Skip to Main Navigation. Each navigation link will open a list of sub navigation links.

Skip to Main Content

Apply to the University of Wyoming apply now

Global Resource Navigation

Visit Campus
Download UW Viewbook
Give to UW
Menu

John Tierney, a partner at Ernst and Young, tells students how to prepare for a career in accounting.


Accounting

Peter M. and Paula Green Johnson Career Center

Accounting

Summary

The basic objective of the accounting program is to provide students with the educational background needed for a career in the accounting profession. The education philosophy represents a blending of a conceptual foundation for dealing with emerging accounting issues and applying current technical pronouncements with a practical basis for working in an accounting environment. The B.S. in Accounting is a four-year degree program that prepares students to enter the workforce or to enroll in our M.S. in Accounting program. Students will have explored all aspects of the practice of accounting including: Accounting Information Systems, Auditing, Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, and Taxation.

______________________________________________________________________________

Degree Requirements

In order to provide our students with a well-rounded education in accounting, we institute the following requirements:

  1. 39 completed credit hours for the University Studies Program
  2. 33 completed credit hours for the Common Body of Knowledge
  3. 30 completed credit hours for a major in Accounting
  4. 18 completed credit hours of Free Electives

*For a more detailed Degree Requirements Form, click here.

______________________________________________________________________________

Academic Engagement

As an AACSB accredited school, the College of Business houses a wide variety of professional fraternities and student clubs. The Wyoming Delta Chapter of the professional fraternity Beta Alpha Psi, located in BU 163, recognizes academic excellence for accounting, finance, and information systems majors. By providing interaction between students, faculty, and professionals, Beta Alpha Psi compliments their members' educational experience and instills a sense of lifelong growth, service, and ethical conduct. Beta Alpha Psi also hosts critical networking opportunities, like Meet The Firms (Monday September 28, 2015), to help students transition from college to career.

The College of Business also houses the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). IMA's mission is to provide personal and development opportunities to student members through their education, networking opportunities, and the Certified Management Accountant credential. The UW Chapter of IMA offers additional resources such as: scholarships, a free monthly subscription to Strategic Finance Magazine, guest speakers, official resume postings on the national IMA website, and the ability to search the IMA Job Bank.

______________________________________________________________________________

Professional Opportunities

Accounting is the heart of decision making in any business. From large expanding companies to smaller and local companies, accountants are instrumental in guiding the company to financial success. As a result, accounting majors are going to find employment working in the public arena, corporate arena, the federal government, educational arenas, or for non-profit companies. A Bachelor of Science in Accounting is required for most accounting positions; however, certification within a specific field of accounting, may require further education and testing and the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) certification, which requires 150 semester hours of post-secondary education.

Here are a couple career highlights:

Accountants and Auditors

Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently.

The current job outlook for accountants and auditors is expected to grow 13 percent from 2012-2022. It is expected that the employment growth rate will depend highly upon the health of the overall economy. If the economy grows, accountants and auditors will continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records (Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2015).

CPA for a Non-Profit

An education in accounting is an integral part of being a staff accountant, CFO or co-founder at a non-profit organization. CPA's in this field primarily study and examine records to develop new money saving strategies and show donors that their money is being put to good use.

The current job outlook for accountants is expected to grow 13 percent from 2012-2022. It is expected that the employment growth rate will depend highly upon the health of the overall economy. If the economy grows, accountants continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records (Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2015).

CPA  for a Federal Agency

The government spends billions of dollars each year and because of this, there are jobs for CPAs in nearly every arena: from defense to agriculture to homeland security. There is also a Governmental Accountancy Office that studies how tax payer's money is spent. If this sounds like a position you would be interested in, it is important to get early exposure by working with governmental offices during colleges through internships!

The current job outlook for accountants is expected to grow 13 percent from 2012-2022. It is expected that the employment growth rate will depend highly upon the health of the overall economy. If the economy grows, accountants continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records (Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2015).

Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants are called in on legal investigations involving finances to help figure out if there was any illegal activity. They study trails of electronic transactions to prove or disprove fraud, help with witness interviews and review documents and electronic records for suspect information. In some cases they are asked to testify if the legal team used their findings to help make their case (Start Here, Go Places: 2015).

