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Career Spotlight—Accounting

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By J. Thompson
Online Career Tips Staff

With a roller-coaster economy and sagging employment rates, working professionals and students alike are taking a closer look at professions that are experiencing favorable stability, good pay and job satisfaction. One particular profession that’s trending in these categories is accounting.

[See why Accounting is considered one of the Top 50 Best Careers of 2011 by U.S. News and World Reports.]

Accounting touches almost every aspect of a business or organization and it is a viable career that requires specific skill sets and education. Accountants perform a variety of roles such as public, government and management accounting, and internal auditing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants and auditors, “analyze and communicate financial information for various entities…many accountants also offer budget analysis, financial and investment planning, information technology consulting, and limited legal services.” Accountants typically work in a corporation or agency, but many also run their own consulting service.Â

Naturally, accounting appeals to individuals who excel in math and finance, and who have good attention to detail. Accountants also tend to be proficient in the latest business software and in understanding complex tax codes and finance law like Sarbanes-Oxley and SEC regulations.

Most accountant positions also require a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Sometimes a related degree will do, but in this competitive job market, it’s ideal to demonstrate a passion for your career by completing a degree that is directly related to it.Â

[American Public University provides degree programs for accounting professionals.]

Once you’ve completed your degree in accounting there’s often other licensure or certification requirements, including a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. According to the bureau, “professional recognition through certification or other designation provides a distinct advantage in the job market.”

J. Thompson is the Vice President of the Content team at American Public University. He earned an M.F.A in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles and performed his undergraduate studies in English literature, political science and business management between the University of New Mexico and East Carolina University. His career insights draw upon experience as a communications vice president supporting learning management, applicant tracking, and talent and leadership development for Bank of America and other Fortune 500 firms.

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