Accounting is a very common major for students who want to earn a business degree. Students who major in accounting will learn the basics of business as well as complex accounting principals they can apply to their careers after graduation.
There are many reasons to major in accounting. We have listed some of the most important reasons to major in accounting below.
Reasons to Major in Accounting
Accounting is used for any business or company that makes money. Everyone who goes into business should have some basic accounting knowledge. Accounting is the language of business. Students who major in accounting will be able to see what is going on with the business by looking at key financial statements – a very important skill that students who major in other business-related fields may not be able to do.
Students who earn a degree in accounting will also learn transferable skills. These skills can be used in many different parts of a company or business. Some students may be afraid that if they major in accounting, they will be stuck working in accounting the rest of their life. This is not the case. Students can work in many different departments of a company because of their broad base of business knowledge gained from their accounting degree. Business basics is one of the many reasons to major in accounting.
Students looking for another reason to major in accounting should look no further than the skills they will learn while completing the major. Accounting students will take courses in their first year of business school on general business classes and then transition into their accounting courses as they move through the business school.
Students will be challenged in their courses which will help them learn plenty of hard skills. Hard skills are skills that can be taught relatively easy in a classroom setting and are easy to quantify. Some hard skills accounting majors will learn are:
- Reading and interpreting financial statements
- Learning financial reporting methods
- Knowledge of common accounting software
- Learning and adhering to accounting regulations and best practice
On top of learning various hard accounting skills, students will also learn and pick up some valuable soft skills that will help them throughout their professional careers. Some soft skills students may learn include:
- Critical thinking
- Problem solving
- Verbal communication
- Written communication
Abundance of Opportunities
There are a ton of opportunities available to students who graduate with an accounting degree. Students will have a couple of different options when applying for opportunities after they graduate:
- Public sector
- Private sector
- Non-profit sector
Students who go on to work in the public sector will most likely sit for their CPA exam. CPA stands for certified public accountant and is the gold standard in terms of accounting designations. Companies in the public sector that accounting students may go on to work for include the big 4 accounting firms. The big 4 are the biggest employers in the field of accounting and include:
- Ernst & Young
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
The private sector includes businesses and companies of all sizes. Accountants who work in this sector will record and analyze financial information which is used by internal business managers. This is unique because there are so many different roles and opportunities available.
The non-profit sector includes government entities, schools, colleges and universities, charitable organizations, and healthcare organizations. Some government entities that accountants would work for include the federal government, state and local government, and entities like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Career Stability and Growth
Accounting is a relatively stable field when compared to other fields in the business world. People who work in accounting will always be needed and sought after because of their knowledge and importance to the company. Employees who work in accounting roles or have a background in accounting are the glue of most businesses and help keep things running smoothly – they will always be valued members of any company.
There is a ton of room for growth in the accounting world. Not only can people grow within their accounting roles, they can also make lateral moves within a company and climb the corporate ladder due to their background in accounting and general knowledge of business. If you understand accounting principles, you will be fine in most business roles. A great way to climb in the business world as an accountant is by earning a professional designation.
The most popular and sought-after accounting designation is the certified public accountant designation. The CPA is not a necessity to work for a big 4 accounting firm, but most students will start studying for the exam once hired by one of these firms. Students who wish to take the CPA exam will usually need to earn 150 credit hours instead of the normal 120 credit hours. For more information on CPA requirements by state, click here. Earning a CPA requirement will usually increase a candidate’s salary and help them climb the ladder in the accounting world.
Opportunity to Run Your Own Business
The opportunity to run your own business is one of the many reasons to major in accounting. If you do not want to take the traditional route of working a 9-5 job and climbing the corporate ladder, an accounting degree is still a great option.
Learning the language of business and how to read and interpret financial statements will help prepare you for running your own business. The broad base of knowledge will help you handle everything thrown your way and the hard accounting skills you learned will come in handy.
If you are interested in an accounting degree, use our free college finder tool to see every school that offers accounting as a major.