Tips and tricks to find the right school to study finance or accounting
In today’s competitive marketplace, an accounting or a finance degree can help you carve a suitable pathway for career advancement. In fact, from construction companies to consulting firms and global players, accounting and finance majors from esteemed schools are always in demand. What you should do is realizing the great potential and capitalize on career opportunities.
The Power of Statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job outlook growth for accounting and auditing positions is 13% for the period 2012 to 2022. On the same page, analysts estimate that economic growth and increased regulation on company’s financials will create more job prospects for candidates holding an accounting or a finance degree, particularly CPAs. Considering that employment growth is positively related to the growth of the economy, accounting and finance graduates will be increasingly in demand for preparing the company’s financial records.
In addition, established financial firms like Deloitte, KPMG and PwC are constantly on the lookout for top graduates with outstanding academic records to fill in positions in their graduate schemes. Given that finance and accounting are both extremely versatile fields, a degree in any of these majors may take you up the career ladder, landing a position as a financial planner or even CEO.
What You Should Look For
Selecting the right school requires taking into consideration several factors that, not only will make your academic life easier for two or four years, but will also ensure that you will earn a degree with professional value. Although many schools offer similar curricula and course materials, there are factors that can make a really big difference in your final decision. So, what you should look for to find the right school to study finance or accounting?
- School curricula
First of all, you should focus on the degree itself. Finance or Accounting? And why? This may be a tricky question because many students don’t even know the difference between the two. Finance studies the management of money, whereas accounting involves collecting and organizing financial information to track Finance shifts. So, there are exact differences between the two majors. However, schools offer different degrees for similar programs and earning a finance degree from one university may not match the value of a finance degree from another, and the same applies to accounting degrees.
- Skills covered
Earning a finance or accounting degree requires you to learn a number of related skills, including bookkeeping and tax preparation, problem solving, financial analysis, financial compliance, risk management and project flow, among others. Before selecting the right school, make sure you are willing to acquire these skills.
- Academic strength
Schools normally disclose the average SAT scores of freshmen. By having a look at these scores you can statistically understand the academic strength of the school you are about to select and the level of academic challenge that you are about to face, if accepted.
- Duration of studies
Schools offer two or four years of studies. If you choose a two-year Finance or Accounting program, chances are you will select a community college, where you can benefit from smaller classes, better teaching and lower academic fees. On the other hand, four-year schools provide better academic resources, a more challenging academic environment and a stronger sense of community, provided you are living on campus.
- Online or on campus?
Although, at first, online degrees were not well accepted by the educational community in the fear of compromising traditional education models, it is no secret that, today, nearly 67% of the largest and most esteemed schools offer online degree programs. If you consider online enrollment, make sure to select a school that is also brick-and-mortar. Also, given that online degrees are best accepted when you are already a professional, it would be better to earn a bachelor on campus and a master’s online. Automatically, this is widely viewed as a tool of enhancing your career, and it makes you look like a driven individual, who tries to combine work and school for acquiring better knowledge.
In conclusion, selecting the right school for earning a finance or accounting degree may be a tough decision. Consider all above factors, do your research over the Internet and talk to graduates who have attended one school or another. You can also take a self-assessment quiz to measure your strengths and weaknesses. Above all, be sure about your field of interest. It will help you a lot in determining the right school for your finance or accounting studies.
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