Does an Accounting Degree Actually Prepare You For An Accounting Job In The Real World?

Many people believe that college does not prepare people for the real world. Louis Nigro, the President of Kleer-Fax, Inc., a paper factory on Long Island, has attested that the degree he received in marketing did not teach him to sell anything, nor did it qualify him to do so. What helped him was being on the road as a sales manager.

Now, Mr. Nigro’s experience could be isolated, or it’s possible that a degree in marketing will not give students nearly the benefits that telemarketing or going door-to-door will, but does that mean that other business degrees are not worthy of one’s pursuit? Certainly not. Among the degrees that should be considered is one in accounting.

What do Students Learn When They Study Accounting?

The curriculum for accounting students is more rigid than that of most other business disciplines. While some students are majoring in Leadership and writing papers about taking a team to “the next level,” accounting students are learning about how businesses run on a daily basis.

Between basic bookkeeping, adjusted journal entries, filing returns, and the ever-changing tax law, there is a lot to cover.

Does Studying Prepare Accounting Students to become Accoutnants?

The regimen of studying is necessary, for it weeds out those who belong in the profession from those who do not, but it does not make a person ready to be an accountant; it merely qualifies them to learn to be one.

For example, an accountant can sit for the CPA exam before setting foot into a firm, but he or she cannot actually claim the license until satisfying the two-year requirement of public practice (one year if they hold an MBA).

If the years in school are complemented with time performing accounting work, such as keeping the books for a business, preparing returns, or assisting a CPA in an audit, then, yes, this student will be perfectly fit to practice in the field of accounting, but it’s because of the real world experience that matched the years of study.

In Conclusion: An Accounting Degree is Important

An accounting degree is important for those who want to pursue the field, even if only for a short time before embarking onto other business ventures. A degree in accounting sets an important foundation that can be built upon, and this foundation is a strong one.

A final note that must be heeded is that a degree in accounting will not make a person successful as an accountant. While Louis Nigro – noted in the beginning – could have graduated by getting 3 out of every 10 answers wrong on his tests to obtain his marketing degree, he could have been even more successful by landing only 1 out of 10 sales calls.

Accounting is not like this at all. An accounting student who passes with a C average will find it hard to land a job. And while a top student should be very proud to have gotten 95% of all answers right during his studies, such a record in the world of accounting is very poor.

The field of accounting is not built for those who make many mistakes. In fact, making the same mistake repeatedly is not tolerated. This detail is the biggest gap between school and the real world, and is a fact that must be embraced.