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What is the Job Outlook for People Pursuing Careers in Accounting?

July 16, 2019
Insights from the Girard School of Business

Today’s accounting graduates are prepared for a variety of lucrative careers, each making use of the skills and knowledge provided by a high-quality master’s program. Earning a Masters of Science in Accounting can be a stepping stone to some of the best jobs in the industry. For professionals with a master’s degree, potential career paths range from budget analyst to managerial consultant and more. Careers in accounting can exist in many different settings as well including accounting firms, private industry, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.

Potential Careers in Accounting 

Although some top accounting jobs are filled by graduates with an MBA or graduate degrees in finance, economics, and management, accounting professionals who earn an advanced accounting degree are very well positioned to compete for the best of these opportunities.

All of the following projected numbers for jobs and salary have been obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The projections are for the percentage increase in the number of jobs between 2016 and 2026, while the mean annual salary figures are as of May 2018.

Financial Analyst 

Financial analysts have expertise in financial investments. They may work with individuals or organizations, including private businesses and nonprofits. Financial analysts use data analysis and accounting skills to find historical trends and make future projections.

Nationwide: 11% projected increase, mean annual salary of $100,990

Massachusetts: 7% projected increase, mean annual salary of $105,540

Management Analyst 

Within many companies, accountants are playing a bigger role in mapping out business strategy. Management analysts often work in consulting roles, coming into an organization and finding areas of improvement for efficiency and effectiveness. This requires accounting, data analysis and great communication skills. It’s a combination that is in high demand.

Nationwide: 14% projected increase, median annual wage of $94,390

Massachusetts: 15.3% projected increase, median annual wage of $110,150

Financial Manager 

This is a catchall job title that can include many different jobs. Financial managers oversee all financial activities for a company or for a large department within a company. This job requires hard skills in accounting as well as the soft skills associated with effective leadership.

Nationwide: 19% projected increase, mean annual salary of $146,830

Massachusetts: 17.3% increase, mean annual salary of $148,300

Additional careers in accounting with a positive outlook include:

  • Internal Auditor
  • External Auditor
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Financial Planner
  • Tax Professional
  • Non-profit Accountant
  • Government Accountant
  • Corporate Controller

The Boston Factor 

The Boston metropolitan area ranks among the top 10 metro areas in the country for the number of jobs in the professions listed above. According to the BLS, the Boston area includes Boston and Cambridge in Massachusetts, as well as Nashua in New Hampshire. CNBC ranked Boston as one of the Top 10 metro areas to find a job in 2019. The city is expected to remain an attractive location for accounting related jobs in the coming years.

Accountants who wish to earn their master’s degree and work in Massachusetts can anticipate many options in a diverse range of careers in accounting. For those who want to maximize their opportunities and potential earning power, a master’s degree in accounting is a smart choice.