Accounting is often described as the language of business. The function of accounting is to measure a company’s economic activities and communicate the results of those activities to decision makers. Sometimes, a decision maker is inside the company (for example, a manager at a coffee shop deciding how many pounds of coffee beans to buy or a restaurant manager considering where to open a new location), but some decision makers are external to the company (like an investor deciding whether or not to buy a particular stock or a bank deciding whether or not to give a company a loan). Either way, all of these decision makers rely on the information produced by accounting.
Accounting majors with an undergraduate degree are immediately employable at corporations, banks, government agencies, and small businesses. Other careers in Accounting require specialized state licenses that Accounting students obtain after completing a graduate degree or additional graduate courses. For example, many Accounting students become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) by completing additional coursework and passing the CPA examination after they graduate. (Learn more about CPA careers.) In addition, specialized credentials like Certified Fraud Examiner or Certified Financial Planner may be attractive to Accounting graduates who wish to enter certain professions. Also, an Accounting major is an excellent undergraduate degree for students who plan to go to law school or an MBA program.