What Do Accounting Majors Do?
Grace College has a strong track record of preparing accountants and launching them into successful careers. Our accomplished faculty with real-world experience ensures students become confident and competent accountants. But what do accounting majors do that prepares them for a successful career? And if you’re thinking about majoring in accounting, you may wonder — what do accounting majors do?
“Accounting students learn the principles of business and how to convert the operations of a company into accurate and reliable information,” says Danielle Deal, an instructor of accounting at Grace College. “Class curriculum is focused on teaching the ‘language of business’ and teaching students how to glean insight from that information to better serve customers and clients.”
Rebecca Penrod, a current accounting major at Grace, summarizes it this way. “We work with numbers and finances within companies,” she said. Among many things, there are three core ways accountants do this.
When working in industry accounting, accountants track profit, expenses, and loans. They also look at customer patterns and measure how companies can broaden their influence. Accounting is about tracking data to improve performance.
Another important piece to accounting is critical thinking skills. We help students develop these muscles through the homework in accounting classes. Homework consists of running numbers based on a prompt, much like an algebra class. A student can expect to create budgets in Excel and sometimes even write papers. Professor Deal likens accounting homework to solving a crossword puzzle or sudoku problem.
Whether the problem is business returns or auditing fixed assets, students apply the rules of accounting to solve the puzzle – and there are many puzzles to solve.
“Students learn the basics in the classroom with pretty, clean answers at the back of the book. When they enter the real world, they have to apply what they learned in the classroom to messy general ledgers and confusing tax returns,” Deal said.
Accounting courses at Grace ensure that students have graduated the back-of-the-book answers and know how to solve real-world problems.
So what jobs can you get with an accounting degree?
Accounting is a diverse field with many opportunities. Accounting graduates could become a business advisor, a manager, or a corporate accountant. They could also work in banking and investments or even for the FBI.
“Everyone needs accountants,” said Penrod. “There are tons of paid internship opportunities. A lot of students choose accounting because of the job and financial security.”
Part of being an accounting major is figuring out what type of accounting you want to do as your career. Real-world application of the skills you practice in class is important. A great way to do this is through internships.
For Penrod, this looked like completing an internship this past spring with DOZ preparing tax returns for affordable housing clients. During her internship, she was able to apply what she learned in class about the low-income housing tax credit.
“I loved seeing the connections between what I learned in class and what I did in my internship. I could look at a statement and say, ‘I learned this in class!’”
Penrod will decide this fall which company she wants to work with after she graduates with her bachelor’s degree in accounting. She offers this encouragement to any student wondering if accounting is a good fit for them. “It’s not going to be easy, but the hard work pays off and it’s rewarding.”
If you’ve ever wondered what do accounting majors do, now you know!
Ready to dive into the world of problem-solving as an accounting major? Learn more about the accounting program at Grace!