If you’re considering pursuing a degree in accounting, you likely already know that the field has consistent job security, a rosy salary outlook, and enjoys prestige among professionals. Contrary to how the name might sound, however, the field of accounting is hardly a monolith. In fact, there are countless accounting careers that you can pursue across a variety of industries. While this means that it’s easy to follow your interests while still working as an accountant, the options can also sometimes seem overwhelming. If you’re not sure which direction to head in, there are a few accounting career options that stand out from the rest.
1. Certified Public Accountant
Perhaps one of the most well-known career opportunities in all of the accounting is the job of a certified public accountant or CPA. CPAs can work in an accounting or finance department for a larger company or open up their own firms. While sitting for the CPA exam can take extensive time and study, the payoff could be well worth it, with salaries sometimes going into the six figures. As a CPA, you could be handling matters ranging anywhere from auditing to filing to recordkeeping and more on a daily basis. In some cases, the credits from your bachelor’s degree may be enough to sit for the CPA exam. In others, you may need to complete a master’s degree first.
2. Professor of Accounting
When signing up for an accounting program, you may want to consider whether you plan to practice or teach accounting after graduation. While a bachelor’s degree is enough to become a practicing accountant, if you hope to become a professor of accounting, you will likely need at least a master’s degree, if not a doctorate. Becoming a professor is a somewhat non-traditional route for most accounting degree holders, but it can be a very rewarding path for the right person. If you have strong quantitative skills but are also interested in research and have a knack for making tough concepts easier to understand, university and college teaching could be the perfect path for you.
3. Software Developer
While it might come as a surprise that you can become a software developer after studying accounting, consider that many accounting firms today rely on all kinds of relevant software to keep their operations efficient and accurate. If you’re interested in designing accounting-specific software, you can combine your accounting experience with computer science and technical expertise.
4. Financial Analyst
Finally, if you have a strong interest in the business world and a knack for budgets, you may want to look into becoming a financial analyst. These analysts can work at a variety of firms to help companies become more profitable while mitigating risk. This path also allows you to work your way up the ladder into more senior positions.
When it comes to stable, lucrative careers, it’s hard to beat accounting. This consistent and dynamic area allows you to work in just about any industry that interests you, which can sometimes make it hard to narrow down your options. If you’re interested in a career in accounting but aren’t sure where to begin your job search, keep these unique options in mind and you’re sure to find the right path.