Looking to be an accountant? It’s an ideal career path if you’re good with numbers and killer with a spreadsheet.
And it’s great if you’re after a stable paycheck: On average, the median salary for an accountant is more than $77,000.
This article will walk you through a brief guide to jobs in accounting.
Your Path to Jobs in Accounting
It’s not easy to find accounting work if you’re just starting out. You’re competing against a lot of highly qualified people and if you only take away one thing from this article, it should be this:
You have to network.
1: The Importance of Networking
“It’s not what you know, but who you know” might sound like an old myth, but networking is more vital than ever in today’s competitive job market. In fact, less than half of all jobs are found on open job boards.
Instead, many positions are only found in the “hidden” job market. Positions are filled via recruitment firms, referrals, internal promotions, and (you guessed it), networking. As you grow your network, you’ll build lasting relationships that benefit your career in the long term.
Two of the most accessible ways of building a network are through social media and by interning or volunteering. When you intern, you have the chance to demonstrate your dedication and professionalism to potential contacts.
By networking through social media (LinkedIn in particular), you can connect with industry professionals, stay abreast of job openings, and showcase your expertise and accomplishments.
And building a strong network will help you to stay ahead of trends in the industry. Here’s a tip: Click for CPA industry trends to stay up to date with market trends for the Office of Certified Public Accountants.
2: Certifications and Education
A crucial factor in your career is your level of education and certification.
Across the U.S., certified accounts are just that: certified.
The CPA exam exists to increase authority and ensure accountants are qualified to deliver the services they offer.
Other sought-after certifications include the Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) qualifications. These certificates demonstrate your commitment to the field of accounting and your ongoing professional development in addition to your expertise.
As you advance your career, you can continue investing in your education by attending conferences, seminars, and workshops. Events like these are also grade-A networking opportunities as you’ll be surrounded by like-minded professionals seeking to make new contacts.
3: Reaching Out to Professional Organizations
Joining professional organizations is another step you can take.
These institutions offer numerous benefits to members including:
- Job boards
- Networking opportunities
- Industry insights
- Learning resources
Membership isn’t always free. But the most prestigious organizations will help you find an accounting job and attend meetings. You’ll hear from experienced professionals about how to pass your accounting certification – and learn what it takes to be a thought leader.
Land Your Dream Job
It’ll take some work on your end, but jobs in accounting aren’t out of your reach. Keep your nose to the grindstone and you’ll land your dream job in no time.
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