What does the perfect career look like?
Maybe something like this:
• You earn a high salary and have plenty of job security.
• You travel to places you might otherwise never see.
• You regularly take on new challenges and can take your career in a new direction if you want.
• And along the way, you do good in the world.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. In fact, you can get all of those things out of a career in accounting. Yes, it’s much more than spreadsheets and math — much, much more.
Accountants do much more than help companies determine profit and loss. They are responsible for making sure that all of us who depend on financial information can rely on the figures we’re given.
Right out of school, many accountants earn more than $50,000 per year, according to the 2013 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
For those with a graduate degree (such as master of accounting degree) or additional credentials (like being a Certified Public Accountant), salaries typically start 5-15 percent higher, according to Robert Half, a large specialized staffing company.
Within five to seven years of graduating with a master of accounting degree, many accountants are pulling in six figures.
>>See starting salaries for a variety of accounting roles in our ROI infographic.
Job security results from a combination of in-demand skills and lots of employers who need those skills. That describes the accounting field.
Every business, government agency and nonprofit organization requires accounting. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Standards has projected that from 2012-22, demand for accounting professionals will grow faster than average.
Meanwhile, accounting trade publications and blogs are writing about the “talent war” in the industry, with weapons like higher salaries, better benefits and job flexibility deployed to woo job seekers.
The bottom line: Accountants are in demand now and will be for years to come.
>> Compare the demand for accountants to the demand for lawyers. Check out our ROI infographic.
Miami? Vegas? Europe? Where do you want to go? Accountants, especially those who work for large accounting firms, often find that travel is part of their job.
Audits, consulting and tax work can mean traveling to visit client facilities and corporate headquarters. That might mean a trip to a company distribution facility in Miami, a major port, for example, or even a trip to Vegas. (Casinos need accountants, too!)
There’ll be work to do on those trips, but chances are you’ll have evenings free to explore. It’s a great way to scout locations for your next vacation.