Overview of the accounting profession

3. Corporate and governmental accounting careers

If public accounting doesnít interest you, working for a business or the government might be a better fit. These positions entail a mixture of accounting/bookkeeping, tax work, financial analysis, and consulting. You could also be an internal or governmental auditor. Generally, corporate positions require at least a year of experience because many businesses donít want to spend time training fresh accountants. Federal agencies, on the other hand, are more willing to train new hires.

Although the CPA certification certainly wonít hurt, other certifications such as Certified Internal Auditor or Certified Management Accountant may be more helpful for the particular needs of the business or government entity.

4. Academic careers in accounting

Another career choice may be in academia.† For example, you can be interested in teaching accounting at a community college or a university.† A Masterís degree in accounting may be sufficient for that.† A step further would be to obtain a PhD in accounting.† PhD programs require about five years of studies and are known to be intense and time-consuming.† Once a student graduates from a PhD program, the student finds a job in a university where he/she teaches and/or performs accounting research.† In addition to teaching and doing research, accounting professors can also publish textbooks or assist organizations (e.g., PCAOB) in the area of their expertise.† Finally, accounting professors can perform consulting work (e.g., tax consulting).

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