potential, it also qualifies you for certain lucrative credentials, such as the CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
Below, we’ve listed some of the most common jobs for accounting majors, along with brief descriptions of each position.
Accountants are responsible for tracking and managing financial records for individuals, businesses, and organizations. This typically involves tasks such as maintaining financial statements, preparing tax returns, and analyzing financial data to spot trends and patterns. Accountants can work in a variety of settings, from accounting firms and corporate finance departments to government agencies and non-profit organizations.
Financial advisors work with clients to help them manage their financial goals and investments. This can involve developing and implementing personal financial plans, recommending investment strategies, and monitoring clients’ portfolios. Financial advisors may specialize in certain areas, such as retirement planning, estate planning, or risk management, and can work for a variety of institutions including banks, brokerage firms, and independent wealth management firms.
Financial planners help clients reach their financial goals by creating personalized plans that cover a range of financial needs including retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, and investment management. This may involve analyzing clients’ current financial situation, recommending strategies to achieve financial objectives, and providing ongoing support to help clients stay on track. Financial planners may work for wealth management firms, banks, or insurance companies, and may operate their own or independent practice.
Accounting managers oversee the day-to-day operations of accounting departments within organizations. They may be responsible for managing a team of accountants, creating and implementing financial policies and procedures, and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations. Accounting managers may also be involved in managing budgets and forecasting financial performance for the organization as a whole.
Accounting clerk / assistant
Accounting clerks and assistants provide support to accounting departments by performing a range of administrative tasks. This may include data entry, preparing financial reports, and assisting with accounts payable and accounts receivable functions. Accounting clerks are typically the entry-level position in an accounting department and can work in a variety of industries, from healthcare and government agencies to retail and manufacturing.
What Jobs Can You Get with an Accounting Degree, Besides Accountant?
Accounting and financial planning jobs are not the only opportunities for individuals who hold an accounting degree. With a BSA or MSA from Nichols College, you may also qualify for the following roles:
Business analysts help organizations improve their operations, processes, and systems by analyzing data and identifying areas for improvement. They may work with a range of stakeholders, from executives to IT professionals, to develop and implement solutions that streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance performance. Business analysts typically need strong analytical skills, as well as experience with software applications that help with data analysis and visualization.
Investment advisors help clients manage their investments and achieve their financial goals through strategic planning and investment selection. This may involve analyzing financial data, developing investment strategies, and monitoring portfolio performance. Investment advisors can work for large financial institutions, brokerage firms, or independent practices, serving both individual and institutional clients.
Entrepreneurs are business owners who start their own ventures or companies. While accounting is not always a requirement for starting a business, having a solid understanding of financial management is essential for building a successful venture. Entrepreneurs with an accounting background may be particularly well-suited to start businesses in sectors that require financial acumen, such as finance and accounting consulting or financial technology (fintech).
Stockbrokers buy and sell securities, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, on behalf of their clients. They may work for brokerage firms or investment banks, serving individual or institutional clients. Stockbrokers need extensive knowledge of financial markets, investment strategies, and regulatory compliance, and must typically obtain licensure from organizations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Budget analysts help organizations develop and manage their financial plans by analyzing data and developing budgetary plans that align with organizational goals. This may involve creating program budgets, analyzing financial policies, and making recommendations to improve financial efficiency. Budget analysts can work for public-sector organizations such as government agencies, as well as private-sector companies.
Cost estimators help organizations determine the cost of products or services by analyzing data and making projections based on that data. This may involve analyzing construction plans, analyzing labor and material costs, and forecasting future costs. Cost estimators can work in a variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, and technology.
Tax managers supervise corporate tax operations and ensure that companies comply with tax laws and regulations. This may involve researching new tax laws, submitting tax filings, and managing relationships with tax authorities. Tax managers can work for a variety of organizations, including accounting firms, corporations, and government agencies. They typically need to have a strong understanding of tax law and compliance regulations.
What Will I Learn With a Degree in Accounting?
Accounting programs provide students with a solid foundation in financial management principles, as well as specialized expertise in areas like financial analysis, report generation, and risk management. Some of the key skills that you can expect to acquire with a degree in accounting are listed below.
With an accounting degree, you’ll learn how to evaluate a company’s financial health by analyzing data such as revenue, expenses, and profits. This skill helps you identify areas for improvement and make informed recommendations about ways to boost the bottom line.
Understanding financial regulations is essential for any accountant, and a degree program will teach you principles related to taxes, compliance, and audit standards. These skills are particularly valuable for careers in auditing, financial consulting, or tax preparation.
Generate & Interpret Reports
Another important skill that comes with an accounting degree is the ability to create and interpret reports that provide insights into financial performance. Whether you’re working with balance sheets, income statements, or cash flow reports, you’ll learn how to create and analyze these documents to identify trends and make informed decisions.
Accountants often work in teams or collaborate with other departments, so effective communication is key. A degree program will help you develop strong written and verbal communication skills that will allow you to clearly explain financial data to colleagues, clients, or stakeholders.
Understanding financial risk is critical for effective decision-making, and accounting programs provide students with the tools they need to assess and mitigate risk. This skill is particularly relevant for careers in financial planning, investment analysis, or insurance.
An accounting degree will also provide you with strong quantitative analysis skills, which involve using mathematical and statistical methods to interpret financial data. This skill is essential for a wide range of careers that involve financial modeling, forecasting, or data-driven decision-making.
Earn Your Master’s of Science in Accounting at Nichols College
Whether you are just starting out in your accounting career or wishing to advance your role, the MSA program at Nichols College can help you reach your goals on your schedule and at a cost you can afford. Contact Nichols College today to learn more and apply.