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How to Find an Accounting Job Before You Graduate College

If you are an accounting student, you picked the right field of business!  Especially now a days when the economy is struggling, unemployment it rising, and it is getting harder and harder to find a job.  Compared to all the other business fields, accounting has the most job availability, and the best job security.  It has the best job availability because there is much more work for accountants since the Sarbeans Oxley Act, which requires publicly traded corporations to file much more reports and paperwork to the SEC.  The Sarbeans Oxley Act was passed in 2001 after the Enron scam, and requires more filings from public companies to make sure they are not committing fraud of any kind that could affect its employees and shareholders.  If you are graduating now with a degree in finance, good luck to you!  Finance majors are struggling because of the failing economy and it is much harder for a finance major to find a job fresh out of college then it is an accounting major.

If you are just entering college, and would like to pursue a career in business, you should definitely choose the accounting major.  If you are an accounting major, you can do work in any other field of business including finance, because a knowledge in accounting gives you a much more diverse business education.  Employers in Marketing, Finance, Economics, and Business will definitely hire an accounting major because they know accounting majors have such a diverse knowledge of the business world.  This does not work the other way around however!  For example, if you are a major in marketing, you won’t be able to get a job doing accounting, which then limits your job search when you are ready to graduate.

Now that you have decided you want to be an accounting major in college, the entire world of business is at your fingertips!  The key to getting a good job in accounting, and having a leg up on other accounting majors, is taking a co-op or internship.  An internship allows you to work part-time for an accounting firm while still taking classes.  You can earn college credits for taking an internship, and you will get credit usually for one class by taking an internship.  A co-op allows you to work full-time for an accounting firm, preferably during tax season, where you do not take classes and are committed to the accounting firm for an entire semester.  The good thing is that both internships and co-ops in accounting are almost always paid positions!  Other majors usually won’t pay you for taking a co-op or internship because they know you are receiving college credits by working for them.  All accounting firms who are hiring students as soon as they graduate from college usually require that their prospective employees have completed either a co-op or internship during school.  If you graduate in accounting without having completed a co-op or internship, you are at a severe disadvantage to those who have completed a co-op or internship.

Employers usually require their prospects to have completed a co-op or internship because when taking a co-op or internship while still in school, you can really get a grasp on how an accounting firm works and how they earn their money.  Co-ops and internships break students in and eliminate the rustiness first-time accountants face when they first enter the field.  Usually three to six months into taking a co-op or internship with an accounting firm, a light bulb goes off in the student’s head, and they gain great knowledge and understanding about what they are doing and how an accounting firm works.  Then, when an accounting student graduates and starts working in the real world, this “rust” is gone because they already have worked for an accounting firm and understand what is going on.  Compared to an accounting student who hasn’t completed an internship or co-op, a student who has completed an internship or co-op is more effective and quicker and more accurate when they first start working.  Employers don’t want to have to deal with students who haven’t taken a co-op or internship because they are “rusty” when they first start and are less efficient than students who have taken a co-op or internship.

So if you are just entering college and would like to enter the business field, do yourself a favor and choose accounting!  Even if you graduate in accounting and decide it isn’t what you want to do with your life, you can still enter any other business field.  Also, if you want to have a significant advantage over other accounting students, take a co-op or internship during your junior or senior year.  Many times the firm you took the co-op or internship with will extend a job offer to you for when you graduate school.  Then you can feel confident when you go back to college, and you won’t have to worry about finding a job and competing with other students from your school!  Good Luck!

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June 28, 2010 Posted by | Accounting | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How to Find an Accounting Job Before You Graduate College