Is an Accounting Degree Right For Me?
Picking the best educational path for your future career is no easy decision. Accounting has been a stable industry for decades, and with evidence of a growing industry, the employment outlook can be enticing for prospective college students of a variety of ages. Determine if you’re ready for a career in accounting by examining these aspects of the industry.
How Are Your Communication Skills?
You’ll need to be comfortable with explaining complex ideas to others in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Being a good accountant means honing your communication skills and catering your communication style to different types of people and organizations. Whether you become a public accountant that works with a variety of clients or you stick to the private sector and focus on particular accounts, you’ll find times in your accounting career that call for excellent communication skills.
How Do You Feel About Monotony?
The tasks inherent to a career in accounting are repetitive, and if you don’t do well with structure and monotony, an accounting degree probably won’t serve you well. You’ll run the same processes for the same clients over and over again; some thrive off this sort of routine, while others find it stifling. Consider your personality type, and consider whether or not this repetition would be the right fit for your aspirations.
How Do You Handle High Pressure Situations?
Accounting is all about deadlines, and thanks to this facet of the job, you’ll often find yourself in the office for far longer than a normal 9 to 5 job. If you’re looking for a career that doesn’t involve long hours, accounting isn’t the right choice. There are times throughout the year in which you may find yourself putting in at least 80 hours; this is especially common for tax season and can happen no matter which industry or sector you work in. Accountants can often have a hard time achieving a satisfying work-life balance, so it’s important to consider your personal aspirations as well as your employment aspiration when deciding on an accounting degree.
Are You Looking for a Variety of Roles?
An accounting degree can be a wonderful basis for a wide variety of roles. Every industry, every company, and every organization needs accounting help, meaning you have a better chance of landing a job in your preferred sector of business. Whether you choose to become an Enrolled Agent with the IRS, open your own accounting practice down the road, or work as a budget analyst in a large corporation, there’s seemingly no limit to the opportunities available to those who hold accounting degrees.
How Do You Feel About Continued Education?
Getting your bachelor’s in accounting isn’t the end of the road; for most accounting professionals, graduating a four-year university is merely the first step in a lucrative career. Many of those in accounting hope to go on to become CPAs, or Certified Public Accountants. Why? These positions offer some of the highest earnings in the industry, and provide plenty of advancement opportunity. This will see you pursuing continued education, as you must acquire at least 150 hours of semester credit to even sit for the exam. This test is extremely difficult, and many are forced to take and retake certain portions of the CPA Exam. You’ll have to invest in CPA study materials and spend hundreds of hours reviewing and preparing for the test. Even after passing the test, you’ll be tasked with completing continued professional education (CPE) to maintain your designation—80 hours every two years. This ensures you stay on top of industry trends in order to provide the best accounting services possible to your clients. Understand that a career in accounting means a lifetime of learning. This can be a very attractive aspect for some, while for others it may rule the accounting field out immediately.
Whether you’re hoping to pursue your accounting degree online or you’re looking to attend a traditional four year school, there are many reasons to join this growing field of financial professionals. Take the abovementioned facets of this career path into consideration and decide whether accounting is for you.