Skip to Main Content

What Can You Do With A Major In Accounting? 

Accounting involves the preparation, examination and verification of the reporting of financial and business transactions to managers in business, industry and government. The major fields of accounting are public, management, government and internal auditing.  Governmental accountants need additional emphasis in special accounting methods for non-profit organizations.  Internal auditors need to be able to evaluate managerial effectiveness and efficiency.  Management accountants, serving as controllers, treasurers, and other financial executives need more concentration in the use of accounting data for predicting future costs and income, as well as for evaluative purposes.  Public accountants need more emphasis in the concepts and standards of auditing and financial reporting. Knowledge of computer systems and the development and repair of software is very helpful. A master's degree is preferable. Professional recognition through certification or licensure provides a distinct advantage in the job market. Most accountants work in urban areas, in colleges, in private industries or in the government. Self-employed accountants may be able to do part of their work at home.

Typical Job Titles

Note: Some of these occupations might require advanced degrees

Actuary   Fund Raiser
Administrator   Commodities Trader
Industrial/Institutional Buyer   Bookkeeper
International Trade Specialist   Business Teacher
Assistant Controller   Management Accountant
Contract Administrator   Internal Auditor
Production Manager   Auditor
External Auditor   Consumer Credit Officer
Managerial Accountant   Financial Investment Analyst
International Trade   Industrial Transportation
Bank Examiner   Financial Analyst
Insurance Agent/Broker   Controller
Methods/Procedures Specialist   Inventory Control Specialist
Claims Adjuster   IRS Investigator
Benefits/Compensation   General Auditor
Cost Accountant   Payroll Manager
Property Accountant   IRS Investigator
Collection Agent   Budgetary Control Analyst
Governmental Accountant   Systems Analyst
Credit and Collection   Personal Financial Planner
Tax Compliance Specialist   Loan Administrator
Commercial Banker   Certified Public Accountant
Industrial Accountant   Tax Lawyer
Tax Specialist   Professor
Treasurer   Chief Cost Accountant
Public Accountant   Treasury Management Specialist
Estate Planner   Securities Broker
Trust Accountant   Stockbroker
Underwriter   Chief Financial Officer
Systems Analyst   Tax Accountant
Treasury Management   Claim Adjuster/Examiner
Cost Department Supervisor   Financial Aid Director

Typical Employers/Work Settings


Accounting Firms   Insurance Companies
Banking Firms   Internal Auditing Agencies
Colleges/Universities   Law Enforcement Agencies
Financial Institutions   Non-Profit Organizations
Freelance for Individuals   Self Employment
Federal Government Agencies   Tax Companies
State Government Agencies   Retail Companies
Local Government Agencies   Hospitals
Manufacturing Companies   Religious Organizations
Labor Unions    

Typical Salaries -Typical Salaries

National Average:  Entry Level with a Bachelor’s Degree: $47,000  (From the Spring 2008 NACE Salary Survey (National Association of Colleges and Employers).  Note:  starting salaries directly correlate with level of each student's GPA, Internship Experience and professionalism. 

Salary Resources


Match This Major To Careers


Question Mark with wording What Can I do with this major?

Skills Needed For This Career

Problem Solver   Numerical Computation
Oral and written communication   Adapt well to frequent change
Analyze and interpret data   Computer literacy
Organized   Critical Thinking
Systemizing skills   Efficient
Work independently   Logical Thinking
Team work     


Links To Professional Associations

Professional Associations are important to explore because many offer student memberships and can give you access to other professionals and their experiences, research, convention or workshop opportunities, professional development and most importantly job databases.

American Accounting Association  
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 
Association of Government Accountants 
National Association of Tax Professionals

Institute of Management Accountants
The Institute of Internal Auditors

State Boards for Accounting  

Job Search Information

National Organizations or Databases key updates to the career pages include:
- A comprehensive look at the growth of remote accounting positions at not-for-profit employers
- Tips for pursuing actuary graduate work while working simultaneously
- A list of top accounting employers for ROI segmented by state
- Advice for international students interested in continuing their education at a US college resource for potential CPAs and students researching state requirements for CPA certification National accounting career opportunities resource for accounting degrees.  Latest industry expertise and accounting news. -Video interviews with experts from top universities and national associations

Graduate Schools

Applying To Graduate and Professional Schools

Link To UNF Academic Programs

The  Coggin College of Business   at the University of North Florida offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in  Accounting. 

Holland Interest Codes

Accounting:  Conventional   Enterprising 

Career Action Plan

•Develop leadership skills on-campus (RA, Peer Advisor, Presidential Envoys, Student Government, etc. ) 

•Join student clubs and groups related to your major 

Focus on your grades and your GPA.  Many accounting firms will only interview candidates with a GPA of 3.0 or higher 

•Gain work experience through an internship in your junior and  senior years.  

•If considering working in international business study a foreign language

•Broaden your understanding of business by taking related courses such as finance, marketing, budget analysis, etc.

•Look to get certifications from professional associations:  (Institute of Internal Auditors; Institute of Management  Accountants)