Is a Career in Accounting Worth It?
The question about whether a career in accounting is worth it is one that many college students ask themselves before choosing a major. Accounting is a popular and a well-respected field that is known for having above average pay and 7% job growth (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Majoring in accounting comes with plenty of benefits, including excellent pay projections ranging from $66k to $134k (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and the potential to advance within the field. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of pursuing a career in accounting, and answer some common questions you may have about this popular major.
What are the benefits of majoring in accounting?
There are many benefits of majoring in accounting, such as:
- Good Pay: Accounting is one of the highest paying professions in the business world. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for accountants and auditors in 2020 was $71,550. This salary can range from $44,480 for the lowest 10% earners to $124,450 for the highest 10% earners.
- Job Security: Accountants and auditors are always in demand. Companies of all sizes and industries need accountants to help them manage their finances, prepare tax returns, and ensure compliance with financial regulations.
- Career Advancement: There are plenty of opportunities for advancement within the accounting field. Accountants can become financial managers, controllers, auditors, or CFOs, and can even open their own accounting firms.
- Flexibility: Accountants can work in various industries, such as public accounting, government, non-profit, or industry accounting. They can work full-time, part-time, or as freelancers, depending on their preferences and their clients’ needs.
Are there any downsides to pursuing a career in accounting?
While majoring in accounting can be very rewarding, there are some downsides to consider:
- Stressful Workload: Accounting can be a demanding and stressful field, especially during the busy tax season. Accountants have to work long and irregular hours, and deal with complex financial data and regulations.
- Monotonous Work: Some people may find accounting boring or repetitive, as much of the work involves data entry, analyzing numbers, and filling out forms. However, there can still be variation in tasks, such as auditing vs tax preparation or working in different industries,for example.
- Continuous Learning: Accounting standards, laws, and regulations change frequently. Accountants must stay updated and informed to maintain their licenses, certifications and abilities to perform audit function.
What skills and qualities do you need to succeed in accounting?
To succeed in accounting, you should have:
- Strong analytical skills: Accountants need to be able to analyze financial data, identify trends, spot errors, and interpret financial statements.
- Attention to detail: Accountants need to be meticulous in their work to ensure accuracy and compliance with regulations.
- Strong Communication Skills: Accountants need to be able to communicate effectively with clients and colleagues, and have the ability to present complex financial data in a clear and concise manner
- Strong Organisational Skills: Accountants must stay organized to keep track of deadlines, budgets, and regulatory filings.
What job titles can you expect with a degree in accounting?
There are many job titles that you can expect to have with a degree in accounting, some of the common ones are:
- Accountant: A general accountant is responsible for keeping track of financial records, preparing tax returns, and ensuring regulatory compliance. They can work in public accounting or in-house accounting departments.
- Auditor: Auditors are responsible for reviewing the financial activities of organizations to ensure that they are complying with regulations and accounting standards. They may work for public accounting firms, government agencies or corporations.
- Financial Manager: Financial Managers are responsible for creating financial reports, directing investment activities, analyzing market trends, and managing financial risks. They may work for hedge funds, banks or other financial institutions.
- Tax Specialist: Tax Specialists manage the tax affairs of companies and individuals, helping them to navigate complex tax regulations and make tax efficient decisions. They may work in public accounting or for corporations.
Accounting can be a rewarding and challenging career path. There are many benefits to majoring in accounting, such as excellent pay, job security, and opportunities for advancement. However, it’s important to consider the downsides, such as a stressful workload, regulatory changes, and monotonous work. It’s also important to have the skills and qualities that are necessary to succeed in accounting, such as analytical skills, attention to detail, communication skills, and organizational skills.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics – Accountants and Auditors
- accounting.com – Accounting Major
- roberthalf.com – 5 Reasons Why Accounting is a Great Career Choice