What can I do with a major in accounting?

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Examples of where alumni in your major are working

Companies:
Northwestern Mutual
Merrill Lynch
Xerox Corporation

Titles:
Financial Representative
Financial Analyst
Staff Accountant

Search for employers hiring graduates in your major

Employers in NY: 8,597
Employers in US: 126,922

 

Explore the numerous career fields related to your major

Public Accounting

Areas

Auditing/Assurance Services
Tax
Environmental Accounting
Forensic/Investigative Accounting
Information Technology Services
International Accounting
Personal Financial Planning

Employers

Public accounting firms:

  • Large, multinational
  • Regional
  • Local

Sole practitioners

Information/Strategies

Public accounting firms hire candidates who meet the educational requirements for sitting for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam: 150 hours of education including 24 hours of accounting, i.e. the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in accounting.

State laws govern the practice of accountancy and specify the requirements to be eligible to sit for the CPA exam. In most states, the State Board of Accountancy has a website that outlines those requirements.

Corporate Accounting

Areas

Financial Management
Financial Reporting
Internal Auditing
Cost Accounting
Tax Planning
Budget Analysis

Employers

Companies of all sizes, in all industries

Information/Strategies

Many managers in corporate settings obtain an MBA degree after several years of work experience.

Government

Areas

Auditing
Financial Reporting
Financial Management
Budget Analysis
Research

Employers

Federal agencies and departments including:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Department of the Treasury
  • General Accounting Office
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Securities Exchange Commission
  • State and local agencies

Information/Strategies

Complete an internship in a government agency.
Become familiar with the government application process.
Accounting is a "hot area" in government hiring and many opportunities exist in the public sector.

Education

Areas

Teaching
Research
Consulting

Employers

Universities and colleges

Information/Strategies

A Ph.D. in Accounting or a DBA, Doctorate in Business Administration, in accounting is generally required.
Maintain a high g.p.a. and secure strong faculty recommendations for admittance into graduate school.

Non-profit

Areas

Accounting
Internal Audit
Financial Planning
Budgeting
Money Handling
Record Keeping

Employers

Social service agencies and organizations
Hospitals
Public school systems
Universities and colleges
Religious organizations
Libraries and museums
Political parties
Labor unions

Information/Strategies

Volunteer at non-profit organizations and build a network of contacts in the non-profit sector.

General information and strategies

  • Earn good grades. Grades are an indicator of technical competence in accounting and of a person’s work ethic.
  • Potential employers place a big emphasis on strong interpersonal skills. Demonstrate these skills by having a well-rounded background.
  • Actively participate in student organizations to develop leadership skills.
  • Develop excellent computer skills.
  • Learn to work well within a team.
  • Develop strong communication skills.
  • Gain work experience and learn information about careers through internships. Consider completing internships in the spring semester, not just summer term.  
  • Join Beta Alpha Psi, the honorary fraternity for accounting and finance information professionals, to gain knowledge about the accounting profession.
  • Certifications available through the Institute of Internal Auditors or the Institute of Management Accountants may increase job marketability in some areas of accounting.
  • Accounting students should develop their analytical, critical-thinking and problem solving skills. Develop high ethical standards.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail are important traits for accountants.
  • Accounting is a versatile degree. Students who graduate with a major in accounting may find jobs in many areas of business including: banking, financial planning, sales, production management, client management, product development, procurement, and general management.