Business, Sales and Accounting: Do You Have What It Takes? Part 2

How Do You Know If a Business Degree Is Right for You?

Business is a mindset. Those who enter the world of business see the world differently. When they find an unmet need; they see opportunity. Where there’s disorder; they bring order and accountability. They bring people, communities, services, and products together for mutual benefit. Business is the economic lifeblood that keeps the heart of a community pumping. No matter where you plan on applying your business education, you will find that your particular set of business skills will play an important role in keeping commerce moving forward – but how do you know if you have what it takes to be successful in business?

Let’s explore which qualities and job duties are associated with three of the most common specialties in business. As we spotlight these business roles, you will be able to assess if your personality and strengths would be a good fit. You will also be able to determine what level of education is required for the business specialty that interests you most. As you do so, you will be able to evaluate if you have what it takes to earn a degree in business – and if you are prepared to take the next step towards earning your college degree.

Spotlight: Accounting

Important Qualities 

Analytical Ability. You must be able to pinpoint issues within documentation such as spreadsheets or business reports, assess the numerical facts, and suggest actionable solutions.

Good communication skills. You must be able to understand and respond to facts and concerns from clients, managers, and others. You will be expected to be able to go over the results of your analysis in both meetings and written reports.

Detail oriented. You must be able to pay attention to detail, no matter how big or small, when compiling and examining documentation.

Math skills. You must be extremely comfortable with numbers, and be able to analyze, compare, and interpret facts and figures.

Organizational Ability. As an accountant, you will work with a range of financial documents for a variety of clients. You must be able to keep these documents and your analysis organized.1

Typical Duties

Accountants typically do the following:

  • Examine financial statements for accuracy and compliance with laws and regulations
  • Determine taxes owed, prepare tax returns, and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time
  • Go over account books and accounting systems for efficiency and use of accepted accounting procedures
  • Keep financial records organized and usable
  • Analyze financial operations and make best-practice recommendations to management
  • Continuously improve ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits
  • Explain your findings effectively through face-to-face meetings within an organization as well as with individual clients, and prepare thorough written reports.2 

Education Required 

To become an accountant, you will need at least a Bachelor’s in Accounting or related field. A Master’s in Accounting or a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting may also be required.

It is possible for graduates who have earned an Associate degree in Accounting, and gained experience through entry-level positions like bookkeeping or clerkships, to obtain junior accounting positions, and eventually advance to a full accountant position through skills acquired on the job .

For those interested in accounting, adult learners may find that taking online classes in accounting , or earning a bachelor’s or upgrading to a master’s degree through online colleges and universities is the best way to earn those desired credentials. Online education offers considerable flexibility and helps adult learners save money on tuition that can be used for other purposes.

Most states require experience before an accountant can apply for a CPA license.3


1Bureau of Labor Statistics, How to Become an Accountant or Auditor, 2012, p.1
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-4

2Bureau of Labor Statistics, What Accountants and Auditors Do, 2012, p.1
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-2

3Bureau of Labor Statistics, How to Become an Accountant or Auditor, 2012, p.1
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-4