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What are some good jobs for an accounting major? If you’re an accountant, how did you get to where you are?

I’ll be graduating in about 2 years with a BBA in accounting. My GPA is 3.1 so I’m concerned that I may not get a job with one of the Big 4. If you’re an accountant or know any accountants, what are some other directions you can go with an accounting degree? I’m a really hard worker but I messed up on my GPA because I was going through a lot of personal stuff my sophomore year. I’m obviously working to bring it up but I’m still wondering what some good opportunities for accounting majors are. I’m also pursuing a Spanish for Business Certificate. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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2 Responses to “What are some good jobs for an accounting major? If you’re an accountant, how did you get to where you are?”

  1. shano 2006 said :

    I’d suggest after you graduate to enter into the acca, cpa or ca course. Depending where you are. It usually takes about 2 years I think, and you will probaly have to be working at the same time.

    Once you have this, and a couple of years work experience the world is your oyster. The degree and the post grad course will be recognised in most modern countries.

    There is a demand for accountants in every country I have been to, so after you have the above, you can pretty much experience different jobs whether it be management accountants in commerce or public accounting & travel the world at the same time

  2. Angelo L said :

    First of all, don’t panic! A 3.1 GPA is not so bad by the end of you 2nd year with two more years left to go. By the time you graduate, you can expect to have anywhere from a 3.5-3.55 GPA. That’s actually pretty good for the accounting profession. With those grades, you can easily pass all four stages of the CPA exam after some good review.

    Here is the myth: My GPA is not perfect, i’ll never be able to make it in the Big 4.
    Here is the truth: The Big 4 take on interns who don’t even have their degree in Accounting yet. After a while, these interns can actually work as an employee of the company; as an Auditor! Sounds crazy? Most of these companies will actually look to hire new Accounting majors on the following pay scale:

    2.8-3.2: $32,000
    3.2-3.5: $38,000
    3.5-4.0: $46,000
    CPA Bonus: $10,000 on base salary.

    When you think about it, it doesn’t sound that great. Best case, you finish with a 3.55, pass all four stages before you finish your degree, get two years full-time working experience before you finish, and when you finish, you send in all your paperwork to get your CPA license. That will start you off at $56,000 per year; and that’s IF you get the job over someone with worse credentials. That’s right! Big 4 companies are all about cutting costs and driving up net income. Do you honestly think CPAs prepare taxes for American clients in downtown Manhattan? No; it’s outsourced to India; no kidding. Auditors can be found at almost any university and college where accounting majors are aspiring to become CPAs. If one messes up, you foward his work to a Senior Auditor to correct it, fire him, and replace him with a new one. Even though you are worth $56,000; expect to have to negotiate your starting salary!

    The Accounting profession is taking a serious hit in today’s Labor market. Here are some things you can do to stand out above the rest.

    1. Don’t stop after you get your B.B.A. in Accounting!

    Yes. Accounting is a powerful degree; it’s the language of business, but it’s also quite useless by itself outside the world of accounting. It makes a powerful combination with many other professional degrees like:
    – J.D. (Law)
    – M.B.A. (Business)
    – M.S. (Finance)
    – M.A. or M.S. (Economics)
    With any combination of these degrees and your Accounting degree and CPA, you can quickly climb up the corporate ladder. Every Accountant knows about accounting, you will have nothing different to offer; but so many Consultants, Investment Bankers, Financial Analysts, Marketing Managers, Business Strategists, and Market Analysts are held back because of poor knowladge of Accounting!

    2. Even if something won’t show up on your degree, it will prove useful in the future, so take it; now!

    In many schools, Accounting Majors are not allowed to major or minor in any other subject, and instead are left to focus on an already focused subject! As a result, they often waste their free space on useless undergraduate classes such as management; which are meaningless at an undergraduate level and teach nothing of value. Instead, you should take the opportunity to invest in yourself and secure you future growth by taking valuable courses now!
    – Calculus I, II, III
    – Linear Algebra
    – Mathematical Statistics
    – Probability Theory
    – Stochastic Process
    – Computer Programming
    – Networking & Security
    – Information Systems & Databases
    – Software Design
    – Econometrics & Time Series Analysis

    All of these courses are directly applicable to financial forcasting, and will help place you ahead of all others if you plan to obtain an advanced degree in some other field.

    3. CPA is just the beginning, not the end!

    There are many designations in the world of finance besides a CPA. Here are some very important designations:

    – CMA (Certified Managerial Accountant)
    – CIA (Certified Internal Auditor)
    – CFA (Certified Financial Analyst)
    – Series 7
    – Series 66 & 68
    – Series 9 & 10

    These other certifications and licenses will help you advance in your career, and explore other fields not directly connected to accounting.

    4. The Big 4 are not so Big!

    The company I work for gets hired to do consulting for 3 out of the 4 Auditing Giants. The combined assets of all 4 auditing companies is almost 20% of this consulting company. Not so big afterall. What is more shocking; ALL staff accountants in the company make $10,000 more than all other staff accountants at any of the Big 4 companies; on average. This is because the nature of thier work is limited, not combined and open to possibilities. You have to understand that there is more that you can do with an Accounting degree that be an Accountant. Here are some ideas.

    – Business Consultant
    – Business Strategist
    – Financial Analyst
    – Financial Consultant
    – Financial Planner
    – Investment Analyst
    – Investment Banker
    – Market Analyst
    – Real Estate Project Developer

    By casting a wide net on your career options, you increase the probability that you find not only a job you like, but one that pays you the best for your services.

    I hope this was informative. I wish you best of luck with your future and your studies. Remember; don’t limit yourself to one narrow profession. There are very few people who demand labor from Accountants, and the Big 4 have the power to bring down salaries! Don’t give them that power! Diversify yourself, add something extra that nobody else can do around you; stand out amung the rest!


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