If you like free enterprise, thank an accountant. No, really. While Accounting isn’t exactly glamorous, it’s absolutely central to any properly functioning free market system. In a nutshell, if you major in Accounting, you’ll learn how to keep financial records of business transactions and how to prepare statements concerning assets, liabilities, and operating results. It’s a fairly technical and very numbers- and detail-oriented field that involves economics, the interpretation of financial data, and management skills. It’s also a rapidly growing profession, and that’s not likely to change any time soon because monolithic corporations, governments, charities, labor unions, individuals, and pretty much all other kinds of entities need accountants. While it’s possible to be a general accountant, specialization is a Big Thing in this field. Many accountants specialize in auditing, taxes, or consulting. There are also several professional designations within the field of Accounting. There’s your garden-variety CPA (Certified Public Accountant) as well as your CMA (Certified Management Accountant) and your CIA (Certified Internal Auditor). Keep in mind that you’ve got to pass an extremely challenging exam after graduation in order to earn any one of these titles, though.
No surprises here. If you want to major in Accounting, you need a strong background in math. Ideally, you will have completed four or five years of college-prep math by the time you are a first-year student, as Accounting majors generally take calculus in their first year of college. Experience with computers and business-related software programs will also prove extremely beneficial.