Is Forensic Accounting a Good Degree for Former Military?

Military veterans often bring a unique set of skills to any career they pursue, with extensive training in things like leadership, the logical order of most tasks, and a dedicated pursuit of those accused of wrongdoing. This makes them suitable for a large number of careers, from high-tech fields to criminal justice and beyond. One such career is forensic accounting, where job applicants will benefit from their military training as well as their extensive experience in the classroom. Though a great deal of collegiate education is often required in order to pursue this field as a long-term career, most veterans will find that their existing skills make most of these classes easy to understand.

Forensic Accounting: What is It, and How Does it Align with Military Skills?

Forensic accounting isn’t the typical desk job where accountants are expected to help with standard tax forms or business bookkeeping. Instead, this profession asks skilled accountants to engage in the active investigation and pursuit of potentially fraudulent practices. Their job is to make sure that a company’s stated numbers line up with their real earnings and expenses, and to uncover any schemes that might be protecting investor fraud and market manipulation.

If this sounds like it belongs firmly in the domain of the military veteran, that’s for good reason. The field is populated by people with extensive leadership experience and an enterprising spirit. It’s a career that demands candidates know the black-and-white difference between right and wrong when it comes to corporate earnings and full disclosure of related information. Veterans often internalize these skills early on in their experience with the military, where boot camp trains recruits to identify targets and eliminate their threat at a moment’s notice.

Because military veterans come with unique leadership skills that are virtually impossible to train outside of combat zones and boot camp experiences, they’re also perfectly suited for advancement through the ranks in forensic accounting businesses, public sector jobs, and more. They’ll fit nicely into larger departments that keep companies accountable, and they’ll function as essential workers in government organizations that track financial trends, hold companies accountable, and protect consumer interests. In a way, veterans who pursue a forensic accounting degree are still training to become defenders of American values. In this case, that means defending honesty, enforcing integrity, and adhering to tried-and-true American business ethics.

Jobs are Plentiful in this Growing Sector of the Accounting Industry

Though it might seem as if forensic accounting is best suited to the private sector, the truth is that most of the available positions in this field are offered by state and federal governments. Veterans who graduate from a top forensic accounting program will have opportunities to seek employment with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI, and numerous state-operated regulatory bodies. These public sector jobs also place great emphasis on military training, since a large number of current and former employees were military men and women themselves.

In the private sector, veterans will find plenty of opportunities to get in on the “ground floor,” engaging in in-house investigations of a company’s accounting practices. They’ll also be easily able to advance through the ranks into management and leadership positions, based largely on the strength of their military record and their proactive attitude on the job.

Whether in the public or private sectors, forensic accounting gives military veterans a wide range of job opportunities that build on a sense of right versus right, a history of leadership, and the strength of military training. It’s an excellent way to turn military strengths into civilian opportunities.

Related Resource: What are the Highest Paying Jobs for Former Military?