Is Accounting Major Good, Hard, Boring, Popular?

Accounting is the language spoken in the business, commerce, and finance sector.

US News says that accounting majors make an average of $77,250 per year, with the best-paid 25% of them making around $99,800 per year.

It is said that accounting is the 8th most popular major among undergraduate students. In fact, during the last academic year, more than 101,000 students at American colleges and universities graduated with an accounting degree.

Accounting is usually suited for degree-seeking individuals who are good with numbers, analytical thinking and attention to detail.

Torn between accounting and another major? Read on!

In this article, I will do my best to clearly answer some of the most pressing questions about accounting so that you can determine if it’s the right major for you to declare.

Is Accounting Boring?

As a major, accounting is not boring as it requires a great deal of study time. Typically accounting majors study for 16 to 17 hours per week. As a career, accounting can be monotonous and boring if day-to-day tasks in the workplace are uninteresting and dull.

Before declaring accounting as your major, make sure that you are really interested in it. Otherwise, you might find yourself getting terrible grades or wanting to switch to another major after a while.

accounting major

It’s not just as a major that accounting is often mistaken for being boring but also the career itself.

There is no need to fear if being an accountant or working in a closely related field has always been your dream — no matter how monotonous some of the day-to-day activities get, the career will still appear interesting and exciting for those who are seriously passionate about accounting.

Besides, accounting majors can choose from many other career options than being accountants. In a few, we will discuss a variety of jobs available for those with a bachelor’s degree in accounting — so keep reading!

Is Accounting Hard in College?

In the Top 10 Hardest Majors ranking by CollegeVine, accounting ranks #6 as one of the most challenging careers. Some of the hardest and most rigorous accounting subjects are advanced financial accounting and reporting and cost accounting, and cost management.

Just because accounting has a lot to do with numbers doesn’t mean you have to be a math whiz if you want to major in accounting.

Here’s the great news: accounting isn’t hardcore math.

If you can do basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, then you can give it a go!

Still, as mentioned earlier, accounting is one of the most challenging college majors. That’s because many of the core courses require accounting students to flex their organizational, analytical thinking, detail-oriented and problem-solving skills.

Accounting is not just about crunching numbers but also about interpreting, analyzing, and presenting figures.

Is Accounting a Good Major?

An accounting major is a good major for degree-seeking students who are looking to work in the accounting, business, or finance sector after graduation.

A bachelor’s in accounting is also recommended as a prerequisite for a master’s degree, whether in accounting or an entirely different discipline of study.

It’s not just choosing a college or university that can be exciting yet stressful — something that can also leave you thrilled yet anxious is deciding on a major to declare.

Close up of female accountant or banker making calculations. Savings, finances and economy concept.

Let’s quickly answer some related questions about accounting as a college major…

Is accounting a good major for entrepreneurs?

Business experts agree that possessing accounting knowledge and skills can be favorable for entrepreneurial performance.

So, in other words, majoring in accounting is a good idea for soon-to-be or current entrepreneurs. It can also equip entrepreneurs with vital skills such as cost estimation and financial and budget analysis.

Is accounting a good major for medical school?

A bachelor’s program in accounting may possibly be used as a pre-med.

However, undergraduate students must make sure to take courses required in order to be admitted to medical schools, such as biology and chemistry.

To be certain, students must first check the admissions requirements at their chosen medical schools.

Is accounting a good major for law school?

Undeniably, one of the most popular majors among undergraduate students who are considering attending law school is political science.

However, majoring in accounting or something else is also an option, provided that it improves the general knowledge or fits the interests and intentions of undergraduate students.

Is accounting a good major for associate degree holders?

Since an associate degree program mainly consists of general education courses, transitioning into a bachelor’s program in accounting will leave the undergraduate student taking mostly courses related to the discipline.

Accounting is a good major for an associate degree holder who wishes to work as an accountant or a related professional.

Is accounting a good online bachelor’s degree?

Earning an online bachelor’s degree in accounting is suitable for non-traditional students who want to penetrate the accounting, business or finance sector.

However, it’s important for them to choose a good Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in accounting from fully accredited online schools only.

Top 10 Accounting Major Careers and Salaries

Other than accounting, individuals with a bachelor’s degree in accounting can also take on many different jobs.

They range anywhere from loan officers, financial examiners to insurance underwriters. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation allows for making more money for the same job.

Refrain from assuming that you have no other choice but to become an accountant after earning an accounting degree. If truth be told, accounting majors can take an assortment of career paths.

