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Career Services:
What Can I Do With This Major?
Additional Resources: PDF Version     Additional Links Accounting

What can I do with this degree?
ACCOUNTING

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

EMPLOYERS
Large/multinational, Regional, or Local Public accounting firms
Sole practitioners

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.

AREAS
CORPORATE ACCOUNTING
Financial Management
Financial Reporting
Internal Auditing
Cost Accounting
Tax Planning
Budget Analysis

EMPLOYERS
Companies of all sizes, in all industries

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

AREAS
GOVERNMENT
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, and State and local agencies.

STRATEGIES
Become familiar with the government application process.

AREAS
EDUCATION
Teaching
Research
Consulting

EMPLOYERS
Universities and colleges

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

AREAS
NON-PROFIT
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

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

GENERAL INFORMATION
Earn good grades. Grades are an indicator of technical competence in accounting and of a person’s work ethic.

Actively participate in student organizations to develop leadership skills.

Develop excellent computer skills.

Learn to work well within in a team.

Develop strong communication skills.

Gain work experience and information about careers through internships.

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: sales, production management, client management, product development, procurement, general management, banking and financial planning.

 

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer