Our recent post discussed resources for starting one’s own Certified Public Accounting (CPA) business; however, the accounting profession offers a number of lucrative job opportunities. In fact, according to a 2015 salary survey by the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE), graduates earning a degree in accounting were among the top-paid from the class of 2015 and had an average starting salary of $51,310.
Accounting jobs are not only high paying but also among those with the greatest job placement. According to the 2014 data gathered by NACE, accounting ranked in third place when it comes to the number of job offers to students before graduation.
Today, some of the top paying accounting jobs can be found among the largest accounting firms, known as the “big four.” They include Deloitte, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), Ernst & Young, also known as EY, and KPMG.
A number of factors are driving demand for accountants. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Handbook attributes stronger regulatory environment to a rising demand for more accountants and auditors. Their responsibilities include preparing and examining financial documents, and ensuring financial records are accurate. According to the handbook, accountants and auditors earn an average yearly salary of $65,940 and their employment is projected to grow 11 percent by 2024.
Determining which accounting jobs pay the most can be difficult as salaries are often affected by a number of factors including experience, industry, company size, position level and skills among others. PayScale.com, an online source for salary information, notes that in addition to experience, some of the skills that affect salary are financial analysis, budget management and financial reporting.
At William Woods University, students pursuing a Bachelor of Sciences in Accounting take a number of courses that help them acquire the necessary skills to compete for top-paying jobs. For example, students take ACC343 Cost/Managerial Accounting, a course that trains students to make sound financial decisions based on accounting data and information. Other courses include ACC441 Auditing and BUS415 Corporate Finance.