How To Become An Accountant
For many, learning how to become an accountant is a path leading to a stable and upwardly mobile career. Even in difficult economic times, an accountant performs an irreplaceable function and is vital to the success of a business. Choosing to become an accountant opens the door to a career that is rewarding, intellectually challenging, and always in demand.
- Brush up on your math skills. One of the indications that accounting might be a good match for a student is a natural aptitude with numbers. If you're hoping to become an accountant, you need to keep your math skills up to par by taking advanced math classes and scoring well on the math sections of standardized tests.
- Choose a college or university. Most colleges and universities offer programs in accounting, business, or finance. In order to become an accountant, you must hold a Bachelor's Degree in accounting, or a related field. If you're hoping to becoming a CPA, look into what the education requirements are, and make sure the program you choose meets those, to avoid taking extra classes in the future.
- Choose a specialty. As with many fields, being an accountant usually means choosing a specialty. Government, business, and internal auditing are just a few popular fields in which an accountant may specialize. Do some research into different types of accounting jobs, and choose the field that seems to best match your personality, your skills, your income goals, and the type of environment in which you'd be happiest working.
- Become computer savvy. Accountants spend a great deal of time at their computers, so becoming proficient with the different accounting software suites on the market is a resume-boosting skill for those who wish to become an accountant. Don't just limit yourself to learning skills that benefit you as an accountant; showing you have a well-rounded set of computer skills is going to give you an edge over those who will have to be taught on the job.
- Gain experience with internships. Most companies are not interested in hiring an accountant without work experience, even for an entry level position. Landing a part-time or temp job in an accounting-related field, or doing a summer internship, will dramatically increase your chances of finding a full-time job after you graduate.
- Take the CPA exam. Becoming a Certified Public Accountant opens up a number of doors for an accountant. The test consists of four parts, administered over two days. Before you're able to take the test, you must have a bachelor's degree, plus related work experience. Though not every accountant chooses to become a CPA, those with the certification tend to command higher salaries