When you want to work in the accounting industry, the first thing you need to know is what education and training is needed for the many types of jobs that exist in this field. Some of the jobs in the accounting industry require high levels of education and some only require a high school diploma. When you research this field, you will make your decision on how long you want to spend in school obtaining the qualifications and how much salary you want to make on the job. Even though there are accounting jobs that do not require any post-secondary education, most employers are looking for applicants that have at least a one-or two-year course from a technical or vocational college.
You can work in payroll, bookkeeping, accounts receivable or payable with a course from a technical or vocational college. These jobs in the accounting industry are essential duties in all business and government agencies and departments, so the prospects for employment are good. You can also work part-time in these jobs if you have other commitments that prevent you form looking for a full-time position. If you just want to see what it is like working in the accounting industry before you make the commitment to spending four or five years in university, these jobs are the perfect entrance to working in these fields. Many accountants work in these jobs during the summer or as part of the internship component of their degree program. They are also entry-level positions for accountants when they first graduate and start to learn the inner workings of the accounting world.
Many of the associate degree programs for jobs in the accounting industry have courses that are transferable to university degree programs. By choosing this path, you can cut down on the amount of time you spend in post-secondary education and gain valuable work experience at the same time. If you aspire to becoming an accountant, then you will have to obtain a Bachelor’s degree with major course work in accounting. There are four and five year programs you can choose. The goal of all accountants is to become a CPA, which does require an additional thirty semester hours beyond those required for a degree. By choosing a five-year program you will meet the education requirements for the CPA exam.
An undergraduate degree in accounting opens many doors for employment possibilities. In public accounting, you can perform many different tasks on the job, such as auditing, tax preparation and consulting work for a wide range of clients. Working in this area of accounting gives you the broad base of experience you need to meet the work experience requirements of the CPA exam. This exam is really difficult and requires you to have an in-depth knowledge of all areas related to accounting.
You are not limited to public accounting when you graduate from university. There are jobs in the accounting industry in the private sector where you can work as a credit analyst, a financial analyst, a tax accountant or an auditor. Cost accountants work in the private sector as well, estimating costs associated with projects and maintaining the financial records associated with these projects. State, federal and local governments have accountants on their staffs in various capacities. Forensic accountants are responsible for investigating possible criminal activities in the financial record keeping of a business or government department. With the CPA designation you can also become your own boss and set up your own firm.