Accounting is the language of business. By choosing to pursue a major in accounting, you will gain the quantitative and analytical skills required to start your career in a variety of industries.
Accountants are essential to determining the current state of a business and finding the best path forward to success for a company. In addition to developing technical skills and knowledge required, students will develop analytical competence, which will be useful in a wide variety of careers.
Our curriculum places more emphasis on technological proficiency and data analytics to prepare you for today's rapidly changing workplace.
If you are considering earning a degree in accounting, you may be curious about the career and salary prospects for the field.
Businesses and organizations of all types in all sectors of the economy use accounting practices, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), careers in the field are going to grow.
Though salary varies by factors such as experience, education and industry, with actual wages higher or lower depending on industry and location, they are well above the national median average for occupations. The BLS reports that on average, in 2018, accountants and auditors earned a mean annual wage of $70,500 ($55,070 and $92,910 for the 25th and 75th percentiles). Those in the management of companies and enterprises earn an annual median salary of $73,180, while accountants in tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services earn $70,640. Government accountants can expect to earn a median salary of $68,420 per year.
The lucrative salary is based on demand and makes accounting one of the best business jobs. Indeed, few areas in business are as fertile as the field of accounting. And accounting is, in some ways, recession-proof. Organizations need accountants when the economy is growing as well as during an economic recession. Furthermore, everyone needs to do their taxes. Accounting offers great all-weather positions.
A job with a low stress level, good work-life balance and solid prospects to improve, get promoted and earn a higher salary is highly desirable. And since average Americans work well into their 60s, it might as well be doing a job that is enjoyable and a career that is fulfilling. According to U.S. News and Word Report's Best Jobs Rankings for 2020, here is how accountants' job satisfaction is rated in terms of upward mobility, stress level and flexibility:
|Upward Mobility: Opportunities for advancements and salary||High|
|Stress Level: Work environment and complexities of the job's responsibilities||Average|
|Flexibility: Alternative working schedule and work life balance||Above Average|
Top Accounting Careers
- Auditor - ensure compliance with financial laws and regulations in a variety of industries.
- Actuarial Accountant - use statistical data to asses and manage future risk.
- Bookkeeper - maintain records of financial transactions, keep accounts up-to-date, and produce final records and check those records for accuracy.
- Budget Analyst - understand and improve the way money is spent and managed.
- Compliance Officer - monitor an organization's processes to ensure adherence to applicable laws and regulations.
- Forensic Accountant - assess financial documents for use in disputes, litigation and criminal procedures.
- Tax Accountant - work with clients to produce tax return documents.
- Other - the technical and quantitative skills earned during the pursuit of an accounting major are transferable to finance, banking, analyst and similar fields.
Want to know more about undergraduate programs at Saint Xavier University? Please fill out the form below!
Students should complete the business core courses as well as the accounting core courses, which totals 120 credit hours. However, to qualify to take the CPA exam, students need a total of 150 credit hours. In order to meet this requirement, students should enroll in the MBA program.
- Career Readiness: earn the skills and knowledge to launch your career from day one.
- CPA Preparation: our BBA in Accounting is designed to meet all of the course requirements to take the Certified Public Accountant examination. Continue in our MBA program to meet the 150-credit hour requirement.
- Student Focus: learn from, and work with, faculty who maintain an academic and practitioner focus that translates theory into practice through their intellectual contributions and service to the business community.
- Experiential Learning: take part in our experiential learning opportunities including case competitions and internships.
- Corporate Social Responsibility: become part of a community that encourages and teaches you to be socially responsible and to have ethical management experience.
SXU is a preferred partner with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Becker CPA Review. Our students go on to work at some of the best firms in Chicago including:
- British Petroleum (BP)
- Ernst and Young (EY)
- Northern Trust
- True Partners Consulting
- William Blair
For students who have completed a BBA in Accounting and have a desire to become a certified public accountant (CPA), there is no more direct route to the exam than completing the MBA in a year. Students completing their undergraduate degree at SXU are automatically accepted into the program if they meet certain criteria.
Learn more about our Alumni Loyalty Scholarship that supports the lifelong learning of our SXU graduates.
Meet the GSM Faculty
Sarah Williams, Alumna, Class of 2020
Sarah Williams completed a tax internship at Deloitte over the summer, the largest professional services firm in the world. After an amazing summer of learning from some of the most talented tax professionals in business, she was extended a job offer to begin a career with Deloitte Tax in summer of 2020. Though Williams already has a job waiting for her after graduation, her studies and involvement at the University remain the same, as she hopes to maintain her 4.0 GPA and continue driving change on campus. She is the president of Women Entering Business, secretary of the Accounting Student Organization, and sits on the Student Advisory Board at the Northwest Community Credit Union here at SXU.
She is also an active member of Business Student Association, Financial Management Association, and a Schmitt Scholar. Williams was the recipient of three awards at GSM, the Jim McCabe Scholarship, the Elizabeth Hunter Scholarship and 2019 Finance Department Award. She is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the exclusive business honor society associated with AACSB accredited schools. This past tax season, Williams participated in the Ladder Up Program, a program that prepares tax returns for individuals and low-income families. With this being said, Sarah plans to work with Ladder Up each tax season to prepare returns for these individuals and give back to her community, something she is extremely passionate about.