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You like the sense and order of balancing a budget, keeping track of finances, or making sure every penny is accounted for–can that translate into a lucrative career? The answer is–quite possibly. With the right skills and proper training, you can fairly quickly and easily make your goal of being an Accountant, or even better, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a reality.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, if you want to practice accounting, you need an undergraduate degree. There is not much experience one can gain while on the job–that level of study and experiential learning needs to happen in a solid accounting program. Most programs cover the basic concepts of auditing, cost analyses, financial reporting, taxes, global economy and international accounting practices, and jurisprudence. Electives are offered to help students pick the particular course they want to follow in the field, and for those who want to go on for a master’s degree, a greater degree of specialization is further possible.
The good news is that, according to U.S. News and World Report, the average annual accountant starting salary with a bachelor’s degree is close to $70,000. The even better news is that that figure goes up over 35% on average, based on the results of a 2011 salary survey conducted by Georgetown University. And for those professionals who do go the extra step to gain licensure and become a CPA, their salaries are, on average, 10-15% higher than the average accountant salary. Even if you did not study business or accounting as an undergraduate, there are many graduate programs that offer prerequisite courses to help you catch up with your business brethren. In fact, most of the best online master of accounting degree programs offer these classes online to get you on track quickly and conveniently.
If these attributes check all of the boxes off your list of things at which you excel and like working on, considering joining the field of accounting!