4 Career Paths for Accounting Majors

4 Career Paths for Accounting Majors
  • Opening Intro -

    As a prospective college student, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and stifled at the thought of choosing one degree

    Some people know immediately what they want to pursue, but for others it can seem like an agonizing process.


Unfortunately, there are many students that lack proper career guidance and feel paralyzed with indecision. For those considering or rethinking an accounting degree, consider the following career paths to inspire decision.

  1. Accountant.

    This may be the primary reason many students begin to study accounting.  There are many aspects of accounting that are appealing.  Making money and job stability are arguably among the top reasons that students pursue accounting, but there are numerous benefits to glean from this career path.

    Accounting provides plenty of room for upward mobility—with more upward mobility comes a higher salary.  If you seek a lifestyle that can give you a high material quality of life, then sticking to this career may be right for you. 

    If you seek more responsibility and authority, you can also become a controller. 
    A controller, also known as comptroller or Chief Accounting Officer, is someone who oversees other accountants.  This person makes sure that all expenditures comply with tax laws and government policies. 

    As you might already know, before you become an accountant you must pass the CPA exam, which will require hundreds of hours of studying. Yes, this career requires relentless dedication and years of education, but if you enjoy a stable career with great pay, then this is a career worth pursuing. 

  2. Financial Analyst.

    A financial analyst is someone who studies economic conditions for particular institutions or organizations.  By studying macro and micro economic conditions, the financial analyst can make suggestions to their employer about future endeavors. 

    If you are a “big picture” thinker who is naturally attuned to visualizing the future based on current conditions, then becoming a financial analyst is right for you.  In order to become a financial analyst, you must pass the CFA exam. Passing this test often takes candidates multiple years, and you’ll likely need to invest in study materials.

  3. Enrolled Agent.

    Although becoming an enrolled agent doesn’t require a degree, you are definitely at an advantage if you get one.  An enrolled agent is an authorized tax advisor who can represent taxpayers to the IRS.  As an enrolled agent, or EA, you have permission by the government to appear in the place of a taxpayer at the IRS. 

    There are two ways of becoming an EA: either by taking a three-part comprehensive exam or by working for the IRS for at least five years.  Both are intended to assess a person’s knowledge of tax law both for the individual taxpayer and for larger corporations. 

    If you are interested in immediately becoming an EA without first working for the IRS, it is important to study extensively for the exam.  There are enrolled agent exam prep courses that can help in this regard.

  4. Tax Attorney.

    If you have interest in law, this may be a good route for you.  Those with a natural affinity for finance and skill in debate might find this job to be challenging yet fulfilling.  Many tax attorneys have a bachelor’s in business or accounting, and then go on to law school. 

    If this is your direction, you should consider earning a master of laws in taxation (LL.M).  Finally, you still have to pass the Bar Examination.  However, with this education you can pursue a totally different path that still utilizes the skills you have learned in school and still easily earn you a six-figure salary.

An accounting degree can open the door to a variety of career paths. Consider these options and determine which one best fits your career aspirations.

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Last update on 2020-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Categories: Career Planning