Would Accounting Be A Good Degree For Former Military?

Accounting JobsAccounting is a good degree for former military men and women who have some experience with math and statistics. Accountants work with both individuals and companies, and they often specialize in one specific area. During your undergraduate years, you have the chance to choose your specialization, but you can gain even more skills and experience in a graduate program. After leaving the military behind, look at the steps you need to take to become an accountant.

Bachelor’s Degrees

Though you might know that accounting is a good degree for former military, you might not know that you cannot work in this field without a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Most undergraduate accounting programs require that you take a certain number of business, math and statistics courses in addition to your accounting program. Many schools also let undergraduates choose a specialization or concentration that applies to their future goals. You can choose a concentration in business accounting, tax preparation, not-for-profit or nonprofit accounting or other types of accounting.

Do You Need a Master’s Degree?

Whether or not you need a graduate degree depends on your goals. If you want to work as a Certified Public Accountant, every state in the country requires that you take the CPA examination first. The only way you can take this exam is if you have a college degree and took a certain number of credit hours of accounting courses. You’ll find that in order to meet those credit hours, you’ll need to take at least one year of courses beyond the bachelor’s level. Some schools now give students the chance to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in a joint program that takes around five years to complete.

Certification in Your State

While you can work as a bookkeeper or a tax preparation specialist without passing a licensing examination, you’ll often find that you need licensing or certification before working in certain fields. The Institute of Management Accountants, Institute of Internal Auditors, Information Technology-Information Security-Information Assurance and other organizations offer certificates for those interested in working as auditors, financial experts and in other fields. Some employers require that you obtain your license before working, but other employers will let you begin work as long as you meet the requirements needed to get your license.

How Much do Accountants Make?

Those who work for various military groups and in different departments of the military have a strong understanding of budgeting and finances. If you have a similar background, you’ll find that accounting is a good degree for former military personnel like yourself. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for accountants is high and that between 2012 and 2022, more than 166,000 new accountants will join the workforce. The BLS also found that the median wage for accountants is $63,550 a year. After leaving the military and finishing your college degree, you can make that much or more.

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Accountants help individuals and companies file their taxes with the state and federal government, create spreadsheets that show the money they have coming in and out and with their other accounting needs. While accounting is a good degree for former military personnel with a strong financial background, you need to know what else you need to do before you go to work in that field.