Accountants get a bad rap for being stereotypically nerdy and quiet. Be that as it may, accountants, or anyone with a degree in accounting, are probably one of the highest earning employees in any company. This is not just because they manage the company’s finances, but also because their earning potential as a freelancer is practically unlimited.

Certified Public Accountants are probably one of the most sought-after certifications in the country, although it is a difficult one to achieve. And although you do need a solid head for math, it’s a fairly accessible discipline to take, with accountancy online courses usually enough to turn any average person into a financial wizard.

Here are just some employment opportunities you can achieve as an accountant.

A Constant Need for Accountants

There are only two things certain in life: death and taxes, and luckily for accountants, both of those life constants require eagle-eyed financial analysis to ensure that people get what is due to them. The world will always need an accountant, with virtually every industry requiring some form or another of a person who goes over their financial records and makes sure everything is right where it needs to be.

But let’s say that you don’t want to become a Certified Public Accountant and make tons of money. Not to worry: studying accountancy is a great foundation for anyone looking to branch out into finance, economics, or just the broader spectrum of monetary theories. Most accountants -or, indeed, anyone with either a degree in accounting or accountancy certification -are rarely out of a job, and if they are, it’s usually never for long.

Accountant vs. Actuary: Why Not Both?

Some people get confused between an actuary and an accountant, and to make it simple, you can think of it this way: accountants study the past; actuaries the future. In accounting, a person is taught how to analyze existing data in order to make an interpretation of an organization’s financial records. Meanwhile, actuaries are taught how to predict an organization’s future financial opportunities given current data trends.

They’re similar in that both disciplines require a solid framework of analysis, financial management basics, and complex calculations. While you’ll need to take separate degrees and certifications for both professions, being an accountant would help a person pursue actuarial sciences, and vice versa. There’s no reason for a person to choose: you can be an accountant and an actuary, actually.

A Secure Job in Securities and Brokerage

In financial terms, securities are fungible (i.e. tradeable) assets that hold some form of monetary value, like stocks, bonds, or options. Apart from being a Certified Public Accountant, pursuing a job in securities by working at a brokerage firm might just be the most lucrative career for any accounting majors. Stock brokers and security traders need to have an extremely strong accounting foundation because those skills will be crucial in helping them determine a stock’s future value (by studying financial trends), analyzing a company’s current financial standing, and many more.

Because brokers and day traders receive both a salary and a commission for successful trades, the income potential is, quite literally, unlimited. But don’t think you’re going to be the next Wolf of Wall Street: being in the securities and brokerage industry is tough because of the highly stringent financial regulations all traders must follow. That being said, if you’re book smart and are able to convince investors to part with their capital but you’re able to double it, then are you really being unethical?

Audition to be an Auditor

But perhaps one of the most important (some might say nefarious)careers one can pursue with an accounting degree is becoming an auditor, whether for a firm or as an independent contractor. Auditors are in charge of analyzing an organization’s financial records and provide risk management reports, helping the organization mitigate or investigate financial losses.

When an auditor is appointed internally, they usually end up working for an audit committee, reporting their findings to senior management. Meanwhile, auditors that are hired externally are usually done so by shareholders and report only to them. Because of their work studying an organization’s financial shortfalls, they’re often seen as a nuisance by upper management, and, in some cases, as a threat by ne’er-do-wells in a company. Basically, they inform on people who steal from companies. It’s not the most popular job, but hey, at least it pays really, really well.

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