Last updated by
March 1, 2021
My answer is a definite yes to the question, “Is accounting a good major?”. But only if it appeals to you. Your answer may be different, because only you know you.
My answer is a definite yes to the question, “Is accounting a good major?” But only if it appeals to you. Your answer may be different, because only you know you. So, while I can’t give you your answer, I can share my experiences that may give you insights you haven’t considered.
Before I get into my story, let me share one statistic.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the need for accountants and auditors will increase 10% between 2016-2026. This growth rate is faster than the average in most other occupations.
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I was the first in a line of family members who chose accounting. So, I might be a little biased. However, I’ve seen a lot of success in this field which naturally paints a positive picture for accounting.
I think I was destined for accounting from the beginning. In 5th grade I was making plans to be a millionaire. I didn’t grow up with money, my parents were teachers, money was sufficient but scarce. The scarcity of money forced my parents into budgeting and record keeping.
Mom diligently recorded every penny spent or earned in a lined ledger book. At 70+ years old, she still tracks everything in her ledger book. Maybe I learned something from observing her that inspired me into the field of accounting.
As a young boy, curiosity often got the best of me. One Christmas, I just had to know what gifts I was getting. Having a logical mind, and understanding what she recorded in her ledger book, I couldn’t wait until my parents left for the evening.
I snuck into their room and found the ledger book in the bedside table drawer. As I opened it, sure enough, it was all there. The descriptions and numbers told the story. It was my first exposure to reading financial information, and I liked it.
Something I have observed over the years goes something like this.
“You either love accounting or hate accounting, rarely is there an in between.”
Loving it or liking it, might come for several reasons:
The career path of an accountant is the most exciting part of accounting; because it is unlimited.
Many people start in accounting but end up someplace completely different. The reason being is when you know numbers, can analyze numbers, and communicate numbers you often become a critical component of decision making which opens doors to upper management and other opportunities.
Accounting is a foundation you can definitely build upon.
I mentioned earlier I was the first in my family to venture into accounting. Since then, I have watched 2 brothers, a nephew and 2 sons follow suit. All 6 of us are CPA’s but what is interesting is we all find ourselves in different roles and positions.
Me: I am a small business owner now, completely unrelated to accounting.
Brother 1: CFO at a large insurance company
Brother 2: Senior accountant at a large company
Nephew: Controller at smaller growing company
Son 1: Senior accountant at a new credit card company startup
Son 2: Tax accountant for the largest local CPA firm in the state
While most are still in accounting, and I certainly am involved in my own accounting, our path and experiences have been incredibly varied. Four of the six started in public accounting, with only one still remaining in public accounting. Two started in industry and have worked their way up to higher positions.
It might be interesting to note that I have one brother and one son, that bucked the trend and have completely avoided accounting. Let’s just say – they do not love accounting. The brother is a city planner turned attorney. The son is still figuring out his path, but it includes wanting to make a difference, and his feeling is accounting does not offer that opportunity.
Just to bring some clarity to the opportunities in accounting here is a list of areas most accounting majors find themselves in upon graduation.
Hopefully this has given you some food for thought as you determine whether an accounting major is right for you.