Today's demand for accurate and honest financial reporting creates an unprecedented need for accounting professionals in industry, government, and nonprofit organizations. A degree in accounting prepares you for a career that has a projected growth rate of 13%

Accountants perform a variety of services for their employers and clients which can include internal and external auditing, tax services, and consulting or advisory. To pursue a career in accounting, new professionals will need to complete 150 hours of academic credit hours and maintain a high GPA to prepare for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

Necessary Skills

Skills needed for a career in accounting
  • Accounting Principles
  • Analytical/Quantitative Ability
  • Basic Accounting Software
  • Customer Service
  • Data Analysis
  • English Language Proficiency
  • Legal Practices/Codes
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Professional Communication
  • Presentation Skills
  • Office Experience
  • Organizational Skills
  • Risk Analysis
  • Research
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management

Degrees and Certifications

Below are a few examples of degrees and certificates at Mason.

For information about degree programs outside of Mason, visit Peterson's.

How to Get Started

6 steps to get you started in accounting
  1. Enroll in either an accounting bachelor degree or certificate program.
  2. Join an on-campus club or organization relevant to this industry.
    Examples: Beta Alpha Psi, Accounting Honors Society, Mason Accounting Society
  3. Meet employers interested in accounting students at networking events
  4. Complete a semester-long internship or practical experience in this industry.
    Participate in our On-Campus Interview program to secure an internship, externship, or full-time position in accounting. Note: Accounting employers typically recruit in the fall semester.
  5. Join a professional association prior to graduation.
  6. Prepare for and complete the CPA exam.

Resources

Research, get experience, and get connected to accounting contacts.

Industry Research

Experiential Learning

  • Shadow an accounting professional during school breaks (also referred to as an externship); utilize Mason CareerLink via HireMason to find professionals who are willing to host externs.

  • Start looking for accounting internship/externship opportunities during your second semester freshman year as well as sophomore year.

  • Take a leadership role in your student organization or club.

  • Consider a Study Aboard Internship to obtain global business experience.

Job / Internship Search

Professional Associations

Job Functions

Accountant/Auditor                                                (Public, Management, and Government)

Accountants and Auditors prepare and examine financial documents for companies and clients. It is their job to ensure all documents are accurate and timely for tax purposes. To become an accountant most companies require that the new professional is ready to or has taken the CPA exam.

Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers create, produce, and record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records to ensure organizations are reporting all of their financial information accurately.

Budget Analyst

Analysts help public and private firms to organize their finances for reports and to assist in monitoring spending.

Claims Examiner and Investigator

These professionals evaluate insurance claims to decide if the insurance company will pay and how much.

Cost Estimator

Collect and analyze data to estimate time, money, materials, and labor to create appraisals and estimate project costs.

Financial Analyst

Assess stocks, bonds, and other investments to assist organizations and individuals to make informed investment decisions.

Financial Examiner

Examine financial documents to ensure they are in compliance with government standards.

Financial Manager

Create financial reports, investment updates, and strategic plans to assist an organization in reaching their financial goals.

Management Analyst

Develop and propose plans to improve an organizations efficiency and make them more profitable. Tax Examiner, Collector, and Revenue Agent Review tax returns, conduct audits, identify taxes owed, and collect over tax payments from individuals and organizations.

Resume Sample

Meet Your Industry Advisor

Matt Myers

Matt Myers, Accounting Industry Advisor
Make an Appointment