Monday, September 3, 2012

Accounting Degrees Are in Demand

In a recent article on Yahoo's education website, they listed the top five in demand college degrees. In order they listed:

  1. Accounting 
  2. Finance
  3. Engineering
  4. Computer Science
  5. Business Administration

I found it interesting that 3 of the five concerned jobs in business and two of them concerned science. I am not shocked that accounting was listed at the top of the list. The last few years of financial scandals and high-profile missteps in the top financial organizations has increased the need for good accountants. Also when some well publicized business news in in front of the public it raises awareness to the career opportunities in the industry.

Government has stiffened it's regulations on businesses by requiring more overseeing of a businesses financial records. To head off further problems, the federal government passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002. This act requires public companies to strengthen internal financial controls and to ensure the accuracy of their reporting. Such legislation, of course, has greatly increased the demand for ethical, knowledgeable, and well-trained accountants.

There many other reasons that demand is increasing for accountants. The increasing globalization of companies in recent years, forcing them to comply with International Financial Reporting Standards, as well as an aging baby boomer population, which will leave many vacancies as retirements continue to increase.

Accounting Degrees

The United States has three main classes of certified accountants. They are Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). CPAs work for the the public, including auditing, accounting, litigation, tax planning, and financial advisory services. CIAs work in an auditing capacity for employers, while CMAs can work for companies but might also serve the public in a more limited way than CPAs.

Accounting Careers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants and auditors earned a median annual salary of $61,690 in May 2010. The highest concentration of accountants and auditors work in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, or payroll service firms. And a 2010 National Association of Colleges and Employers salary survey found that employment candidates with bachelor's degrees in accounting received an average starting offer of $46,718 per year.

Of course, no educational program can guarantee a future salary or employment upon completion, but accounting degrees and licensure certainly increase your opportunities for employment and advancement.

How Do I Get a Bachelor of Accounting?

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