While keeping the same job throughout your professional life was once the norm (along with bobby socks and men’s hats), career change has become a 21st century reality. Most people now hold between seven and eleven jobs over a lifetime. Learning institutions have responded by creating new programs for students of all ages, and adult education programs are vibrant and growing.
A New Career at Midlife
People live longer, healthier lives today, which makes it possible for people to start new careers through their 50s, and even 60s for some! We live in a time where lifelong learning is supported by the government, community colleges, and best of all—online learning institutions. Learning portals that streamline the process of searching out and signing up for online classes make it as convenient as possible. Many grants and scholarships now include online learning opportunities, and colleges are awarding transfer credits for some online classes as well. Courses that help students document their life experience for college credit are have also become popular, giving adult students the opportunity to save time and money on a college degree.
One popular career that adult students are looking into is accounting. Obtaining an accounting certificate is key to making the leap.
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Add an Accounting Certificate to Your Résumé
If you have a bachelor’s degree and have worked in various businesses over the years, you may have developed a working knowledge of budgets, reporting, and auditing that could be the basis for a new career. Accounting is the underlying language of many aspects of a thriving business—where the money is, where it is budgeted, and how it flows. Adding an accounting certificate to your educational arsenal can extend your present career or help you to start a new one.
Benefits of an Accounting Certificate
Accounting certificates are broad based with many options for diversification. Here are 5 advantages to earning an accounting certificate.
- Strategic skills. Accountants need to use strategic thinking and high-level communications skills. Taking complex information from business data and using it to increase profits takes a keen eye and a thorough understanding of business principles.
- Problem solving. Accounting courses help develop analytical and problem-solving abilities. A sense of balance with fairness permeates the field.
- Career options. Specialties are plentiful with an accounting certificate. Whether you choose consulting, assurance services, or setting up practices and protocols internationally, moving into new fields with lateral transfers is easier with your accounting credentials.
- People and respect. Accountants number among some of the most trusted professionals in business. Much of an accountant’s job is establishing relationships with individuals and companies, making it an extremely social work environment. Networking is a natural part of the business. which places accountants in prime positions for new business opportunities.
- Contribution to society. Improving the finances of a business often improves the lives of its employees as well as the surrounding community. Assisting businesses with their financial practices allows you to open new markets and possibilities for both of you.
Your Responsibilities with an Accountant Certificate
All accounting jobs have some basic duties in common, including examining financial statements for accuracy and checking for standards’ compliance. Accountants know the ins and outs of how to prepare tax returns and how to access tax breaks. Assessing financial practices and making recommendations to improve profits makes accounting a satisfying job. A side benefit of an accounting career is being able to reduce corruption in business practices to bring about fairness in a climate where businesses can serve as trusted community leaders.
[Read about the fastest growing careers in business finance.]
Your Career with an Accountant Certificate
Accounting is an expanding field with an expected 13 percent growth rate through 2020. New opportunities for accounting careers are on the rise as e-commerce continues to grow. The average salary for certified accountants is about $30.00 an hour, or over $60,000 a year. Accountants generally have a 40-hour work week, which allows time for work-life balance, but there may be short periods of time when the workload increases, such as during tax season.
Consider adding a graduate-level accounting certificate to your education credentials. The flexibility accounting certificates offer can help you to switch careers, start your own accounting business, or even put those new business ideas you’ve been considering into action as an entrepreneur!