Explore a Career in Accounting

Use this site to learn about what accounting has to offer. You can explore:
Description of the Major
Skills Needed
Sample Occupations
Companies and Organizations that Hire our Accounting Graduates
Professional Associations
Student Clubs
SOM Career Library Resources

Description of the Major

Career opportunities for accountants are many and varied from public practice to business/industry to government. Accountants perform a variety of services for their employers and clients from internal and external auditing to tax services to consulting. Accountants often lead the way in communicating a company’s financial position and performance to management, shareholders, regulatory agencies and other decision makers.

Today’s demand for accurate and honest financial reporting fosters an unprecedented need for accountants in industry, government, and not-for-profit entities. The degree prepares you for a career in such areas as financial and managerial accounting, auditing and forensic investigation, taxation, and accounting information systems.

Additional information:

  • Median salary in 2011: $62,850
  • Projected growth: Average (10-19%)
  • 79% of polled respondents have an undergraduate degree

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Skills Needed

  • Accounting: Extensive knowledge of accounting field, principles
  • Analytical skills: Quantitative skills; ability to work well with numbers
  • English language proficiency
  • Clerical operations: Office experience, protocol
  • Computer software: Microsoft Office (Especially Word, Excel, and Access), basic accounting software (Quickbooks)
  • Customer service: Ability to work well with clients and partners; communication skills
  • Teamwork: Ability to work well with others; delegate tasks; deliver presentations
  • Time management: Ability to work under tight deadlines; handle multiple tasks/assignments
  • Legal practices/code: Working knowledge of auditing codes and other financial practices/guidelines
   

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Online Resources for Career Research

 

Sample Occupations

(Connected to the Bureau of Labor and Statistic’s online Occupational Outlook Handbook)

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Organizations that have employed Mason Accounting Graduates

  • The Big Four Public Accounting Firms: Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Other Public Accounting Firms: Baker Tilly, Bond Beebe, Grant Thornton, Reznick Group
  • Private: CACI, Computer Sciences Corporation, EDS, SAIC, Stanley Associates, Wealth and Tax Advisory Services, Inc.
  • Government: Department of Defense, Department of Treasury, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Government Accountability Office, Internal Revenue Service, Office of Personnel Management, USAID

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Sample Professional Associations

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Student Clubs

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Sample SOM Career Services Library Resources

  • Great Jobs for Accounting Majors
  • Resumes for Banking and Finance Majors
  • 101 Best Resumes to Sell Yourself
  • Internship Bible
  • Washington, D.C., Job Bank
  • Book of U.S. Government Jobs
  • Networking Survival Guide: Get success by tapping into thepeople you know
  • Princeton Review Guide to Your Career
  • 101 Salary Secrets-How to Negotiate Like a Pro

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George Mason University School of Management

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top 15 percent of all AACSB accredited business schools, the School of Management is one of only 10 percent of business schools worldwide that is accredited in both business and accounting by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.

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Locations

Fairfax
Arlington

Herndon

Main Campus
School of Management
4400 University Drive, MS 1B1
Enterprise Hall
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-993-1880

AACSB Accreditation