What Can I Do With My Accounting Degree?

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Students completing a degree in accounting might feel destined to be chained to a desk and calculator upon entering the workforce.

While working with numbers is certain to be part of any accounting role, whether you’ve completed an accounting specific degree, a business degree with a specialization in accounting or an accounting diploma, as with any university degree, you’re career options and working environments are numerous.

Careers requiring certification

Careers with the terms “finance,” “audit” or “account” in the title are directly related to accounting and financial management and often require certification like the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.

According to the Canadian Occupational Projection System, from 2009 through 2018, there will be demand for people capable of working careers falling under the areas of auditing, accounting and investing.

Students who choose to build a career in accounting, auditing or investing will often work in the professional sector, government, at large corporations, accounting firms and insurance companies.

Combine accounting with your personal interests and preferred working environment

When searching for your perfect career, the working environment and company culture are just as, if not more important than the sector you work in.

Fortunately, every business requires employees proficient in the area of money management meaning that accounting students can cater to their skill set and employment preferences by looking into companies that support products or initiatives that they are interested in.

You will be more likely to find a fit in an accounting related role based in an area you are interested in, such as not-for-profit or entertainment.

Additionally, companies large, small and every size in between will hire employees with accounting and money management skills, thereby offering accounting grads the opportunity to find a working environment that fits.

I specialized in accounting, but…

If you specialized or majored in accounting but don’t want to get a certification, there are still many career options where you can apply the practical skills you have gained through your degree. For example, accounting majors could work in:

  • Analysis (business, market research, credit, efficiency, securities)
  • Real estate
  • Management
  • Statistics
  • Corporate training
  • Purchasing
  • Media
  • Hospitality

Beyond business

If you’ve completed a specialization in accounting but want to use your degree in non-business areas, you have still gained many transferable skills that can contribute to a successful career in other areas. Skills specific to accounting majors include:

  • Self-management skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Relationship management skills
  • Ethical and behavioural professionalism
  • Problem solving and trouble shooting skills

Accounting grads have gained a combination of hard and soft skills that apply well to numerous career options. Remember, employers hire people, not degrees.

Visit the Accounting Career Guide to learn more about careers in the accounting industry, and find student and entry level jobs from top accounting employers!

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