Major Overview

Do you find it fun and easy to keep track of your favorite sports team's records in order to forecast how their season is going to play out? Accountants do just that, except in the business setting. They gather information, examine records, decode, and communicate information to individuals or organizations in order to improve their financial risk and performance. A program in Accounting will prepare students to perform related business functions and practice the profession of accounting.

There are many different concentrations within this major; they include Auditing, Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Business/Management, and Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping. While studying this major you will be taking courses in Business Law, Cost accounting, Tax accounting, Accounting information systems, and Auditing. This major is commonly offered as a Bachelor's degree.

Required Skills

Attention to detail will be a helpful skill as you work with numbers and variables that can be misinterpreted and thrown off by one mistake. Strong mathematical skills and an analytical mind will help you in both your college classes and your career.

If you have the chance, it is helpful to take courses in Business, Computer applications, Calculus, Statistics, and Microeconomics while still in high school. This program is not only offered as a Bachelor's Degree, but students can continue onto higher education and receive a Master's or Doctorate Degree in this major.

Career

While accounting is a general topic, specialization is important. Many accountants specialize in auditing, taxes, or consulting. Depending on your focus you can become a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, or a Certified Internal Auditor. In order to become a Certified Accountant, you must take a national exam to obtain a license. The job outlook for these accountants and auditors is increasing due to the recent financial crisis. Graduate can also become Budget Analysts and Financial Analysts. These Analysts create, study, and oversee the budgets and finances for organizations. The demands for these Analysts are increasing rapidly.

The reported average starting salary for graduates with a degree in Accounting is $44,520 with a mid-career salary of $75,109.

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Major at a Glance

Top statistics for this major

College Ranking by Major

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Yearly Graduations
 60,587
Average Starting Salary
$44,520
Average Mid-Career Salary
$75,109

Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Accounting might open up.

Accountants and Auditors
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
Brokerage Clerks
Budget Analysts
Business Teachers, Postsecondary
Credit Analysts
Financial Analysts
Financial Examiners
Financial Managers
Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks
Statistical Assistants
Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents
Tax Preparers
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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