Radek Gadek

What Can You Do with an Accounting Degree?

What jobs can you get with an accounting degree? I’m curious what can I do with an accounting degree?

An accounting degree is, to put it bluntly, a really good idea. Wherever there is business, or money, there is a need for people who know how to crunch the numbers, i.e., accountants.

Many individuals rely on accountants to prepare their taxes for them, and nearly all businesses need accountants to organize their finances. If you are good at math and like to work with numbers, a career in accounting could be a very lucrative opportunity for you!

Some accountants open their own offices and work with people and small businesses one on one, and some accountants work within accounting firms. Others work within companies or organizations. Even colleges and hospitals need accountants. Some accountants go to work for the government and make sure people are paying their taxes!

In order to call yourself a “CPA” – Certified Public Accountant, you will need to pass the national CPA exam and become certified in your own state. Some states require a certain amount of work experience and/or a specific amount of credit hours. However, there are many job opportunities for one who holds an accounting degree, even if he or she hasn’t yet earned CPA certification.

I am so glad that I went and got an accounting degree. My degree has allowed me to provide for my family and to live a comfortable life. I now own my own CPA firm. It is a stressful field to be in during the spring months, but every summer, we get to take a month off and go to Florida!

~ Rod A.

Careers you can get with a degree in accounting include:

  • Accountant
  • Auditor
  • Business Manager
  • Corporate Accountant
  • FBI Special Agent
  • Financial Planner
  • Fraud Examiner
  • Insurance Underwriter
  • IRS Agent
  • Loan Officer
  • Small Business Owner
  • Tax Advisor

CEO Careers – Chief Executive Officer Career Info

“CEO” stands for Chief Executive Officer. The CEO is the man or woman “in charge” of a business or organization. (In nonprofit lingo, the “chief” is often dropped and the position is called executive director or executive officer.)

Every business and organization has a CEO, even if they don’t use this title. From the largest corporation to the single business owner, there is an executive officer in charge. So it is true that some CEOs enjoy a posh office full of support staff, but others work out of their cars.

The CEO is the top rung in the chain of command, right before owners or boards of directors. CEOs oversee and supervise all of a company’s operations. They often set goals (or are assigned goals by a board) and then ensure that a business reaches said goals.

Many CEOs are in charge of setting their own hours, but most still need to be “on call” round the clock. While some CEOs are able to work the standard 40-hour work week, many put in far more hours than that. If you are in charge of a business, you will likely do whatever it takes to make it a success. In 2012, about half of the CEOs in the US worked more than 40 hours per week (BLS).

CEO Requirements

A candidate for a CEO position will need to have the following:

  • Management skills and experience (in large companies, a CEO is often in charge of other managers).
  • Leadership skills.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving abilities.
  • Decision-making skills.
  • Time management skills.
  • A working understanding of economics and accounting.
  • Good people skills.
  • A good public image (a CEO is often a company’s representation to the public).
  • Public speaking abilities.
  • Ability to accurately read and respond to business communications.
  • Ability to actively listen to others speaking and clearly respond orally.
  • A willingness to travel.

Education and Training

Required education varies among industries. While more and more CEOs do hold MBAs (especially in large corporations), many others hold industry-specific degrees. (The CEO of an engineering firm may well hold an engineering degree, not a business degree.)

CEOs have usually “worked their way up” to upper management. New CEOs don’t usually roll off the truck — instead, they gain years of experience while learning how to succeed in their industry.

Some CEOs have earned a Certified Manager (CM) credential through the Institute of Certified Professional Managers. This is rarely mandatory, but can help candidates secure positions.

If you know you want to be a Chief Executive Officer one day, but you are not sure of what industry would suit you best, you may want to begin with a business degree. Nearly all CEOs do hold some sort of degrees.

CEO Salary

CEOs are among the highest earners in the US. In May 2012, the median pay for CEOs was $168,140 per year. The lowest 10 percent of CEOs earned less than $76,220, and the top 10 percent earned more than $187,200 (BLS). CEO earnings vary considerably among different industries.

A CEO’s earnings may also depend in part on a company’s success. Compensation may include performance bonuses or stock options.

Career Opportunities

According to the BLS, job outlook for CEOs is about the same as most other job opportunities. From 2012 to 2022, CEO career opportunities are expected to grow by 11 percent.

CEO positions are more readily available in more populated areas. (Large businesses and organizations often headquarter in large cities.) In 2012, the following states led in CEO employment: California, Illinois, New York, Florida, and Massachusetts. Still, wherever there are businesses, there are people in charge.

Expect strong competition for CEO positions.

CFO Careers – Chief Financial Officer Career Info

“CFO” stands for Chief Financial Officer. A CFO often works closely with a company’s CEO.

A CFO is in charge of a company’s money. He or she oversees all the financial activity. This includes budgeting, planning, spending, investments, earning, and collecting. In large companies, a CFO oversees accountant and finance departments. In smaller companies, a CFO often is the accountant and finance department.

A CFO of a large company will also help with leadership and administration. They may help with business planning. They are often responsible for preparing financial statements, annual reports, and forecasts. They may also help develop company policies and guidelines, especially those involving finances.

Note: There is sometimes some confusion between the job titles “CFO” and “Financial Director.” While these may occasionally be synonymous, they are usually not. A CFO usually has more responsibilities than a financial director. Often, a financial director will be a position that reports to the CFO.

CFO Requirements

A CFO will need to be skilled in the following areas:

  • Accounting
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financial Analysis
  • Budget Management
  • Senior Financial Management
  • Communications
  • Problem-Solving
  • Time-Management
  • Industry-Specific Technology

Education and Training

A CFO will need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or similar subject. Many CFOs are accountants who have worked their way up to management positions. An expert accountant with a good business sense will make a good CFO candidate. Most Chief Financial Officers have acquired significant corporate experience.

CFO Salary

According to PayScale, the median salary for CFOs is $117,815, with a range of $64,803 to $244,212. In general, the larger the business or organization, the higher the salary. Also, positions in metropolitan areas tend to pay more than positions in rural areas.

Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for top executives is about the same as other careers. Job opportunities are expected to grow by 11 percent from 2012 through 2022.