Why Major in Accounting?
In selecting a major, students should do some backward planning. What do you
want to do after you graduate? Not sure? Or not sure what is involved in a career in
“X” or “Y”? How about starting with some simple ans wers to the question of what
you want to do. You want to eat groceries. You want to buy a car, a house and
“things.” In order to buy stuff you will need a job. Whe re do you want to live? Grab
a Sunday newspaper from the area you want to live in and check the “help wanted”
ads. What kind of jobs are listed that might appear to pay a living wage?
The most common professional jobs you will see will be medical, sales and
accounting. Some people major in accounting just because they want to always be
able to find a job. Some people major in accounting because they loved it in high
school. This web site contains resumes for the entire accounting faculty at DSU.
Read through those resumes and notice the wide variety of career paths.
Accounting is not just debits and credits. Acco unting is the language of business. A
few years ago, 51% of the CEO’s of the Fortune 500 corporations had accounting
degrees. Today, it is still the most common undergrad degree held by the CEO’s of
the largest companies in America. The reason for this is that accountants are
exposed to every facet of a business. The accountant’s job is to explain the business
to others. Because accountants understand the business so well, they are frequently
considered for management roles outside of accounting. If you do well in accounting
you can work your way into another aspect of a company that you might find more
In many s mall and medium sized companies the accountant is responsible for all of
the administration of the company. The accountant is frequently responsible for all
the computers, human resources, insurance, legal and training in the company. If
you are interested in one of these fields, then accounting might be your easiest route
into the company. Not sure what you want to major in? Major in accounting and
you have the most versatile degree you can obtain.
Finally, according to the American Institute of CPA’s, the average salary of CPA’s
in the United States last year was $108,000. In North Dakota it is probably closer to
$50,000, but it sure beats the pants off of a degree in ancient Polish art. By the way,
CPA’s don’t do a lot of debits and credits. CPA’s are too valuable to post journal
entries – they hire people with other degrees to post all the entries.