A degree in accounting provides students with a strong foundation in financial, tax and cost accounting concepts. Students are encouraged to use critical and analytical thinking to make rational decisions, solve problems and understand the ethical implications involved in reporting and using financial and nonfinancial information.
Graduates can pursue careers in one of the four major fields of accounting: public accounting, management accounting, government accounting and internal audit. Employment can be found in public accounting firms, private industry, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and educational institutions. Some graduates open their own firms and are self employed.
Many students continue their education in graduate school, and most obtain certification to advance their career, such as becoming a Certified Public Accountant. In addition to passing all four parts of the Uniform CPA Examination, most states require candidates to complete 150 semester hours of college coursework and have two years of professional experience.
Other potential certifications include Certified Management Account, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Financial Services Auditor, Certified Information Systems Auditor, Certified Information Technology Professional and Personal Financial Specialist. These certifications also have requirements in addition to the bachelor’s degree in accounting.
In the Workforce
- Public accountants provide a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services to their clients. Our graduates have held various positions in these areas for all types of public accounting firms, including the Big Four firms. Positions have included: audit associate, staff accountant, senior accountant, tax senior accountant, supervising senior auditor, tax manager, forensic accountant and consultant.
- Management accountants support the management functions of planning, directing and controlling operations within a company. They work in various areas, including strategic planning, budgeting, performance evaluation, cost accounting, asset management, financial analysis and reporting. Positions our graduates have held include: corporate accountant, corporate accounting manager, senior tax analyst, budget analyst, net asset accountant, international audit supervisor, organizational development specialist, administration director, assistant controller, controller, senior vice president, president, chief administrative officer, chief financial officer and chief executive officer.
- Government accountants perform audits of private businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government regulations or taxation and maintain and examine the records of government agencies. Career opportunities exist at the federal, state, and municipal levels. Federal agencies include the Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency. Our graduates have held positions as accountants, auditors and technical specialists for various government agencies.
- Internal auditors perform compliance and operational audits within their organization. Their responsibilities include examining and evaluating the organization’s internal controls, financial and information systems, management procedures and the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. Our graduates have held positions as senior internal auditors and internal audit managers.
- Graduates have also pursued careers in related areas and have held positions as portfolio managers, insurance advisers, financial advisers, security analysts, fixed income traders, financial planning and analysis directors and university administrators.
A degree in business administration prepares students for careers in management and leadership in many areas. Graduates may find employment in for-profit, nonprofit, government, educational, health care and sports settings, among others.
Coursework in accounting, economics, research, communications, marketing, ethics and finance gives students the knowledge to be self-employed entrepreneurs, managers or supervisors in business and services such as banking, insurance, real estate, hotel, medical sales, finance, manufacturing, product development, human resources, IT management, research and business analysis.
In the Workforce
- Banking: Banks, credit unions, savings and loan associations, wholesale lenders, investments, Federal Reserve banks.
- Consulting: Research assistant, research associate, business analyst.
- Education: Recruitment, advising, registrar, alumni, finance.
- Finance: Accounting, auditing, financial analyst, budget analyst, personal financial adviser, buyer.
- Government: Local, state and federal offices, military contractors and installations.
- Human resource management: Retail stores, restaurants, hotels and other facilities, health care organizations, labor unions, educational institutions.
- Insurance: Insurance firms, insurance brokers, analysts.
- Management: Hotel, restaurant, spas, athletic facilities, retail stores, operations, production, self-employed, banks.
- Nonprofit: Management, assistants in education, medical facilities and associations (such as the American Heart Association), visiting nurse home care, social enterprises (Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs), museums, theaters, environmental organizations and many others.
- Real estate: Appraisal firms, apartment and condominium complexes, leasing offices, developers.
- Sales: Manufacturers, financial companies, insurance companies, software and technology.
- Sports: Sales, media, marketing, management.
Our recent graduates have acquired positions in organizations such as:
- Arbella Insurance
- Bearcat Properties
- Calloway Labs
- CVS Caremark
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car
- Fox Relocation Management
- Halloran, Lukoff & Smith
- IT Convergence
- Liberty Regional Agency Market
- MassMutual Financial Group
- Moriarty's Invisible Fence
- Naval Undersea Warfare Center
- Partners HealthCare
- Schneider Electric
- State Street Corporation
- UBS Financial Services
- Your Sports Memorabilia Store
Graduates should be prepared to begin their career at the entry level to learn more in a specific field and to develop their professional reputation. Internships, undergraduate work experience, minors and/or concentrations in certain coursework may increase the chance of successful employment.
As an economics major you should be able to analytically and critically solve complex problems, be skilled in observation and inference from data, and be adept in presenting ideas in compelling writing and speech.
Economics majors compete very well for jobs in the business world. Many large corporations value the broad training received by economics majors, who have generally studied demand theory and estimation, production and cost theory, analysis of market structure, antitrust policy, government regulation of business, capital budgeting, inflation theory, unemployment, the determination of interest rates, and international economics.
In addition, the range of jobs for economics majors in government is as broad as government itself. Government economists work for agencies in the fields of agriculture, business, finance, labor, transportation, utilities, urban economics and international trade. Federal employers include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Fannie Mae, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Transportation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
In the Workforce
- Financial analysts guide individuals and businesses in making investment decisions based on their assessment of various financial products like stocks and bonds. They often focus on a specific region, industry or product, such as oil, Asian bond markets or the automobile industry.
- Personal financial advisers give financial advice to individuals and couples who are making financial plans, such as preparing their retirement or arranging for insurance policies.
- Financial managers are responsible for the overall financial well being of an organization, which often involves analyzing data and presenting reports as well as keeping track of accounts.
- Loan officers evaluate the financial situation of people who apply for loans, often using specialized software. Some loan officers focus on collecting on loans where the client has stopped paying.
- Revenue agents work to ensure that the government receives its legal tax payments. They analyze financial records, communicate with individuals and businesses about discrepancies, and arrange for payment as necessary.
- Budget analysts help institutions manage their finances and monitor their spending. Budget analysts also prepare reports and may provide advice and estimates about the future economic needs of their institution.
- Research economists develop new general models and theories of economics based on the work of others and their own research and analysis. They are usually expected to publish research regularly and may have teaching duties.
- Economics professors instruct students on the principles, theories and methods of economics. Responsibilities include classroom teaching as well as mentoring and guiding students, keeping up-to-date in the field and publishing academic work or textbooks. An advanced degree is required.
A degree in financial management provides students with fundamental tools and encourages them to use critical thinking, analytical and interpersonal skills. Career opportunities exist in many areas, including banks, financial service firms, insurance agencies, real estate firms and corporations. Some graduates open their own firms and are self employed.
Many students continue their education in graduate school, while others obtain certification to help advance their careers, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). These certifications have requirements in addition to receiving a bachelor’s degree, which may include further education, professional experience and an examination. Students interested in sales of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, insurance and real estate will need to obtain the appropriate professional licenses for that specialty.
In the Workforce
Our graduates have pursued a wide variety of careers, including financial consultant, financial analyst, program manager, management consultant, project coordinator, valuation analyst, data analyst, billing administrator, investment analyst, financial specialist, senior financial advisor, bank officer, senior internal auditor, institutional funds administration manager, regional investment consulting director and financial planning and analysis director.