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What can I do with a degree in Accounting and Information Systems?

accounting (1)Tracy from the University of Maryland University College asked: 

What can I do with a Master of Science in Accounting and Information Systems?

Hi Tracy

Considering you are pursuing a Master’s degree in Accounting, is it safe to assume you intent to pursue a career in accounting?

That is the assumption I will make in responding.

Given your degree, you have a lot of options to consider.  Accounting and Information Systems are very compatible skills/experience sets.

Consider the Big Accounting/Consulting Firms

Ernst & Young, Deloitte, PriceWaterhouseCoopers KPMG and a whole lot more.  They may not all recruit on your campus, but they do all recruit college graduates.  And, they focus on students in accounting and, often, information systems.  I recently interviewed Dan Black with Ernst & Young about Getting Your Foot in the Door with Ernst & Young.  Read this article and you will learn a lot about E&Y and the world of multinational accounting and consulting firms.  It’s a a great world but it is certainly not for everyone.  Study it carefully to see if it might be a good fit for you.

Find employers through your campus career center

The Career Center at UMUC has some valuable resources, including online  lists of Industry Specific Websites, an on-campus interviewing program, and virtual career fairs.  Accounting firms – big and small – frequently use college career centers  as the hub for their campus recruiting activities.  Other big companies that recruit information systems and accounting graduates also recruit on college campuses – companies like Northrop Grumman and General Mills.

There may some potential job opportunities right under your nose; in your campus career center.

Connect with accounting professionals through professional associations

Professional networking is a key to success in the job search.  The best way to connect with accounting professionals is to meet them where they gather – at professional association meetings and activities.  Most professional associations also have online job boards or career resources as part of their websites.  Check out the following:

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
American Society of Women Accountants
Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International
Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
National Association of Black Accountants (NABA)
National Society of Accountants
The Institute of Internal Auditors
The Institute of Management Accountants
Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Use the niche job boards that focus on your areas of expertise

You are in Maryland. Did you know that there is an online job board for accounting jobs in the Washington DC area? DCAccountingJobs.com

Have you heard of AccountingCrossing.com – claiming the largest collection of accounting jobs on earth.

Explore all your options, where ever they might be.

Think Small

Small business, that is!  Just about every business, governmental agency, church, school and non-profit needs accounting support.  Small businesses don’t recruit the same way big ones do.  They look to the local talent pool first.  They depend on word-of-mouth referrals from their friends, clients and colleagues to find candidates.  Just because a company doesn’t recruit on a regular basis doesn’t mean they don’t have periodic needs.  If you want to work in your local community.  Look locally, and often that means looking “small.”

Let your priorities be your guide

What are you looking for in a job?  Money, power, schedule flexibility, proximity to home, opportunity for growth, good benefits, prestige, etc. Sometimes your goals are compatible; sometimes they conflict with each other.  You need to negotiate these conflicts with yourself!

What you are looking for in a job will help you decide where to look and what kinds of jobs and industries to pursue.  Accountants are needed just about everywhere.  Your challenge will be narrowing down your options enough to make your job search manageable.

I hope these tips help get you started,

matt-signature

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