How Can Your Student Put an Accounting Degree to Work?

by Ashley Eneriz

Many students walk into college not knowing what they want to major in or which career they want to pursue after graduation. For a parent or guardian, it is easy to feel the pressure of your child’s uncertainty and the need to push your child to decide on a career path sooner rather than later. While college is only four to five years, it is the gateway to the rest of your child’s life. Extend extra love, care, and guidance to students as they discover the right major and career path for them.

An accounting degree is one path to consider. Accounting teaches students necessary professional skills while opening up a wide variety of career options upon graduation.

The Time Is Right

Not only does majoring in accounting open doors beyond just being an accountant, but the profession itself is also one that will soon be in very high demand.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the accounting field is expected to grow by 11 percent by 2024 — faster than any other occupation — giving an honest and highly competent accountant an upper hand in the marketplace.

“Demand for good accountants is consistently strong, and graduates with an accounting degree are consistently viewed as highly competent business professionals,” says John Thornton, Ph.D., CPA, professor and chair of accounting ethics at Azusa Pacific University’s LP and Timothy Leung School of Accounting.

As the economy continues to grow, so does the number of people needed to keep track of money. In addition, according to the BLS, as more companies go public, more public accountants will be necessary to handle the legally required financial documentation.

‘About the Truth’

All guardians want to see their children succeed. How many of them also have to ask themselves as their student picks a major is, “Is this a right fit?”

Students who are good with numbers and enjoy problem-solving generally make a good fit for an accounting degree. The beauty of pursuing an accounting degree is that students don’t need to have their desired career pinpointed upon enrollment. A degree in accounting opens up many doors in the business world and graduates can easily change jobs within the accounting realm—i.e., from managing a nonprofit to balancing accounts for the government.

“Ultimately, accounting is about the truth, because an accountant that isn’t truthful is no accountant at all,” explains Thornton, whose program helps land 97 percent of its graduates with top firms either before graduation or within a few months of walking.

Career Paths Abound

Earning an accounting degree can open up many opportunities for your student. It can lead to a job as an auditor, budget analyst, tax examiner, financial examiner, or of course, accountant. Students who wish to specialize their degree further can also land positions in forensic accounting or environmental accounting.

“While many of our students start in public accounting as CPAs, the broad understanding they gain in the profession gives them an extremely wide number of career options in the future,” says Thornton. “From business to nonprofits to government, everyone needs someone who understands the numbers.”