An Accounting Degree Offers a Wide, Stable Path Forward

by Ashley Eneriz

Do you value integrity and enjoy solving problems? Do you want to enter a stable field with ever-growing opportunities? Are you a numbers person? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then an accounting degree could be the path for you.

Don’t write off an accounting degree as something that will limit your opportunities to only being an accountant. Accounting jobs are the backbone of the business world, and a degree in accounting can prepare you for a career in business law, economics, forensic accounting, or even marketing.

And the best part? Demand is growing.

Opportunities Abound

“CPAs do everything from personal taxes to auditing the biggest multinational companies, verifying the truthfulness of their financial reports,” says John Thornton, Ph.D., professor and chair of Azusa Pacific University’s LP Leung School of Accounting. “We cover every industry imaginable, whether for profit or nonprofit. Everyone needs someone they can trust watching over their money.”

There is a wide variety of accounting jobs available, and Thornton explains that a degree in accounting can lead to jobs in white-collar crime investigation (Certified Fraud Examiners) or at agencies like the FBI, IRS, and CIA.

“Many accounting graduates go on to leadership roles in every segment of business, from strategy to marketing to entrepreneurship, because they know how various disciplines impact the bottom line,” he says.

The demand for accounting jobs isn’t slowing down. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for accountants and auditors are expected to grow by 10 percent between 2016 and 2026—much faster than an overall growth rate of 7 percent among all professions. For those interested in sticking to accounting and auditing, the door remains wider because those jobs aren’t necessarily tied to any particular industry; as all jobs throughout the economy grow, no matter the industry, demand for those who can prepare and examine financial records (and in the public sector, those needed to regulate more and more companies) will grow as well.

If you value job security and flexibility, a degree in accounting opens many doors. Not only does it promise a steady income and a reliable education, but it can also lead to a rewarding career that can span industries.

What Makes the Right School?

When considering an accounting major, look for a school that values integrity just as much as it does career competency. A school that values both these aspects and teaches them side-by-side will create globally trusted professionals that can excel in several areas of business and finance. It’s also important to look for a school with a variety of scholarship opportunities and a successful track record of students landing jobs within the industry.

“For top students, we have strong scholarship opportunities through the Leung Endowment, Stan Deal scholarship, and DeLaRosa/KPMG scholarships. We awarded nearly $25,000 in scholarships this year alone,” Thornton says.

Plus, last year, 93 percent of APU’s accounting graduates had a job offer with a public accounting firm before graduation. Imagine having job security before your diploma even hits your hand!