Monica Borgida, faculty lead for Northeastern’s Finance and Accounting Management program, admits the term “accounting” doesn’t always conjure up excitement for prospective students. But she believes it should. While people frequently use buzzwords like “bitcoin” and “cryptocurrency,” she says, they fail to realize that what underlies these exciting technologies are tried-and-true accounting principles.
These buzzwords are key examples of how the finance and technology industries—together referred to as “fintech”—are beginning to intersect. Along with globalization and increasingly complex regulatory frameworks, the growth of the “fintech” industry means the demand for finance and accounting professionals will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for financial occupations is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations from 2022 to 2032, introducing more than 911,400 new jobs to the marketplace.
As the financial industry evolves, Borgida says, companies are racing to find new finance and accounting talent, making it an opportune time for students to upskill and break into the field. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, here are 12 of the most in-demand finance and accounting careers for bachelor’s degree holders in today’s market.
Top Finance and Accounting Jobs
Controllers and assistant controllers prepare financial statements and reports that summarize and forecast a business’s activity and financial position. They may also develop internal policies and procedures for an organization’s budget administration, cash and credit management, and accounting functions.
Average Salary: $248,772
10-Year Projected Growth: 17%
2. Financial Manager
Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They generate financial reports and develop strategies to help meet the long-term financial goals of their organization.
Average Salary: $139,790
10-Year Projected Growth: 16%
3. Management Consultant
Management consultants, also known as management analysts, propose improvements for operational efficiencies, in an effort to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.
Average Salary: $94,132
10-Year Projected Growth: 14%
4. Personal Financial Advisor
Financial advisors help their clients understand the health of their finances and make personal investment decisions. They monitor the state of clients’ investments and finances and can provide advice on insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement.
Average Salary: $95,390
10-Year Projected Growth: 13%
5. Senior Tax Accountant
Tax accountants prepare federal, state, and local tax returns for individuals, businesses, or other organizations.
Average Salary: $95,501
10-Year Projected Growth: 10%
6. Financial Analyst
Financial analysts examine an organization’s financial data. By analyzing past financial and investment data, as well as estimating future revenues and expenditures, they can provide guidance to businesses making investment decisions and forecasting for the future.
Average Salary: $96,220
10-Year Projected Growth: 8%
7. Accounting Manager
Accounting managers oversee the operations of an organization’s accounting department. They analyze and report financial information, assist with tax processing, and create financial statements to present to the company’s board of directors.
Average Salary: $84,451
10-Year Projected Growth: 7%
8. Budget Analyst
Budget analysts help companies organize their finances, prepare budget reports, and monitor institutional spending. They regularly review an organization’s financial plans for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with regulations and organizational objectives.
Average Salary: $82,260
10-Year Projected Growth: 3%
9. Credit Analyst
These professionals review and analyze financial information from sources such as reporting services, credit bureaus, and bank branches to evaluate the profitability of loan requests and approve or deny loan applications.
Average Salary: $78,850
10-Year Projected Growth: 4%
Accountants prepare, maintain, and examine the accuracy of financial statements for an organization. They ensure all financial records, such as balance sheets, income and loss statements, cash flow statements, and tax returns, are compliant with federal laws, regulations, and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). They are also responsible for identifying and resolving any discrepancies in records, statements, or documented transactions.
Average Salary: $78,000
10-Year Projected Growth: 4%
Internal auditors and audit managers identify financial and business risks and assess compliance with government regulations. They evaluate existing internal controls, identify areas for improvement, and may coordinate the implementation of internal improvement efforts.
Average Salary: $78,000
10-Year Projected Growth: 4%
12. Treasury Analyst
Treasury analysts monitor an organization’s financial activity, including cash flow, liabilities, and assets. They analyze budgets, expenses, and future investments to decide whether payments coming to and from the company are being processed properly.
Average Salary: $72,667
10-Year Projected Growth: 5%
Skills for Finance and Accounting Careers
Borgida says that the key to success in any of these careers is to develop an interdisciplinary skill set that focuses on finance, technology, and communication.
“Successful professionals in the field are critical thinkers,” she says. “They’re analysts, problem solvers, and effective communicators that combine financial knowledge, technical aptitude, and interpersonal skill to solve complex business problems.”
According to Burning Glass Technologies, the skills in greatest demand among financial professionals include:
- Financial analysis
- Financial management and reporting
- Project management
- Technology skills
- Data analytics
Borgida notes that even for those who have already been in the industry for some time, emerging technologies are requiring people to sharpen and update their skill set. One way to gain the necessary skills, she says, is to complete your bachelor’s degree.
After earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance and Accounting Management, Borgida’s former students now work at leading financial institutions and consulting agencies, such as:
- Capital One
- New York Life
- JP Morgan
By earning a degree in accounting or finance, you’ll have a pulse on market trends, learn best practices from industry professionals, grow a robust network, and gain the most relevant and up-to-date skills you need to succeed in the field. As more and more students compete for entry into one of the fastest-growing and most critical areas of management, a degree, she says, will help get you there.
Why Pursue a Career in Accounting?
Pursuing a career in accounting can be extremely rewarding. With a consistent demand, this career provides job security and various opportunities to participate in a variety of financial services at public accounting firms, private corporations, and government agencies.
In addition, accounting and finance jobs promote critical skills beyond working with numbers. They’re able to impact an organization’s overall financial strategy as decision-makers and problem-solvers, contributing to an organization’s financial health and growth.
A career in accounting offers numerous opportunities for advancement, including specializing in forensic accounting, management consulting, or even starting a separate practice. If you’re an aspiring finance professional, you can benefit from an intellectually stimulating and dynamic education, like Northeastern’s Finance and Accounting Management program, to help you explore various avenues for professional growth and fulfillment.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in July 2018. It has since been updated for accuracy.