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Is Accounting a good major?

coveryfirecoveryfire Posts: 72Registered User Junior Member
edited August 2011 in Business Major
Ive always liked dealing with money, and my business teacher recommended Accounting to me as a profession. How much do accounts make? Are there alot of jobs available? Please help all you accountant majors out there.
Post edited by coveryfire on
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Replies to: Is Accounting a good major?

  • MightyNickMightyNick Posts: 2,097Registered User Senior Member
    You do make good money with more work experience. It is boring at the entry level positions, but as you climb up the ladder, I've heard that work becomes more challenging and fun.
  • taxguytaxguy Posts: 6,516Registered User Senior Member
    Accounting is a TERRIFIC major. It is probably one of the most in-demand majors around, and it opens up a LOT of doors to a variety of jobs. If you make partner, you can make a lot of money too. There are many federal jobs as well.

    There are some downsides. First, it involves a lot of nitty-gritty work. Second, during tax season or for certain jobs, there is a lot of stress to get the work out. Long hours are certainly the norm during part of the year.

    Thirdly, it is a very hard major. Don't be fooled into thinking that you have great SATs and will automatically do well. Accounting is akin to law. There are lots of information to digest and know.

    Finally, to get the top accounting jobs, you need to get at least a 3.5 in college,which is easier said than done.
  • Myrmidon73Myrmidon73 Posts: 624Registered User Member
    I know you can get into consulting with an accounting major, but what about stuff like PE and ibanking?
  • MightyNickMightyNick Posts: 2,097Registered User Senior Member
    Accounting is challenging, but I wouldn't call it hard. It certainly isn't as hard as advanced math, economics, physics or engineering.
  • redhare317redhare317 Posts: 1,449Registered User Senior Member
    PE will depend on what you did before you want to make the switch. Chances are you won't get into it right after college, so in that sense, the major doesn't matter anymore. Accounting (in particular financial accounting/financial statement analysis) is very useful for banking. However, while all business programs have accounting, remember that not every business program is recruited by banks. The skill set itself is beneficial to the career. Even if you major in something else, taking a few courses in accounting will help during interviews and training.
  • taxguytaxguy Posts: 6,516Registered User Senior Member
    MightyNick, I majored in accounting and minored in Physics. Thus, I know of what I speak.

    Intellectually, Physics is probably more sophisticated. Accounting is hard in a different way though. There are REAMS of material that you need to know, digest and analyze. You not only need good problem solving skills but need to have strong analytical skills as well. I have seen a number of engineers,who were taking accounting as part of their MBA, complain bitterly about how badly they were doing in accounting.
  • MightyNickMightyNick Posts: 2,097Registered User Senior Member
    I guess it depends on what your strengths are. Accounting is perfect if you're good but not great in Math and English.

    Btw, taxguy, I remember asking you for advice (if I should stay at PSU and major in Accounting or transfer to Michigan and major in Econ, forgoing my 3.9 GPA at PSU during freshman year). You told me to stay at PSU and major in accounting - and while I did think that was a better choice after I took the decision to transfer to Michigan, I'm starting to think that Econ isn't a bad option either if you wanna get into business as long as you have a decent GPA. The semester's only half over here at Michigan, but I'm doing alright so far. :). I do like the advice you give though, and if I weren't as crazy about Michigan (which was always my dream school) I would have stayed at PSU and majored in accounting.
  • taxguytaxguy Posts: 6,516Registered User Senior Member
    Ah, Now I remember you, MightyNick. I am glad that you like Michigan and that it worked out for you. Yes, majoring in econonics at Michigan should open a number of doors IF you get a very good GPA. I don't think it would have opened as many doors as a 3.9 in accounting, however.
  • MightyNickMightyNick Posts: 2,097Registered User Senior Member
    But then there is a difference between a degree from Penn State and a degree from Michigan isn't it? Employers know that a 3.9 at PSU is just as good as something like a 3.4 or 3.5 at Michigan. Besides, I had a 3.9 my freshman year since I only took 1 intro to financial accounting class and a bunch of liberal arts classes. I'm sure I wouldn't have kept the same GPA till senior year since accounting classes do get a lot tougher. Also, what would you consider as a "Very good GPA" at Michigan?
  • taxguytaxguy Posts: 6,516Registered User Senior Member
    Sorry to burst your bubble,but, in my opinion, a 3.9 from Penn State will be looked upon as much better than a 3.4 from Michigan, especially in accounting. I would say that maybe, just maybe a 3.6 from Michigan will be equivilent...

    Most employers honestly just look at GPA. This is especially true if you were to apply to professional and grad schools. I advised you against transferring and still stand by my advice. However, what is done is done. Just do well (at least 3.5+) at Michigan, and you should be fine.

    By the way MightyNick, the proof will be several years from now. If you were at Penn State with a 3.8+ in accounting, you would have had a plethera of job offers. My son with a 3.7 in accounting had to beat off the firms offering him jobs. He had offers for interviews from firms that he never contacted.

    If, however, you don't have this situation when you graduate then you will know I was right. Time will tell...

    Keep in touch by posting what happens upon graduation. I certainly wish you well
  • coveryfirecoveryfire Posts: 72Registered User Junior Member
    What are some good public schools for accounting?
  • MightyNickMightyNick Posts: 2,097Registered User Senior Member
    So do you think it would be a much better idea to transfer to the B-school at Michigan?

    I think for accounting majors, it doesn't matter which school you go to as long as you have a solid GPA (since accountants are recruited heavily). A lot of the big 4 firms recruit at most top 100 US News schools. I also know that a few also recruit in schools that you have never heard of before. That is what made me think that what's the point of going to PSU for accounting when I could have stayed in state and gone to Rutgers, which is also heavily recruited by big 4 accounting firms.
  • taxguytaxguy Posts: 6,516Registered User Senior Member
    MightyNick, I can't answer your question. The key is geting a strong GPA in whatever major you focus on. The advantage of accounting and other "vocational" types of majors is that you know where you can apply for jobs,which are in demand. Majoring in liberal arts or economics doesn't really give you specific places for jobs. If you want to practice as an economist, you need to get at least a masters and usually a PHD.
  • MightyNickMightyNick Posts: 2,097Registered User Senior Member
    I don't want to practice as an Economist. Rather, I'm looking to go into Finance with an Econ degree. I lot of the companies that I've been talking to at campus day job fairs say that for jobs in business, you don't really need to have a Business degree. Obviously, accountants have an easier time getting jobs since there are so many of them - especially the entry level ones. It is harder for liberal arts students to get a job, but if your major is more marketable (economics rather than art history, sociology etc) than from what I've heard, it doesn't if you major in Finance or Economics.
  • JBVirtuosoJBVirtuoso Posts: 4,579Registered User Senior Member
    If you're a not a high school senior or older, then consider taking a high school accounting course. I'm very glad I did, and I'll probably take another year of it, even though I'm not serious about being an accountant. It's really a good way to test the waters and see if you like it or not, since high school accounting is usually rather slow-paced and you get a lot of help from the teacher. I personally like all the number crunching and organization that is necessary for accounting.

    Today my accounting teacher explained the difference between Accounting and Finance. Accounting is for reporting on past events, while Finance analyzes what may happen in the future. That can help you in your decision.

    Accounting is reported to be an increasingly less common major for incoming college students, so in a few years the job market will be very good for accounting majors. Entry level jobs (like bookkeeping) are very tedious, but if you promptly get your CPA you won't be doing that for long.
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