My advice to you would be to do some research on what you would like to as an accountant. Many of the larger accounting firms do both tax and auditing. While these are both done by accountants, they are very different. Going off of your tax project I am assuming you want to go in that direction, which leads to more questions such as: do you want to be doing taxes for local individuals or would you prefer to be involved in tax consulting and planning for large corporations? In many cases involving doing taxes for profit you will need to become a CPA (or an Enrolled Agent), which will involve educational requirements (150 credits in California, which is equal to roughly 5 years of college, but a lot of people are able to do it in 4 especially with AP credits) and passing 4 exams. I would find what it is that draws you towards accounting and try to find what you think the best fit would be. You can do a lot of research online, and if you are lucky your high school may even offer an introductory accounting class that teaches you about the wide variety within the field. Once you find the job you want it is about creating that path. Think what would put you in the right position to get to that job offer. As an example, in many cases the best way to get a job offer from a Big4 firm is through their internship programs. If you get in communication with recruiters from your dream job, they can often guide you through the recruiting process. If you keep breaking down the journey into small steps (For example: Identify the end goal, do well in school and extracurriculars to get into a college with a good program, then do well in your accounting program and be in contact with recruiters to land an internship, succeed in the internship to get a job offer) you can make a seemingly long climb much more manageable. Additionally, a huge benefit to studying accounting is the wide variety of the field if you do not like your original path there is a good chance of you being able to pivot to something else within the field.
Best of Luck
Nicholas recommends the following next steps:
- Identify the job(s) that interest you. It does not need to be one thing set in stone, but something to guide you.
- Find the programs that will set you up for this job and work hard to get in.
- Find the recruiters (many students are afraid to go to job fairs until they are Seniors or Juniors when in reality even if you will not get a job offer in your first year it is still valuable to be in front of recruiters and to learn about the recruitment process.
- Work hard to be the best candidate you can be for the internship or job you want.