While your accounting degree can lead to a prosperous and rewarding career in fields like investment banking or consulting, the unfortunate reality can be that there are more students than opportunities available in these traditional financial fields. But just because you may not secure a more glamorous title on graduation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still pursue the subject. Here are some of the more uncommon, but arguably more interesting, careers that your accounting degree may help prepare you for:
A Start-up or Entrepreneurial Role
Younger start-up companies often have more innovative products or service offerings than their larger counterparts. While most start-ups fail within their first few years, these smaller companies may offer a unique product or service that takes off in the market, making any professional risk worth the gamble. And an entrepreneurial environment usually means being exposed to a wider range of tasks such as administration, accounting, marketing, and strategy. With a lean staff and fewer resources, your education will be quickly put to a rigorous test. This may be a better match for your personality and work style as opposed to a more structured, narrowly-defined job inside a larger corporation.
The Non-Profit Sector
The non-profit sector and other non-government organizations are always in need of financially savvy people on their staff, particularly when it comes to navigating complex organizational and tax regulations. And what better way to feel like your degree and career are making a real difference in the day-to-day lives of other people? Find a cause that you believe strongly in, and look for organizations that are active in that field. More non-traditional recruitment processes compared to the private sector make networking that much more important to landing your dream job.
Internal auditing is an absolutely essential role within any company to ensure that daily operations run smoothly and all laws and regulations are adhered to. Internal auditors also help protect their company’s assets by mitigating risks, which can range from fraud or other legal exposure to internal mismanagement. And because of their role as an impartial watchdog, internal auditors perform their duties largely autonomously and will generally report directly to the CEO of a publicly traded company.
Before any film rolls, production companies need to have a budget prepared to work within for their project. You might work directly for these production companies, or, more likely, for one of the many accounting firms that exist to support the entertainment industry.
Or if sports are more your passion, you could work behind the scenes to help professional athletes and teams work out contracts, sponsorship deals, or advise on how to work within their league’s salary cap limits.
Every business, whether public or private, for profit or non, requires leadership, management, and the practical skills that are necessary to run a business day-to-day. A bachelors in accounting may be a traditional degree, but that doesn’t mean that how you use it has to be.