Accountants are experts who are constantly looked to for advice and are in high-demand. In today’s world, accounting has become more than just punching numbers. It is now a technologically driven field that requires very analytical and deadline-oriented thinking. If your student enjoys math and problem-solving, a career in accounting may be fulfilling for them. A career in accounting provides flexibility, a dependable career, and a wide variety of daily tasks. Accountants get to help individuals with their finances and ensure that businesses are able to operate smoothly. Since there are many different role types available for accountants, the Stride Career Prep program helps students narrow down their options. Whether being a financial analyst or audit associate piques your student’s interest, Stride Career Prep career readiness education will put them on a path for success.
Job Profile: Accountant
Working as an accountant is an integral part to the success of many major businesses. The work that accountants do matters. A lot. While most students who study accounting will work as a tax accountant at some point in their career, there are many opportunities for advancement. Whether it be moving up in their current firm or branching out to explore a related field, the future is bright for accountants. In 2018, an accountant’s median salary was $70,500, and the amount of jobs has an expected growth rate of 6 percent by 2028. In this role, accountants help businesses translate tax law, accurately fill out tax statements, and identify potential tax savings. They can also help prepare payments and solve tax issues that arise. Accountants will find themselves performing the following tasks on a daily basis:
- Examine financial statements to ensure accuracy and compliance with laws
- Compute taxes owed, prepare tax returns, and pay taxes properly and on time
- Inspect account books and accounting systems for efficiency and use of accepted accounting procedures
- Organize and maintain financial records
- Assess financial operations and make best-practices recommendations
- Suggest ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits
Everything worthwhile takes time to achieve, and that is certainly true for future accountants. In order to be able to file a tax return, an accountant must be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). To reach this certification, accountants must have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited business finance curriculum. Then, they must pass the Board of Accountancy Exam within their state of practice to achieve their CPA certification. Students who dream of working in a major accounting role may need to consider a long-term college plan to reach these goals. Although a bachelor’s degree is a requirement to become certified, internships and hands-on practice are valuable experiences for a student to have early on. A high school accounting program, like the Accounting pathway, can help provide students with this work experience and set them up for future success.
Certifications show employers that an employee has professional competence in accounting and ambition for success. However, very few states allow accountants to practice with public accounting experience in place of a degree. Some of these certifications include:
- The Institute of Management Accountants offers the Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
- The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) offers the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
- The Information Systems Audit and Control Association offers the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) to candidates who pass an exam and have 5 years of experience auditing information systems
- For accountants with a CPA, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants offers the option to receive any or all of the following--Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), and Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
Learning Accounting with Stride Career Prep
Advanced mathematical understanding and computer literacy are not easy for every student. If your child excels in these skills, exploring a career in accounting will secure them a spot in the future of the economy. As technology increases in every career path, accounting is keeping up. Many accounting departments are using cloud accounting—the use of cloud technology to store financial information and software. The demand for tech-savvy accountants is rising as the use of cloud accounting increases. The current global market size for cloud accounting is $2.62 billion, and it will grow to be $4.25 billion by the end of 2023.
Courses prepare students for the future of the accounting industry. Allowing students to pursue a high school accounting program alongside their traditional classes gives them a focused approach that most high schoolers do not get. Generalized courses such as Business and Marketing Explorations give students the chance to learn about all of the career pathways in business through a project-based curriculum. As students begin to find their knack, they are able to commit to the Accounting pathway to learn more technical skills.
The Accounting pathway lets students start their career focused education as early as their freshman year of high school. Some of the classes in this pathway include:
- Business and Marketing Explorations
- Accounting 1 & 2
- Computer Literacy
- Microsoft® Office® 1 & 2
The Accounting pathway equips students to take the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOTCI) Accounting job assessment. They will also complete a Microsoft® Office® Specialist certification. The earlier your student knows that accounting is a good fit, the more time they have to set themselves apart in the industry. Throught the Stride Career Prep program, students graduate with the necessary education to earn certifications that give them a head start from their peers.
Professional Skills for Accountants
Think about all of the development that goes on in high school. You went through different hairstyles, music genres, and fashion fads. The teenage years are often the time when most students are discovering what they enjoy, discovering their personalities, and refining their skills. Being able to experience a high school accounting program can be beneficial to students in ways beyond their careers. The soft skills developed through accounting are often found in everyday life. These skills include:
- Critical thinking to help identify clerical errors
- Integrity when filling out paperwork
- Self-reflection to help determine the consequences of major financial decisions
- Listening/reading comprehension during the education pathway
- Active learning to improve engagement
Technical Skills for Accountants
To succeed in their industry, accountants also need to learn hard skills or measurable abilities. Learning these skills early helps prepare students to excel in their career. Accounting curriculum not only exposes students to these skillsets but also teaches them how to apply them to their daily life. A few of these skills include:
- Computer literacy
- Microsoft® Office® Suite
- Administrative tasks
- Risk analysis
- Presentation skills
These skills are just scratching the surface of what students will learn in the Accounting pathway. Career-focused education gives students a constructive purpose to deepen the understanding of their skills and explore areas of interest. One way our program completes this is through general classes, such as Accounting I. In this course, students can explore the foundational skills needed to succeed in the accounting field and how to support companies financially.
Exploring Accounting with Stride Career Prep
Supporting your teen’s passion is the first step in helping them unleash their full potential. If your student has an interest in finance, math, or problem-solving, give them the chance to explore this with the Stride Career Prep program. Our Accounting pathway provides students with the tools needed to succeed early in their life.
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