But before anything else, let’s answer this question many future accounting majors feel too shy to ask…

Are Accountants Rich?

In the US, the middle 50% of accountants make a median annual salary ranging from $60,760 to $99,800.

Meanwhile, the best-paid 10% of them get a median annual salary of $128,970. Depending on the job position, salary, location and lifestyle, it’s very much possible for accounting majors to be rich.

Based on a report by CNBC, almost 68% of the richest people on the planet are self-made.

So, no matter if your bachelor’s degree is in accounting or something else, you can make a lot of money if you do everything necessary to become wealthy.

Most of the time, it starts with getting a college degree — according to the National Center for Education Statistics, people with a bachelor’s degree make about $23,000 more per year than those whose highest educational attainment is a high school diploma. Finding the right job is the next step.

And speaking of which, the following are some of the top jobs available for accounting majors:

tax accountant

1. Accountant

  • Median annual salary: $77,250
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 7%

In a nutshell, accountants are tasked with preparing as well as examining all kinds of financial records. Some of the busiest accountants in the land are public accountants. It’s for the fact that they have a broader range of tasks to carry out on a day-to-day basis, ranging from accounting, auditing to consulting.

Some job positions for accountants that do not require a CPA license include accounts payable specialist and staff accountant. However, being a CPA can definitely help make an accounting major more marketable.

2. Loan Officer

  • Median annual salary: $63,380
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 1%

Simply put, loan officers are the ones who assess, recommend and authorize approval of loan applications.

They usually work for mortgage companies, commercial banks, credit unions and many other financial institutions. Loan officers specializing in commercial loans tend to spend a lot of time outside their offices in order to meet with clients.

Accounting majors, alongside business and finance majors, are some of the most eligible to work as loan officers. That’s because of their understanding of accounting as well as their ability to read financial statements.

3. Tax Examiner and Collector

  • Median annual salary: $56,780
  • Job outlook in 10 years: -4%

The job title pretty much sums up what tax examiners and collectors do: determine how much tax is owed by individuals and businesses and collect them, too, on behalf of the government — federal, state or local.

Of the nearly 57,000 tax examiners and collectors, around 44% are employed by the federal government.

While they spend a great deal of their time in offices, tax examiners and collectors also travel to the homes of individuals or places of businesses. The vast majority of them work full-time.

4. Financial Analyst

  • Median annual salary: $81,410
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 6%

When it comes to making critical decisions about spending money in order to rake in profit, individuals, businesses and for-profit organizations can count on financial analysts.

These individuals are experts in determining the value of financial statements, evaluation of financial data, business and economic trends, etc.

Many entry-level job positions for financial analysts require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as accounting, finance or business. Some employers, however, may prefer those with a master’s.

financial examiner

5. Financial Examiner

  • Median annual salary: $81,410
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 18%

Because a bachelor’s degree in a discipline that involves coursework in accounting is commonly required for financial examiners, it isn’t surprising why accounting majors are some of the most eligible candidates.

What financial examiners do is see to it that laws governing institutions handling monetary transactions are met.

Some of the everyday tasks they carry out include evaluating management, reviewing balance sheets, creating reports on an institution’s safety and soundness, and analyzing new regulations and policies.

6. Personal Financial Advisor

  • Median annual salary: $94,170
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 5%

Basically, personal financial advisors provide sound pieces of advice to individuals in order to help them manage their resources and strategically plan for their future. Some personal financial advisors are employed in the finance and insurance industries. But then there are also those who are self-employed — around 20% of all personal financial advisors.

Most personal financial advisors have a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, social science or mathematics. Some pursue a master’s degree for promotion purposes or eligibility for higher-level jobs.

7. Sales Agent

  • Median annual salary: $62,910
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 4%

Accounting majors working as sales agents don’t just sell any product or service in the market.

What they do is connect sellers and buyers in various financial markets, selling securities, commodities and financial services.

Because sales impact profits, commissions and advancements, it’s a must for sales agents to be able to work very well in a stressful and fast-paced environment.

Having strong analytical thinking, communication and negotiation skills is a definite must. Many of them travel frequently and have clients outside the country.

8. Budget Analyst

  • Median annual salary: $79,940
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 5%

Provide assistance to public and private organizations in planning their finances — such is what budget analysts do. Out of the around 52,500 working budget analysts, about 24% of them are employed by the federal government.

At certain times of the year, budget analysts are some of the busiest and most stressed professionals. This is especially true during mid-year and final reviews of budgets.

Besides good stress management, budget analysts should also have detail-oriented, analytical thinking, communication and numeracy skills.

