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Interested in a Career in Accounting? Here’s What You Should Know

Derek Petersen
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Published on November 30, 2015

After graduating from college with an accounting degree you may feel accomplished. However, as a post-grad, you start your search for jobs and it hits you: you have no experience. Maybe you didn’t have the time to have an internship or join any school accounting organizations. You find yourself at a disadvantage compared to other applicants and getting hired by any accounting firm may be rather difficult.  

Don’t worry, you’re not the only person to graduate without any experience. You’re in luck because, the economy has improved substantially in recent years, and as a result more businesses are in need of quality accounting help. The priority for you as a recent grad is to make sure you pick the right firm to work for.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before signing on:

Do I need experience and how much?

This double-barreled question is one that you should ask yourself as you begin searching for a job in any industry. Most job postings will be up-front in letting you know if you need experience or not. Hiring managers don’t want to waste their time looking at unqualified applicants. If your qualifications are close, send your application — it doesn’t hurt to try.

Does this firm ensure that I become a CPA?

Without doing a little research, it’s hard to tell the difference between a CPA and an accountant. You may have received a few job offers and be wavering over which accounting firm to choose. The high demand for accounting graduates is in your favor, but it’s important to not just jump at the first firm that offers you a job.

According to the AICPA senior vice president Arleen Thomas, “Approximately 60 percent of accounting graduates have their first job in accounting firms. However, not all firms create the environment to ensure those new hires becomes CPAs,”. It’s a good idea to leave yourself the option to go the extra mile and become a CPA, especially if the firm you work for is going to help you achieve this.  

What is the growth of the accounting industry?

In all of my job interviews, this is one question that I ask all of the time. Always feel comfortable in knowing that you’re choosing a career in an industry that is moving upward. Lucky for you, this year the accounting industry topped the list of industries in terms of projected growth.

If you chose to obtain an accounting degree, you chose a degree with lots of upsides. It’s always recommended that you do as much research you can on the industry and firm you wish to join. Do research, ask questions, find the right firm and don’t be late on your first day!

Derek Petersen

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