Top Accounting Schools
- Everest University Click for Recommended Degree Program
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- Liberty University Online Click for Recommended Degree Program
Certified Public Accountant
Accounting is an important part of our economy. While a certified public accountant generally works with individuals, they are also commonly found in the private sector working for businesses. CPA exams are one of the big hurdles that individuals have to pass to become a CPA, but upon completing that exam they are set to work in a number of areas. College will go a long way in getting you ready to enter this field, but so will experience, so you will want to find a balance which will be discussed later. With a focus on continuing education and a huge need for CPAs throughout the working world, your life will never be dull once you get started in the field. Taking that first step may seem nearly impossible, but the end result will be worth the effort.
Working as a CPA
Once you finish your education and get started in your career, you may be a little overwhelmed by the amount of options you have once you become a CPA. The average individual is probably most familiar with a CPA when it comes to tax time, but many work with an accountant when it comes to financial planning and other personal financial situation.
Once you earn your certification you will have the option to work in a number of fields. As mentioned already you can work with individuals, but you will also have the chance to work with a corporation. Corporate finance, including finance manager, CFO or CEO positions are options, as is estate planning, forensic accounting (accounting with a focus on criminal justice), management consulting or venture capital positions. As you can see, there are plenty of places to go in this career, and all of them can give you a very comfortable income as well as job security.
On average a CPA will earn around $60,000 a year. That depends largely on experience, education, position, location and a number of other factors. You will generally start out a little lower on the pay scale and pass that number up over time, but it is a pretty safe average to expect. Make sure you do the research for any specialized position you plan on moving into to ensure the salary and job requirements meet what you are looking for.
Something like forensic accounting or corporate finance will require a specific set of courses to be taken throughout your education and the earlier you can start planning for that the better. It will also make a huge difference if you can get into an entry level position within a company while you are in school so you can put your education into real-world practice.
Making Time for Work
College will not be easy. The schedule can be very difficult and you’ll find that balancing any work schedule with a college schedule is a task that is all but impossible. Unless you are able to go to school without having to worry about work, you should probably find a way to balance your college and other schedules to ensure each gets the attention it deserves.
Online degree programs allow you to go to college on any schedule you choose. You don’t have to show up to classes, instead you meet deadlines set out at the start of a semester. Graded work must be submitted by that date and as long as you are meeting those requirements, you can make your schedule daily. The information and education that you obtain through an online degree program are no different than that of a campus based course, so don’t feel as if you are taking a short cut. College won’t be easier, but it will prepare you for a great future.