As any accounting major is aware, the profession is needed in every country and in every industry and involves transferable skills no matter where you go. Accounting skills are used in the public and private sectors and in everyday life. Students majoring in the discipline have the option of working for a business or establishing their own. An accountant can pursue many career paths, starting at entry level to working in a more specialized capacity.
If you are a student looking for your first job, think about the type of industry you would like to work in.
Entry-level jobs will entail mostly the same work in all industries, so it is best to think of a sector you have a personal interest in. Aside from pursuing the profession you have chosen, you might obtain personal satisfaction working for a company or in an area that fits your personality, such as high tech, banking, nonprofits, government, or education. Once you have decided on a sector to pursue, here are a few tips and strategies to follow to find a job:
- Join networking groups such as AICPA and the American Society for Women Accountants to help establish relationships in the industry. Many times, you will meet people who can provide leads on open positions. Employers like to hire people who are recommended by a current employee, so make the connections and market your skills.
- Identify recruiting firms that specialize in the field of accounting. Target these recruiters by sending your résumé and meeting with specialists. Even if they do not have a position at the current time, it is still worthwhile to have a conversation. You want to be the first person they call when a position opens.
- Many of the certification and networking websites, such as CPA, CMA, CIA, and AICPA have job postings for members who specialize in the accounting profession. These websites might have opportunities not otherwise posted.
- One way to stay ahead of other job seekers is to stay abreast of industry trends, needs, and demands. Technical skills are becoming more important in the accounting industry, and those professionals who take additional computer classes will have the advantage over others. Additionally, if you hear that a new global regulation or accounting standard is being required, the job seeker should stay informed on the changes and perhaps update his or her skills in that area to maintain a competitive advantage.