Accounting is one of the foundational components of an efficient, profitable business or government entity. Members of the accounting profession are key players required to properly maintain a free-market economy. The practice of professional accounting, fortunately, relates to nearly every industry imaginable, so accounting majors have many career paths from which to select.
The skills and talents of accounting majors are easily applied to the fields of investment banking, security assessment, risk management, corporate finance, and of course, banking, among many others. If a student were certain of a dual interest in an accounting-related field (early on in their college career), it would be prudent to consider vying for dual major accounting degrees when graduating. A student’s college advisor is helpful for sorting out the requirements and details regarding a dual major study path.
Why Would Someone Want to Double Major in Accounting?
Opting to graduate with dual major accounting degrees is a smart, time-conscious way to complete two different programs of study at the same time. Earning a dual accounting major provides a pathway to multiple career paths to choose from when a student graduates.
Accounting majors with double degrees that overlap each other bolster a candidate’s appeal in the hiring process. When a student has earned two majors that are not closely related to one another, their skill base is viewed as diversified, which is also preferable. In fact, a comprehensive/dual accounting degree often appeals to a variety of jobs and industries. In essence, it expands and enlarges the job pool from which a recent graduate can find the job that is right for them.
Another valuable consideration is as follows: When job searching in a highly competitive economy, accounting graduates with a double major will have earned the edge that just might be needed to land a job. If a graduate (already employed in a competitive marketplace) has a dual accounting degree, this is an important way to maintain job security.
Fulfilling each set of requirements for both of the two majors requires commitment and hard work through one’s college career. As logic would dictate, the time required to complete a dual degree often takes a bit longer than the time required to complete a single major degree. However, this additional year of schooling often helps those planning to become a certified public accountant (CPA). CPA candidates typically complete their undergraduate degree in five years. As such, the dual degree path is a great alternative method for students to meet their CPA degree requirements without attending graduate school.
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Dual Major Accounting Degree Options
Industry feedback suggests that there is a strong demand for accounting majors who graduate with a dual degree related to informational systems or finance. Many dual major accounting degrees are available — they can be obtained anywhere from Ivy League schools to your local community college.
Computer Information Systems (CIS) and Accounting
These two majors will complement one another because every business has a digital framework on which it depends.
Accounting and CIS are two fields of study that crisscross one another’s trajectories often. So much so, that many schools are currently, proactively creating a combined major to include both. This is happening because the days of accountants using paper to perform their job is quickly disappearing. The revolutionary technological advances have redefined the accounting profession, along with every other industry. A dual major such as this will make your educational background competitive for IT auditing jobs, as well as accounting and finance jobs.
With this double major of accounting and CIS, a student is prepared to develop and/or maintain computer systems tasked with storing financial data.
Accounting and the Law
Accounting is similar to the field of law in several different ways, and like CIS, the legal field intersects the field of accounting over and over again. An accounting and law dual major is a great educational background for those interested in working in the field of financial compliance. If a student wishes to attend law school (or to eventually sit for the CPA exam), this dual major accounting degree is the perfect set up to do so. The reality is, tax law as a profession is a growing sector of the workplace, a precursor to a strong demand for tax law professionals.
Technology persistently evolves and expands. This is likely to continue considering the steady pace seen over the past several decades.
Double Major Accounting and Finance
A double major in accounting and finance prepares a student to attain the highly sought-after skills and knowledge of statistics, marketing, business principles, and organization behavior, among others. This particular double degree trains each student to evaluate a business’s solvency and to then offer recommendations for improvement regarding the business’s financial profile. On a personal note, a student can learn to mitigate risk and invest more prudently to help manage their own personal finances.
Business Double Major
With a double major in business administration and accounting, a student has the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of ethics, law, marketing, and even communication — the tenets upon which businesses thrive. With this impressive credential, employers can rest assured regarding the quality of your vision, judgment, and accuracy. Students earning a dual major of accounting and business administration will possess the ability to identify errors, market business plans, and reduce losses. Every business entity, large or small, requires the skills of a professional accountant to either prepare their financials or to offer guidance regarding other business-related matters.
Education and Accounting
When a student decides to obtain an education major as a complement to their accounting degree, they will be fully trained during their college career to create powerful presentations for many different types of audiences.
Accounting and education majors learn to communicate effectively and efficiently, as they understand the importance of clarity and exactness. These skills are a perfect fit for middle and upper-level management positions. Additionally, these dual major accounting degrees allow the student to pursue an accounting teaching career.
Economics and Accounting
An accounting degree coupled with an economics major balances accounting practices with relative ease. A student learns to apply logic and reason when attempting to identify complex accounting or economic issues in need of resolution.
The need for this dual skill can be found in every industry. Business entities (no matter the size of the business) require the reconciliation of accurate financial data if it is to comply with IRS guidelines or plan its future with any accuracy. Double accounting and economics graduates are critical thinkers who constantly refine their personal approach.
Careers in the Accounting Field
Accountants with dual majors have been trained to work in many different industries. The options range from finance, public service, accounting matters, and business.
Graduates wishing to work in a private practice can choose from consultancy, taxation, as well as auditing. Accounting graduates preferring to find employment in the industry and commerce sector are qualified to professionally implement cost accounting, financial accounting, or pension fund management processes.
The public sector also employs professional accountants. This type of accountancy work is found in local governments and health authorities, among many other subcategories.
Income Expectations for Accounting Graduates
For the purposes of statistical reporting, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) combines the positions of accountants and auditors because of their similar job responsibilities. In 2019, accountants and auditors accounted for 1,436,100 jobs within the economy.
Additionally, BLS reports that anticipated growth for these positions has been projected to grow at a 4% pace through 2029. This growth is as fast as the projected average of all industries.
The median pay for accountants and auditors, for 2020, was $73,560 per year or, $35.37 per hour.
The Accounting Double Major Take-Away
A double major accounting graduate has many career directions and options from which to choose. With steady job growth predicted over the next decade, the future is looking bright for accounting graduates.
Bottom line: A dual major accounting degree is a serious commitment. Plan early with a college advisor to get the most from the dual degree.
Featured Image: Kiyoshi Hijiki / Moment / Getty Images
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