Congratulations! You have earned your accounting degree and are looking to start your first entry-level accounting job – but where do you start? Accounting jobs are plentiful. However, it is important to know the various career paths that exist to help you better determine which accounting sector aligns more with your professional ambitions and lifestyle aspirations.
The level of education you have achieved will be a significant factor in which entry-level positions are available to you. As a recent accounting graduate, there will be a number of opportunities available to you. However, if you are still in school or have a high school diploma or associate degree, there are still entry-level accounting jobs available for you.
Some common accounting positions include bookkeeper or accounting clerk roles. If you are currently working on obtaining your bachelor’s in accounting, now is a great time to capitalize on entry-level positions and internships that are available.
To get a better understanding of what entry-level accounting jobs are available for recent graduates, check out the accounting opportunities that are available in the various sectors below.
As a recent graduate, one entry-level accounting opportunity to look into is public accounting. As a public accountant, you will be responsible for providing audit, tax, forensic accounting, and consulting services to your clients. Working in public accounting allows you to work with clients across the globe.
So what do you need to know about the public accounting sector? The field of public accounting is vast with the largest/most well–known being the Big 4 (Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG). However there are regional and local CPA firms that may be better suited for individuals trying to attain a better work life balance. Many of these firms have strong specialties such as real estate, non-profit, financial services, SEC or retail industries that will allow the individual to “specialize”. Speaking with a recruiter can help you to navigate through your interests and pick the most appropriate spot.
Overall, public accounting firms offer great benefits as well as competitive pay. These incentives and bonuses will look very appealing to new graduates and entry-level accountants. However, keep in mind that public accounting will demand a great deal of your time and energy. The work in the public accounting sector can be stressful and unpredictable. You will be clocking in plenty of hours and may have to travel as well. The pay will be rewarding, though, so you will have to weigh your options when considering if this is the job and lifestyle you want.
There are many entry-level accounting opportunities in the private sector to look into as well. Private accounting is when you will work for one organization. Working for a single organization allows you to learn about the company and its industry like the back of your hand.
When working as an accountant in the private sector, you can take a job in a wide variety of organizations. You may end up as an accountant for a small family-owned business or even a Fortune 500 firm. The possibilities are immense when working in the private sector.
One element to keep in mind is that you do not need a CPA to work in a private accounting job. However, your salary often increases when you obtain this qualification. From negotiating real estate transactions to becoming a payroll professional, many entry-level accounting opportunities are awaiting new graduates in the private sector.
Another accounting career path that recent graduates can look into is the field of financial services. Many financial service opportunities arise at commercial banking operations. Working as a bank teller is an excellent way to get your foot in the door for further opportunities in financial services. This is an entry-level position that can lead to working as a retail loan officer, commercial credit analyst, and even as a commercial banker.
There is a large need for accountants in the financial sector as investment banking is becoming a more in-demand specialty. From becoming an entry-level financial analyst to a personal financial advisor, there are a variety of opportunities for new accountant graduates in financial services.
Some final career paths that recent graduates can look into are accounting opportunities in healthcare, nonprofits, and the government.
There are a variety of opportunities for entry-level accountants in the healthcare sector. From accounting to finance to medical billing professionals to financial counselors who assist patients, there are a variety of opportunities for recent graduates to tap into.
If you have a desire to combine your accounting skillset with humanitarian efforts, working in an entry-level accountant job in the nonprofit sector would be an excellent option for you. As an accountant in the nonprofit sector, you will most likely be in charge of handling financial contributions, membership dues, and ensuring that the organization follows all rules to be considered a nonprofit organization. An element to keep in mind is that working in the nonprofit sector generally does not come with a flashy paycheck. This is something you will need to consider before taking an accounting job in the nonprofit sector.
Finally, there are many entry-level accounting opportunities available through every level of government. Accountants are needed at the federal, state, and local levels of government, so there are a variety of job opportunities for recent graduates in this sector. Obtaining a government accounting job is competitive, as government employees receive access to excellent benefits, retirement plans, pensions, and overall job stability.
Now that you know more about what entry-level accounting jobs are available, it is time to start your job search. When starting your job search, it is very beneficial to have a support system to answer industry and job-related questions. An experienced recruiter can help you navigate the job-hunting process and land the position you have always wanted. At Atlantic Group Recruiters, we guide our clients and help them to achieve their professional goals. Contact us today for advice and guidance as you navigate the many opportunities and jobs that are awaiting in the accounting industry.