9. Cost Estimator

  • Median annual salary: $65,170
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 1%

Possessing organizational and critical and analytical thinking skills is a definite must for cost estimators.

That’s because they are responsible for gathering and scrutinizing data in order to assess how much money, materials, labor and time their employers or clients need for the creation of products or provision of services.

The majority of cost estimators work in the construction industry, which is why some employers may prefer candidates with experience in the field. Bachelor’s degrees in business, finance or accounting tend to be favored, too.

insurance underwriter

10. Insurance Underwriter

  • Median annual salary: $76,390
  • Job outlook in 10 years: -2%

Insurance applicants’ fates lie in the hands of insurance underwriters. That’s because they are the ones who evaluate applications and decide whether or not insurance should be provided as well as under what terms.

Having strong computer skills is important for insurance underwriters because the use of a software program is part of their daily tasks.

For 2020 to 2030, the employment rate for insurance underwriters is projected to decline by 2%. Despite this, every year within the same time period, it is estimated that more than 8,000 openings are available for insurance underwriters.

20 Best Schools for Accounting Majors

Many of the best schools for degree-seeking students who want to major in accounting are highly ranked by various college ranking sites.

They include both Ivy League and other elite institutions as well as public and state universities, where tuition costs are lower, particularly for in-state undergraduate students.

Especially if you want nothing but the best college experience and the most promising career, it’s a good idea to wisely choose at which college or university you will major in accounting.

The following are some of those that you might want to add to your balanced college list:

University of Texas at Austin$11,448 (in-state) and $40,032 (out-of-state)
Brigham Young University – Provo$6,120
University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign$16,866 (in-state) and $34,316 (out-of-state)
Indiana University – Bloomington$11,334 (in-state) and $38,354 (out-of-state)
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor$16,178 (in-state) and $53,232 (out-of-state)
University of Pennsylvania$61,710
University of Notre Dame$58,843
Ohio State University$11,936 (in-state) and $35,019 (out-of-state)
University of Southern California$60,275
New York University$56,500
Arizona State University$11,348 (in-state) and $29,438 (out-of-state)
Boston College$61,706
University of Florida$6,380 (in-state) and $28,658 (out-of-state)
University of California – Berkeley$14,361 (in-state) and $44,115 (out-of-state)
Santa Clara University$55,860
University of Georgia$12,080 (in-state) and $31,120 (out-of-state)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill$8,992 (in-state) and $36,776 (out-of-state)
University of Washington$12,076 (in-state) and $39,906 (out-of-state)
Texas A&M University$13,178 (in-state) and $40,087 (out-of-state)
Cornell University$61,015
Best Schools for Accounting

Want to earn a bachelor’s in accounting but can’t quit your work or leave your kids to a nanny? Fret not! That’s because there are many online schools offering degrees in accounting.

Top 5 Online Schools for Accounting

But see to it that the one you are about to apply to is fully accredited.

Also, check that the available classes complement your everyday schedule or lifestyle. Some online schools offer purely online classes, while others offer only hybrid classes (classes that combine virtual and face-to-face ones).

Needless to say, take your time when choosing an online school.

Some of the best schools when it comes to online bachelor’s degrees in accounting include:

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

  • Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Cost: $280.00 (in-state and out-of-state) per credit hour
  • Acceptance rate: 56%
  • Accreditor: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Average starting salary: $32,800 per year

Franklin University

  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
  • Cost: $398.00 per credit hour
  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Accreditor: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Average starting salary: $43,100 per year

Brenau University

  • Location: Gainesville, Georgia
  • Cost: $690.00 per credit hour
  • Acceptance rate: 92%
  • Accreditor: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Average starting salary: $36,900 per year

Liberty University

  • Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Cost: $390.00 per credit hour
  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Accreditor: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Average starting salary: $33,700 per year

McKendree University

  • Location: Lebanon, Illinois
  • Cost: $400.00 per credit hour
  • Acceptance rate: 70%
  • Accreditor: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Average starting salary: $37,400 per year

Is Accounting a Popular Major

Accounting is the 8th most popular major. However, it’s also the #6 hardest major as well. More than 101,000 students at American colleges and universities graduated with an accounting degree in the last academic year.

Above, we talked about some of the most important matters future accounting majors need to know.

Make sure that you spend enough time weighing the pros and cons of working on a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

While you can always change your mind and switch to a different major at least once before you graduate, you can save lots of precious time and money if you make sure that it’s accounting that you want to major in before declaring it.

Read Next: Is International Business Degree Good?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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