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Why should you study accounting?

I'm struggling to decide which career to pursue? #accounting

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Emily’s Answer

Accounting is the backbone to any business. There will always be a need for an accountant no matter where you go. If you are interested in accounting, I would suggest applying for an internship at an accounting firm to get a better feel for the career and see whether you really want to choose accounting as a career. I would also suggest connecting with accounting professionals and asking them for their experiences in their career.
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Samantha’s Answer

Studying accounting will open a lot of doors for you in the future. I struggled with choosing a college major because I didn't know what I wanted to do as a career and felt overwhelmed with all the options. I tried an accounting class and immediately realized how versatile accounting is - you can work in any business/industry you like because accountants are always needed. By studying accounting, you learn the roots and fundamentals of business that equips you with powerful tools you can use to navigate your career. You don't need to be just an accountant - you can become an auditor, an investigator, FBI agent, entrepreneur, and not to mention any other business role.
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Martin’s Answer

Accounting is often not one of those top career choices for most people. However, it provides a great foundation for business jobs because you get to understand how an organization makes money.

Also, good accountants are always in high demand. Every business needs good accountants.
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Jeremy’s Answer

I was also struggling to decide on accounting versus another major such as finance when I entered University. I only made my decision after taking a course in all areas of business. I found accounting to be the most fascinating and felt I had the best overall understanding compared to other areas. If you are still having a difficult time deciding whether you should pursue accounting, I would suggest talking with professionals in the subjects you are interested in and ask them what a day in their life looks like and why they chose their subject of study. I had many informational interviews that changed my expectation of what someone actually does in their field. If you have a network of alumni from your school, I would suggest reaching out to them. You can also search on LinkedIn for people with accounting degrees and reach out to them.
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Eric’s Answer

Accounting opens a lot of doors, even if it isn't the end all goal for you. Maybe you want to open your own business later, or serve in an executive position! Accounting lays a strong foundation for any of those, and marks you as a professional that has fundamental expertise in a desirable field. People will essentially always need CPAs, bookkeepers, auditors, consultants, internal accounting departments, etc. Best of luck! : )
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Lindsey’s Answer

Accounting is great field to study and can provide a multitude of opportunities. When I was in college, I was also unsure of what to study and ended up switching to Accounting half way through. I have no regrets. I have had a thriving career with many different opportunities. I started in public accounting and ended up in internal audit after a few years.

Accountants typically have skill sets that are recognized and sought after. This can create many diverse opportunities.
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Leo’s Answer

When I was in college, I spent the first couple years of school taking entry level business courses in a variety of areas. I knew I wanted to be in a business major, but did not have a clue which one. Some of my favorite professors were the ones in finance and accounting. In addition to that, I feel like I was most interested in those topics as well as the potential for application in almost any business.

Finance takes a look at business at a more macro level (valuations, capital markets, etc.), and accounting looks more closely at the flow of transactions through a specific business. I found both topics incredibly interesting, so I decided to double-major.

I currently work in public accounting, but having skill sets in accounting can translate to many different career paths; the same goes for finance. At the end of the day, you want to find something that you find interesting and translates into a career you want for yourself. Best of luck in college and your career path!
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Jacob’s Answer

Obtaining an accounting degree is a very practical and in demand major that many companies hire for even outside the Big 4 accounting firms. Every business requires an accountant whether that be someone within the company or someone outside the company that is hired as the company's accounting firm. With accountants being in demand, the compensation and job stability are two bright spots for choosing an accounting degree.
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Karri’s Answer

I echo the previous comments! Great foundation and if you start in a larger company/firm, there are always opportunities to move around to different roles. I started in accounting/audit and moved in HR/recruiting but stayed at an accounting firm.
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Laurie’s Answer

If you are interested in business you should study accounting. An accounting degree / career can open several doors for you in other business areas. Accounting provides the basics for all business areas.
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Christen’s Answer

Accounting is a great foundation to have for any career path. No matter what role you take, there will always be some exchange of funds or a budget to manage and understanding accounting basics will always be useful.
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Megan’s Answer

I appreciate that accounting opens the door to a wide variety of opportunities. Since accountants are necessary for companies in any industry, many accountants are able to work in industries that they are passionate about. There is also a great potential for career growth in this field. For example, many public accounting firms have a strong focus on career progression and advancement opportunities. Being an accountant also allows you to live anywhere since public accounting firms and companies needing accountants are in every major city. In my opinion, the opportunities that are provided by studying accounting make the challenging material rewarding.
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Pro’s Answer

If you have multiple interests you might try an Interdisciplinary, Liberal Studies, or General Studies major, that will let you combine multiple interests. Or an Individually Designed major that you can even name yourself.
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Matt’s Answer

I think there are a few reasons why choosing to pursue a career in accounting is a great choice. First, accounting pays fairly well and is one of the few majors out there where the return on investment is pretty high. By this I mean that you don't have to go to an expensive private school and drop a fortune on tuition. Rather, you can go to community college for two years, transfer to a state school with an accounting program, and then find a job right after graduation that doesn't require anything past a bachelor's degree, that will also allow you to pay any loans you have relatively quickly. Second, working in accounting will give you valuable business skills that you can apply in a wide range of careers if you discover that accounting is not for you in the long run. This means that by choosing accounting you're not limiting yourself to a niche career path that will be difficult to switch out of. And finally, there will always be demand for accountants. If you value job security and worry about struggling to find a job, then accounting is a good choice for you as every business needs accountants. With the amount of demand that is out there, you can choose to work practically anywhere you want, and even start your own practice if that is something you are interested in.
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Dylan’s Answer

Pursuit of studies in accounting can have many potential benefits.

