If you’re a recent college graduate with a 4-year accounting degree, current job prospects are brighter for you than many other college grads. In fact, accountant and auditor jobs recently ranked No. 4 on UC San Diego’s HOT Careers list. This report looked at which positions college grads would have the best chance at securing without needing additional education.1
Entry-level accounting jobs and internships come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, or should we say industries and job titles. If you are ready start your job search, but aren’t sure which type of accounting position to pursue, here’s a breakdown of some of the top jobs available for recent grads with 4-year accounting degrees.
You graduated with an accounting degree, so a job as an accountant is pretty obvious, right? Consider looking for a job as an in-house accountant, or put your accounting skills to work for your city, state or federal government.2 Accountant positions typically fall into one of the following categories:
Generalist. If you would like the opportunity to perform a wide range of accounting tasks, look for a general accounting job. These positions come with variety and may give you the responsibility of managing other accounting staff.
Specialist. If you prefer to focus on a specific area of accounting, consider seeking out work as a specialist such as a cost accountant, tax accountant or auditor.
General Ledger. If you see yourself managing a corporation’s general ledger, preparing financial reports and overseeing the work of accounts-payable and accounts-receivable clerks, then look for work as a general ledger accountant. This position might also be referred to as a chief accountant, accounting manager, corporate controller or corporate accountant.
CPA (certified public accountant) Jobs
If you live and breathe accounting and want to work for a company that specializes in your field, consider becoming a CPA, and apply for work at a CPA firm. Or if you want to obtain a more advanced accounting position for a private corporation or the government, a CPA license might give you the leverage you need.
In order to be certified as a CPA, you will need to pass the CPA exam and work in the field for a minimum period of time, as determined by the state where you live. Many CPA firms will hire new accounting grads for entry-level CPA positions, even without a license. However, the new hire must currently be studying for his or her certification or start the process once they are on the job.
CPAs can find work in a variety of capacities and specialty areas – whether at a CPA firm, private company or government agency. According to the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), CPAs can support businesses in a number of ways:
- Assurance Services
- Consulting Services
- Information Technology Services
- Forensic Accounting
- Environmental Accounting
- International Accounting
- Tax and Financial Planning3
If you hope to advance your career in accounting, obtaining your CPA license can help give you an edge over the competition.
Financial Analyst Jobs
While you may need a finance degree (and an MBA) to secure a financial analyst position at one of the top finance firms, private corporations in industries such as manufacturing, e-commerce, health care, utilities and others often hire recent accounting graduates for financial analyst positions.
Entry-level financial analyst jobs don’t require prior experience, but you can expect to work a lot of hours. The median income for a financial analyst comes in at about $75,000 per year, which makes these positions highly desirable and helps take the sting out of the long hours.
If you are a strong researcher, who excels at creating detailed financial reports and can make sense of large volumes of data, a financial analyst position might be right for you.
Recent college grads with 4-year accounting degrees have an abundance of career options to choose from today. If you’re looking for the best entry-level accounting and finance jobs, visit the Doostang website, and start searching for accounting jobs and finance careers now. We specialize in helping recent accounting and finance graduates get hired.
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1. DeVries, H., MBA; Baru, S, Ph.D.; Shapiro, J., Ph.D. “HOT Careers for College Grads and Returning Students 2014,” (special report). 2013. UC San Diego Extension. Available at http://extension.ucsd.edu/about/index.cfm?vAction=reports. Accessed Nov. 18, 2013.
2. Cohn, M. “Top Entry-Level Accounting and Finance Jobs.” Accounting Today website; May 29, 2013. Available at http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/Top-Entry-Level-Accounting-Finance-Jobs-62796-1.html. Accessed Nov. 18, 2013.
3. “What Does a CPA Do?” Pennsylvania Institute for Certified Public Accountants website. Available at http://www.picpa.org/content/38406.aspx. Accessed Nov. 18, 2013.
4. “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Financial Analysts.” Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Available at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm. Accessed Nov. 18, 2013.