Accounting is a reliable, well compensated profession in a barren economic landscape. Accountants often report high job satisfaction, can get large portions of the year off (especially if they start their own practices), and can quickly become relevant in the field. Most accountants have 1-4 years experience, and can climb their way up the ladder through certifications, or specializing in different aspects of accounting. If you love order, organization and having control of your corner of the world, accounting might be the career for you. If you enjoy math, especially arithmetic and analyzing numbers to determine their meaning, this career path is a great fit. Common duties of accountants include writing sales and cash flow reports, administering payroll, compiling balance sheets, enabling billing activities, managing budgets and keeping inventory. Accountants often go on to become Financial Analysts, Accounting Managers, Financial Controllers, and can eventually work their way of the Chief Financial Officer, Finance Manager, Senior Financial Analyst and other comparable roles. Most importantly, if you want to begin a career in accounting, holding a Bachelor’s degree is an incredibly important first step towards doing so. If you’re looking to continue researching the educational options in this career path, check out this ranking of online Bachelor accounting programs.
Facts and Outlook On Accounting Jobs for Bachelor’s Degree Holders
Perhaps the most important stat about accounting, and how it relates to holding a bachelor’s degree in the field, is that 98% of accounting job posts require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found the 2016 median pay for accountants and auditors was $68,150, or $32.76 per hour. There were almost 1.4 million accounting or auditing jobs in 2016, and BLS predicted a 10% growth between 2016-26, which is faster than average. There will be approximately 140,300 new jobs added over that time. Another cool part of accounting is the field welcomes newcomers, and facilitates working while earning a degree.
Qualities of Accountants
If you’re a precise, practical person who loves paperwork and numbers, a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting is probably a good fit. Accountants are indispensable to their clients and organizations, which can make the work extremely fulfilling. Are you great at managing time? An accountant needs an urgent sense of how long any task will take, how to shorten that time, and how each piece of the puzzle fits together. If their work isn’t done correctly, and on time, there can be serious consequences, so accountants need to thrive under pressure and deadlines. They also need to be client or organization focused, and a selfless, open personality will help put those they do accounting for at ease, leading to more work and higher rewards. People and organizations trust accountants with extremely sensitive details about their finances and lives, so they must be extremely trustworthy. Are you the person your friends always want to manage money, or trust to take care of their possessions? This might make accounting a more natural fit for you.
Affordable Online Accounting Degrees and Accounting Scholarships
Paying for a Bachelor’s degree, even online, can be prohibitive to some. While there are a range of programs with very different pricing for this field, you might also want to look into financial aid and scholarships. A good resource is this list of thirty scholarships for accounting majors. If you’re looking to get tuition assistance, scholarships and find an affordable program, you should peruse this list of less expensive options that match your needs.
Earning an Associate’s in Accounting
Maybe you’re not sure about accounting, but want to get your feet wet. That’s OK. There’s a lot of pressure to know what you want to do before you may be ready to commit, so you might want to consider a less intensive accounting program to start your journey. A good list of Associate’s programs in Accounting can be found here.
High Paying Accounting Jobs
Let’s face it, you didn’t become interested in accounting to be poor. People who like dealing with numbers, especially as they pertain to money want some of their own. As we’ve discussed, even the median pay for accountants is higher than most jobs. But the highest 10% of accountants are making over $100,000 a year, and you’d like to be among their ranks. With certifications and perhaps graduate education, you can get there, but this path often starts with a Bachelor’s in Accounting. High paying accounting jobs include Managerial Accountants, Tax Accountants, Government Accountants and more. For a good overview of high paying accounting jobs, head to this guide.
You may not know exactly what you’re going to do with your life. That’s OK, most people don’t. But the skills you’ll learn in an accounting program are transferrable to many different fields, and will give you tangible, marketable skills, something that many Bachelor programs don’t. Take stock of your strengths, interests, and do some research, and you’ll surely make the right choice.