5 Professions for Accounting Majors

  • Accountant
  • Actuary
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Financial Manager
  • Chief Financial Officer

Accounting is a field that offers many career choices and for several reasons. When choosing to earn an accounting degree, a student can choose from several degree levels from associate’s degree right up to a doctoral degree. Accounting is also a field that is found in almost every industry or business. Whether it’s a factory, an online company or a corporate office, there is going to be a need for an accounting specialist of some kind. Here are five career options for accounting majors.

1. Accountant

Accountants are important employees and can be found in almost every company, whether it’s one accountant or a team of accountants all working for the good of the company. Accountants keep track of a company’s money and finances. By analyzing the company’s financial transactions and operations, they’re able to help the company run efficiently and profitably. Accountants inspect the company’s accounting books, maintain financial records, prepare tax returns, examine financial statements and making recommendations to management based on their analysis of the company’s financial status.

2. Actuary

Actuaries are accounting specialists who use numbers, financial theories, statistics and algorithms to help companies save money and avoid risks that can cost them money. They generally use database software and computers to do their work. They may work for financial institutions but are most commonly found working for insurance companies. When working for insurance companies, they generally specialize in a specific type of insurance. For instance, a life insurance actuary will work for a life insurance company and will help the company determine rates they should charge groups and individuals based on certain factors, such as gender, age, employment, tobacco use and life expectancy.

3. Certified Public Accountant

Certified public accountants (CPAs) are accountants but with additional training and education. Whereas accountants are only required to have a bachelor’s degree, CPAs must additional education. They must be licensed in their state, which requires certification. To become licensed, they must complete an additional 30 hours of college graduate credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. Upon completion of the credits, the candidate must pass the Uniform CPA examination. Accountants who want to work with the securities and exchange committee must complete the additional training to become a CPA.

4. Financial Manager

Financial managers are valuable commodities in the business world because they’re often the ones responsible for a company’s financial success. They study and analyze an organization’s financial situation and determine what would best work to keep the company as efficient and profitable as possible. Financial managers produce financial reports, analyze data, coordinate staff functions, develop policies to achieve company goals and make financial recommendations to management. Financial managers generally have at least a bachelor’s degree and several years of finance or business experience.

5. Chief Financial Officer

The chief financial officer is yet another of the several popular and lucrative career options for accounting majors. Chief financial officers (CFOs) are the accounting professionals who are in charge of an organization’s finances and financial status. They have several important responsibilities, including financial planning, analyzing the organization, ensuring the filing and accuracy of financial reports and keeping track of cash flow. Salary.com reports that chief financial officers earn an average annual wage of $378,564 as of January 2020. Depending on the organization, the CFO may be required to also be a CPA.

Related Resource: 20 Highest Paying Bachelor Degrees

U.S. News & World Report ranks accountant 7th among best business jobs and 42nd among 100 best jobs. The great thing about an accounting major is that the graduate can choose to be an accountant, but may also be pleased to learn there are many other career options for accounting majors. The versatility of an accounting major is that graduates can work in almost any area that uses accounting, and that leaves many choices.