Unusual Career Paths For An Associates Degree in Accounting

Unusual Career Paths For An Associates Degree in Accounting
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    Think accounting is boring? Think again. Getting an associates degree in accounting opens up numerous career possibilities, many of them far outside the realm of what college students assume accountants can do.


Here are a few of the career paths you can take after getting your associates degree in accounting. Like many career paths, your associates degree will be the first step in the process; expect to continue your education and training as you advance in your career.

Personal Finance Advisor

If you’re looking for a career that’s likely going to expand in the future, consider becoming a personal finance advisor. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of jobs in this field will expand by 27 percent from 2012 to 2022, "much faster than the average of all occupations." 

Why are these jobs growing so quickly? Well, Americans have to approach finance differently than they did a generation ago. A lot of people are self-employed or combine a full-time job with other income streams. They may have complicated tax forms or retirement plans spread out among stocks, IRAs, and employer 401(k) plans. The growing complexity of personal finance has prompted many Americans to outsource their financial management to a professional. 

You can get into this career with an associate’s degree; continue getting specialized training to move up the ranks and add new clients. The goal is to eventually land that single wealthy client who is willing to pay you a very handsome sum to manage his or her accounts. After all — if you can’t be Batman, being Alfred isn’t that bad.

Sports or Entertainment Accountants

We’re going to lump both sports and entertainment in the same field, because structurally they’re pretty similar. If you want a fast-paced career where you get to work directly with celebrities, make enormous deals with television studios, and generally be part of your favorite industry’s movers and shakers, consider going directly into sports or entertainment accounting. This industry also includes music, theater, and any other entertainment-related field where a lot of people need to get paid and somebody needs to keep track of the details.

As noted above, you’re likely to start at the very bottom of the heap; it takes a lot of work and a bit of luck to be the person who works directly with the next LeBron James or Taylor Swift. However, it’s a great way to combine your accounting skills and knowledge with your interest in sports and entertainment.

FBI Accounting

The truth is out there, and someone needs to know how much it costs. Read this great article, "A CPA With A License to Carry,"  to learn more about the high-stakes life of a FBI accountant. This job does include ground training and weapons training, and sometimes even includes interrogating potential threats. The FBI is also actively recruiting accountants to join its team; accounting is considered a "top critical skill" for potential agents.

If FBI accounting sounds intriguing, consider looking into related careers like forensic accounting or military accounting as well. As a forensic accountant, you use your specialized accounting knowledge to help solve crimes; a military accountant helps get people and materiel into the right place at the right time, while traveling the world and serving your country. We’ve even heard that the CIA hires accountants, although we can’t get any agents to confirm or deny.

Remember: Accountants are Everywhere

The important thing to remember about accounting is that accountants are present in every industry. Like video games? Become an accountant for a game company, and be at the table when they talk about upcoming launches and new game plans. Enjoy books? Literary agencies need accountants, and you’ll get to meet the people who will become the next J.K. Rowlings or Stephen King. Interested in social justice or protecting the environment? There are plenty of non-profits and environmental groups happy to have you on board.  

Oh, and here’s one more "unusual" accounting job, although you won’t get asked to do this full time: Academy Award ballot counter. Once a year, the Academy Awards hire accounting firms to tally up the ballots and make sure everything in the process is fair and square. Just think — with an accounting degree you can see the world, work as a FBI special agent, sit side-by-side with the newest sports star, read books by the next Stephen King, save the planet, or officially determine which film won Best Picture. 

All you need to get started is that associates degree in accounting.


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Categories: Career Planning