Accounting skills are sought across a broad range of careers and industries (from accounting and auditing, to banking, consulting and advisory). Employers typically seek finance roles with certain minimum qualifications/skill sets in mind and an accounting degree and related qualification (e.g. CA(SA) in South Africa where you are from) are very common job criteria.

Further, accounting is internationally recognized and with harmonization of standards across countries being (fairly) close, it can potentially offer a career with travel opportunities.

If you have an interest in accounting but are unsure when it comes to competing study interests/passions, it can be a great complementary study path (e.g. combined with technology) if you are able to manage your time.

Good luck with your choice.
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Anna’s Answer

Hi Christine,

As others have said, accounting is a good foundation to have for any career you decide to pursue. Learning the basics in accounting will help you not only in your career but in your personal life. Learning things like budgeting will help you throughout your life. Professionals can leverage their accounting knowledge in almost any Career they pursue. Accounting is so versatile and there are job opportunities all over the world.
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Kristina’s Answer

I think that if you are looking to pursue a career in the business field, accounting can be a great option. I personally felt that the accounting material made sense to me, and there were clear job opportunities and career progressions. It is a stable career that is not likely to become obsolete. Additionally, I liked that there were a wide variety of potential career paths I could pursue with an accounting degree, so the opportunities are vast. I did not know exactly what job I was going to pursue when I first decided to major in accounting, but I was comforted by all the different opportunities.

My advice is to look into the different jobs available and make sure that some of them might interest you in the future. These could include public accounting, tax, audit, internal accounting for companies in any industry, forensic accounting, financial analyst/planner, consulting, and so many more. Additionally, be sure your accounting courses make sense to you overall. While classes do not often represent what a career in the field might look like, it is helpful to know if the overall subject and methods of thinking make sense to you or not. Overall if you have interest in accounting careers and you feel comfortable in accounting courses overall, I think it would be an excellent choice.
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Accounting is a great field to study that gives you so many opportunities. Personally, I knew going into college that I wanted to be a CPA and work for a large accounting firm. However, this is only one of the many possibilities. I had classmates in college that went to work for corporations such as Home Depot, Chick-fil-a, etc, which is also called industry accounting. I also had classmates who pursued law degrees after graduating in accounting. These are just a few early opportunities, but the more experience you have, the more opportunities there will be. A very common theme for graduates is to work a few years in public accounting, and then make the change to working for one of the clients that you worked on. People who take this route tend to become Controllers or even C-suite Executives. Accounting is such a great launch-pad for your career and the opportunities are endless!
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Ruiqi’s Answer

Accounting is a very safe career choice. Almost every business have accounting needs. There are a variety of things you can do with an accounting degree:
1. Public Accounting (Auditor, Tax Advisor, Advisory). Companies that provides these kinds of services includes PwC, EY, Deloitte, and KPMG (and many more!). In this field, you provide accounting services to clients in a variety of industries. You normally work with multiple clients at a time. You can either audit their financial statement, help them prepare their tax returns, or give accounting advice on special events like mergers and acquisitions.
2. Financial Planning & Analysis (aka FP&A). In this kind of role you will monitor the company's financial performance, build budget for the next fiscal period, and also assist the accounting department in writing financial statements.
3. Accounting Department. This is what everyone think of accounting when they hear the word. You will be bookkeeping for the company and preparing financial statements.

Keep in mind, these are not the only career paths that you could go into with a degree in accounting. Many business roles prefer people with an accounting background because it is the backbone of business. If you do decide to pursue a degree in accounting, you might also want to look into CPA licensing as it will provide you with more credibility during a career search. Hope this was helpful!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for all the great advice! Christine N.
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Doloris’s Answer

Accounting is a very good choice if you plan to pursue a career in the business sector, either as an employee or entrepreneur. I pursued accounting as my major for my undergraduate degree, initially to have a working future in Corporate Law as an attorney. However, after completing my degree I began working in a finance based role and was able to be employed very quickly. I found that many of my friends with degrees in more general business had a difficult time being competitive in the job market for similar positions. I always say that someone with a degree in accounting can pursue jobs across various sectors requiring a business degree but people with business degrees don’t usually have the background required for accounting jobs.

I hope this helps and good luck!
Thank you comment icon This is very helpful! Christine N.
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