If your degree is in accounting and finance, at the undergraduate or graduate level, you are able to find jobs that require professional record keeping, financial analysis, and advice. Undergraduate degrees prepare you for jobs as an entry-level accountant in business administration, operations, or a financial operations department. Graduate certificates allow you to leverage your education for a promotion or career switch.
Accountants can specialize in different businesses and fields, according to their plans and career goals.
Public Accountant Jobs
Jobs in public accounting are centered on auditing and tax prep. New graduate accountants can work for many clients on their own or as part of a company. Rising to positions with more responsibility takes a few years, and a few more for senior positions. Those who do well may become supervisors, managers, or partners and open their own accounting firms. They can transfer to executive positions in management accounting or become internal auditors in private firms. Larger firms prefer to have master’s degree graduates.
Management Accountant Jobs
Management accountants often start as cost accountants, junior internal auditors, or trainees for other accounting positions within a corporation. As they rise through the organization, they may advance to positions such as accounting manager, chief cost accountant, budget director, or manager of internal auditing. Some become controllers, treasurers, financial vice presidents, chief financial officers, or corporation presidents. Many senior corporation executives have a background in accounting, internal auditing, or finance.
A bachelor’s degree in accounting and two years’ experience is required and professional licensing is recommended. The focus is on the reporting functions within the organization to contribute to planning and decision making. A management accountant also manages the reporting to stock holders, regulatory agencies, and tax authorities.
Government Accountant Jobs
Government accountants can work at any level of government to analyze and oversee the performance and allocation of funds. At the federal level, opportunities exist in such diverse areas as the Department of Defense, the IRS, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Steady career advancement is one of the most appealing parts of professional accounting. But there are almost a million accountants in the U.S., and it will remain a competitive profession for many years to come.