The current job outlook for investigators is expected to grow 11 percent from 2012-2022. To be successful in this field you will need to develop refined problem-solving and research skills as well as financial experience. To be the best candidate you will also need to pass the CPA exam to become certified (Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2015).

Environmental Staff Accountant

Environmental staff accountants generally work for large corporations and they study all the ways a company could save money by implementing different environmentally-friendly changes. They use their findings to consult management officals that implementing pollution controls and making "greener" products are good business decisions.

The current job outlook for accountants is expected to grow 13 percent from 2012-2022. It is expected that the employment growth rate will depend highly upon the health of the overall economy. If the economy grows, accountants will continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records (Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2015).

IT Auditor

IT auditors investigate how the numbers on an organization's financial statements came to be. They study the systems in place to produce the numbers and the security of the network the numbers passed through. Their main goal is to make sure the organization is following the law in keeping data and records secure.

The current job outlook for information technology careers is expected to grow 37 percent from 2012-2022. As more and more information is stored in an electronic formats, auditors and analysts will be expected to find new and innovated solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information. Most positions require a bachelor's degree, but you will also need extensive training in a computer-related field (Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2015)

Financial Examiners

Financial examiners ensure compliance with laws governing financial institutions and transactions. They review balance sheets, evaluate the risk level of loans, and assess bank management. Individuals in this vocation typically need a bachelor's degree accompanied by coursework in accounting. Most often, entry-level candidates are trained on-the-job by senior employees.

The current job outlook for financial examiners is expected to grow 6 percent from 2012-2022. It has been estimated that new regulations will likely create a need for more examiners; although, declining employment opportunities in the federal government will slow the growth for financial examiners (Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2015).

Budget Analysts

Budget analysts help public and private institutions organize their finances. They prepare budget reports and monitor institutional spending. Most budget analysts need to have a bachelor's degree. Nevertheless, some employers prefer to hire candidates that have a master's degree.

The current job outlook for budget analysts is expected to grow 6 percent from 2012-2022. Much like other occupations, the complexity of budget analytics will require more analysts, but the limited governmental spending will slow down the occupational growth rate (Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2015).

FBI Agent

According to the FBI, there are only five entry programs through which someone can become a special agent for the FBI, and accounting is one of them. Accountants that become FBI agents primarily investigate white-collar and financial crimes. This could conclude anything from bank, health care, and corporate fraud to pursing money trails that fund terrorist and drug cartels.

Although there is no current job outlook for FBI agents, it is estimated that there are about 270,000 applications for only 3,000 positions (CNN: March 2009). To become a special agent for the FBI you will need to demonstrate your ability to analyze complex financial statements, trace financial records or decipher complicated money-laundering transactions. For most positions a CPA certification is required (Start Here, Go Places: 2015).

Other Resources

Visit the Wyoming Society for Certified Public Accountants' website for more information on becoming a CPA. 

Other websites with CPA certification information and careers in accounting are ThisWayToCPA.com and Start Here, Go Places.

For further career exploration visit, What Can I Do With This Major? This excellent resource helps students find employment related to their area of study.

You can also explore the Bureau of Labor Statistics' publication, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, for other career options, statistics, and information concerning specific career paths.

______________________________________________________________________________

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, who also authored the Occupational Outlook Handbook, has projected that there will be a 12.5 percent growth rate for business and financial operations between 2012-2022. It is recommended that accounting students recieve additional certification or continue their education to become eligible for executive positions.

______________________________________________________________________________

Salaries

Starting salaries will vary depending on the size and type of employer, location, coursework, and experience.

  • UW undergraduate 2014 average starting salary: $50,475.33
  • National undergraduate 2014 average starting salary: $49,420.00 (NACE Salary Survey/January 2014)

Share This Page:

John Tierney, a partner at Ernst and Young, tells students how to prepare for a career in accounting.


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Instagram Icon Facebook Icon

Accreditation | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Gainful Employment | Privacy Policy | Accessibility Accessibility information icon