Between 2010 and 2020, the accountingprofession is expected to have a growth rate of 15.7 percent, according to the 2015 Salary Guide published by Robert Half, one of the largest international recruiting agencies. With an anticipated 190,000 accounting and auditing jobs to be filled during that time, this is a great career option for incoming students.
Joe Winter, assistant professor of accounting at NU, and Emily Seeley, a sophomore accounting major, recently visited students at North Tonawanda High School, from where Seeley graduated, on Nov. 23 to discuss careers in accounting.
Winter is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and has been a practicing certified public accountant for more than 23 years. Before joining Niagara as a full-time faculty member, Winter was the chief financial officer for a major healthcare organization.
Winter defined accounting as the language of business. He described that accounting is really the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgments and decisions. He explained that being an accountant is more than just a “number cruncher.” In college, accounting majors gain strong leadership skills, business savvy, technical know-how and excellent communication skills.
Winter addressed topics such as the many career choices available with an accounting degree and the various licenses and professional certifications that having an accounting degree from a registered New York State program can provide to graduates. Average salaries of recent accounting graduates range from $41,000 to $68,000 and, after three years of experience, increase up to $101,000, according to Half’s 2016 for Accounting & Finance Professionals.
Seeley discussed her experiences as an accounting major at Niagara, the foundation she had by taking a high school accounting course in preparation for her freshman year, the development of her communication and presentation skills, and the peer teamwork tasks she has faced in college.
Seeley commented that she hoped to relay to students that “accounting isn’t what everyone may think it is (sitting at a desk all day). There are so many options available, so turn something that you are interested in into something you love!”
Winter advised, “We spoke with the finance academy (senior level) at North Tonawanda High School, along with a junior-level business class. The students seemed really engaged in the discussion and focused on internship and advancement opportunities in the profession.”