Not sure if the Finance industry is for you? Don’t be afraid to investigate other options.
Accounting students often aim to enter the Financial Services field once they’ve graduated, but that’s not a goal that applies to everyone. There are many individuals who may not have a strong desire to go into Finance – or even to become an Accountant at all.
A background in Accounting can provide students with a collection of skills and knowledge that can be applied in different fields. Even if you’re not looking to pursue a career in Finance, there are a vast selection of other fields that will benefit from your expertise.
Read on to discover 3 egg-citing fields where you can apply your Accounting background.
Accounting and Economics are two fields that are often tied closely together – the former focuses on individual businesses, and the latter looks at businesses in a societal context. Because of the similarities, the transition from studying Accounting to working in Economics is relatively fluid.
To give you a general idea, Economics is the study of how limited resources are used to produce goods. The analytical skills you’ve developed during your academic career in Accounting will definitely come in handy, especially when analyzing Economic issues, trends, and data, such as sales and demand. An Accounting professional’s high competence with numbers will help them navigate through basic econometrics, including the many formulas used to analyze graphs. An Economist’s job involves understanding all of this information and using it to advise clients, such as businesses or even the Government, on how to overcome Economic issues.
If this seems like a field you’d be interested in pursuing, start building a strong foundation of knowledge in school. Many Accounting programs already require basic courses such as Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, but you should look into taking more in-depth courses as electives. Check the requirements for a degree in Economics or talk to an advisor to find out which courses will prepare you best for this option.
It’s quite common for an Accountant to take on a managerial position after gaining some experience with a company. That said, this is an option well suited for students who are interested in starting their career as an entry-level Accountant but wish to advance their career into Management instead of Finance. It can be very challenging to secure a managerial position without gaining seniority as an Accountant first.
Most Managers are expected to know how to complete certain Accounting tasks, such as tax returns, payrolls, and sometimes even bookkeeping. In addition, Accounting teaches you about how various departments in a company work together to achieve organizational goals. This is important to understand because it will help you manage an efficient department, team, or project.
This option is ideal for students who love working in a collaborative environment – especially in a leadership position – and have a knack for seeing the bigger picture. To prepare for a career in Business Management, try to take on an executive position in your extracurricular activities. Being President or Vice-President of a club can give you a comparable experience to managerial duties. It’ll also improve your leadership skills and teach you how to motivate others to take an active role.
Marketing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Accounting, but the skills acquired as an Accounting student can be applied to creating campaigns. A Marketer will often have to exercise analytical abilities and show strong numerical skills. For instance, they may have to analyze data from a survey and create charts and graphs. Then, they’ll have to use the information they’ve gathered to put together an effective campaign. Does that sound familiar? An Accountant is often tasked with analyzing financial data and using that information to make effective decisions.
Since an Accountant needs to be familiar with all business operations, many Accounting programs will have already armed their students with general Business and Marketing knowledge. Also, you’ll have an advantage over other Marketing students since Accounting students often have a better understanding of financial limits. Knowing how to plan with a practical and sensible mindset can help you assemble a realistic campaign that’s more grounded in what’s actually possible.
Marketing is a great career path for students who love the analytical side of Accounting but also crave creativity. If this sounds like a route you’d like to take, join extracurricular activities and take on executive roles that will give you the chance to promote the club. In fact, many clubs have Marketing and Public Relations positions that would be excellent preparation.
These are only a few of the paths you can take outside of Finance; there are so many other fields you can look into. Don’t feel restricted to one area of specialization because you can take your Accounting knowledge and apply them to a variety of careers. If you have a particular interest in mind, do some research and explore your options early!