Career Outlook: Accounting

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Accounting professionals are the fuel that keeps companies running, ensuring that their finances are in good hands.

The Role of an Accountant

As the sentinels of their companies’ finances, accountants oversee financial operations including evaluating financial and data risks, examining financial records, computing taxes and assessing profit strategies. In the accounting world, there is ample opportunity to specialize within the field. Accounting offers a wide range of paths to follow, varying in industry, services and level of experience. Whereas public accountants usually have a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax and consulting skills, management accountants, for example, specialize in using financial information to guide business decisions. Other specializations include government accountants, external auditors, IT auditors and internal auditors.

Jobs in Demand

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries hiring the most accountants include finance, insurance, accounting and tax preparation services, manufacturing, health care and government. These industries usually look for candidates who have experience with accounting procedures and software, data entry, spreadsheets and general ledger functions. Strong candidates generally have effective communication, interpersonal, analytical and problem-solving skills, and are independent thinkers with attention to detail. 

As economies and businesses begin to bounce back from COVID-19, the need for accounting professionals will steadily grow. With an increase in new enterprises, private companies going public and a continuing globalized market, accounting professionals will be needed to handle the increase in financial records and reporting, as well as to ensure compliance with a complex tax and regulatory environment. 

The accounting field also offers plenty of opportunities for career growth with experience and certification. Many accountants choose to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) to boost their job prospects. According to Accounting Today, CPA salaries vary by experience, with the average annual salary of senior-level CPAs being $150,000. 

As an accounting professional, earning certifications can increase your value in the industry and expand your career prospects. General accounting certifications that can boost your career mobility are Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Some more specialized certifications, like Certified Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), demonstrate niche skills that can also improve your job prospects. For accountants looking to join associations there are several, including the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), American Accounting Association (AAA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

Getting Started

Professional development and earning an academic certificate in accounting are good ways to develop your skills, whether you are new to the field or have some practice in the field. We offer certificates for both experience levels, and both programs count toward the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam or fulfill continuing education CMA requirements.

Our Accounting Principles Certificate is designed to give students the groundwork needed to confidently and accurately apply accounting principles in their business or profession. You will learn about current accounting standards and procedures in order to meet financial accountability requirements, advance to higher professional levels and strengthen business practices.

Program Details:

  • 4 courses, complete in 12-15 months
  • Completely online
  • Fast Track option available

Our Accounting Specialist Certificate provides advanced, senior-level accounting training. You will gain a thorough understanding of the principles and practices of accounting and financial reporting in order to excel in a career in accounting. The primary goal of this program is to enhance and hone your accounting skills and to prepare you for a senior-level position in accounting.

Program Details:

  • 5 courses, complete in 15-18 months
  • Completely online 
  • Fast Track option available

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