Accountants take into consideration of all the aspects necessary to ensure than an individual or company has its assets in order. If you're the meticulous type, this career is for you.

Accounting Careers

Accounting is an integral component of the business world, at the ground floor of today's financial infrastructure. It is a fundamental function of every business, from the independently owned bookstore to the Fortune 500 technology company.

At its core, accounting deals with the recording, analyzing and reporting of financial transactions. However, it is a broad and diverse field with multiple career paths and professional designations that allow accounting professionals to handle a growing list of more complex financial transactions and responsibilities.

In 2014, accounting was ranked as one of the best jobs in the country by both CareerCast and U.S. News and World Report. On its list of top 200 jobs, CareerCast ranked accounting #40, while US News and World Report ranked accounting #39 on its list of top 100 jobs in 2014. With consistent employment growth, above average earning potential and multiple options for business careers, it can be easy to see why accounting is consistently named to best jobs lists year-after-year.

Financial Analysts$100,99032810.8%
Accountants and Auditors$78,8201,53810%
Credit Analysts$82,300808.4%
Budget Analysts$79,830626.5%
Source: 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Accounting degree options

Accounting provides several educational avenues for prospective students, teaching students about the theoretical and practical fundamentals of the practice. Accounting degree programs are available at every academic level, from certificates to a Ph.D. degree. Depending on the university or college, students may be able to complete their education in different settings, including online, blended or campus-based.


Students seeking to enter the accounting industry without earning a degree may be able to complete a diploma or post-secondary certificate program in bookkeeping and general accounting, preparing them for basic entry-level positions in the field.

Associate degree:

This degree, which is typically earned in two years, traditionally focuses on accounting basics, including taxation, payroll accounting and more. It can prepare students for entry-level positions such as bookkeeper or billing clerk.

Bachelor's degree:

Considered the minimum educational requirement for employment as an accountant, the bachelor's degree expands upon the principles of accounting, covering more complex topics such as business law, accounting information systems, cost accounting, federal tax codes and more.

Master's degree:

Graduate programs traditionally focus on developing managerial skills in students, allowing them to complete research into specializations such as forensic accounting, public accounting, auditing and more.

Doctoral degree (Ph.D.):

The most advanced accounting degree, Ph.D programs are designed for individuals who want to pursue academic research or potentially pursue executive management opportunities. In addition to the Ph.D., students may also complete a Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A) degree

Certified Public Accountant

Get the facts on salaries for certified public accountant professionals and find out how training online or on campus can prepare you for an accounting career in markets across the country.


Bookkeepers are important contributors in ensuring that corporations, small businesses, and all business operators in between have their finances functioning efficiently.


Careers in accounting

As noted above, accounting is a diverse profession, full of varied career paths for prospective students. Graduates of accounting programs could complete certification to become a public accountant, while others may choose to become a bookkeeper for a local business after finishing a diploma or associate degree program.

Below is a sample list of jobs with an accounting degree:

  • Accountants
  • Bookkeepers
  • Budget Analysts
  • Treasurers
  • Controllers
  • Credit, Risk or Insurance Managers

Career opportunities are typically subject to the level of education, experience and professional certification completed. Explore this section of the website to learn more about different accounting careers and what education you need to pursue them.


In 2014, accounting was ranked as one of the best jobs in the country by both CareerCast and U.S. News and World Report.


1. American Accounting Association, http://aaahq.org/
2. American Association of Finance and Accounting, http://www.aafa.com/
3. American Institute of CPAs, http://www.aicpa.org/Pages/default.aspx
4. The Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business, http://www.imanet.org/ima_home.aspx
5. CareerCast, Best Jobs 2014, http://www.careercast.com/jobs-rated/best-jobs-2014
6. National Society of Accountants, http://www.nsacct.org/
7. Professional Accounting Society of America, http://www.thepasa.org/
8. Accountants and Auditors, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Jan. 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm
9. Bookkeepers, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Jan. 8, 2014, www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/bookkeeping-accounting-and-auditing-clerks.htm
10. Best Jobs 2014, US News and World Report, http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/the-100-best-jobs?page=4