Accounting and finance are two degrees that both have good career paths. Each comes with benefits and challenges you must consider before majoring in either.
Whether you should major in accounting or finance depends on which suits your personality and preference best, as both degrees play a vital role in business.
In this article, you will learn the difference between accounting and finance and be able to make an informed decision regarding the one you should major in.
What is accounting?
Accounting is the process of summarizing, analyzing, and documenting a company’s financial transactions.
Accounting majors learn how to audit, create, and manage an accurate and precise system that reflects an organization’s or business’s finances.
Majoring in accounting will prepare you for various careers, from auditing and financial management to forensic accounting and budget analysis.
In addition, it allows you to pursue other professional financial career paths like credit controller and tax advisor.
What is finance?
Finance is the management of money through activities such as forecasting, saving, lending, and borrowing.
Finance majors learn the basics of financial planning, analyzing expenses, and making investment decisions. When you major in finance, you will learn to explore topics like investing, banking, and financial planning.
Majoring in finance allows you to study financial theories and how to apply them in the business world to help individuals and companies manage their finances.
Why should you major in accounting?
1. Accounting sets you on the right path toward becoming an entrepreneur
As an accounting major, your strategic skills and insights into markets and industries will give you a great platform to become an entrepreneur.
With the proper certifications and papers, you can decide to set up your accounting firm. You can also choose to become a freelancer who offers bookkeeping services or an independent business consultant.
2. Accounting offers you career flexibility
Majoring in accounting and gaining a solid foundation allows you access to various roles in various businesses.
As the famous billionaire and investor Warren Buffett would say, “Accounting is the language spoken by all businesses.”
And with the recent AI technology developments, you won’t need to use conventional accounting procedures like preparing profit and loss statements and recording transactions into ledgers.
3. You will acquire in-demand skills
When you complete a degree in accounting, you will acquire and develop various versatile and in-demand skills. Some of the top skills you’ll master in an accounting career include:
- Business acumen
- Quantitative reasoning
- Software experience
- Analytical abilities
Why should you major in finance?
1. You will learn essential financial principles
Majoring in finance allows you to learn and master important general financial principles that apply to life. Your knowledge of finance will teach you the following:
- How to invest in valuable financial assets
- Why you shouldn’t put all your ‘eggs’ in one basket (diversification)
- How to plan for long-term success instead of short-term gains
2. You become a better investor
Studying finance will give you prior knowledge of making informed financial decisions, including investing. As an expert in the field, you will avoid financial loopholes and know the right time to invest in a business venture.
3. There’s a growing demand for finance degree holders
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, financial and business occupations are expected to grow by 7% from 2021 to 2031. This means an additional increase of over 715,100 new job openings over the decade.
Accounting vs. finance major: how much do they earn?
According to Indeed, the average salary for accounting majors or accountants in the US ranges from $54,070 to $62,255 per year for individuals with over 10 years of experience in the accounting field.
On the other hand, a study from Comparably shows that the average salary for finance majors in the US is $101,038 per year.
Accounting vs. finance: job outlook
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting jobs are expected to grow by 7% from 2020 to 2030. As a result, this statistic projects over 135,000 openings for accountants each year for the decade.
Again, projections by the BLS have shown that positions for financial analysts are expected to grow by 9% from 2021 to 2031. This means around 33,000 job openings each year over the next decade.
Many of these openings are expected to be possible due to the urgent need to replace workers who exit the labor force, retire, or transfer to different occupations.
What jobs can you get with an accounting degree?
As a degree holder in accounting, there are several roles you can work in. Some of these positions include:
- Personal financial advisor
- Management analyst
- Finance manager
- Financial examiner
- Financial analyst
- Financial and business consultant
- Budget analyst
What jobs can you get with a degree in finance?
While there are many jobs you can get as a finance degree holder, the most common ones are:
- Fintech business analyst
- Impact investment analyst
- Financial analyst
- Commercial banker
- Grants analyst
- Financial Advisor
- Auditor and accountant
What jobs are the best-paying for accounting majors?
The best-paying jobs for accounting majors are forensic accountants, managerial accountants, corporate controllers, and chief financial officers.
What jobs are the best-paying for finance majors?
The best-paying jobs for finance degree holders include financial consultants, actuaries, financial managers, and investment bankers.
How long does it take to get an accounting or finance degree?
It takes around 4 years to complete an accounting degree at an in-person or conventional university or college.
On the other hand, it takes 3 to 4 years to earn a Bachelor’s degree in finance.
Which major is more challenging, accounting or finance?
Accounting majors are more difficult to study than finance due to the technical principles and advanced calculations.
Accounting and finance are closely related and offer promising careers and a chance for further career advancements.
As an accounting degree student, you will utilize processes and professional principles in managing numbers rather than influencing them.
On the other hand, majoring in finance will give you a clearer understanding of different markets, bonds, stocks, financial instruments, and how money works.
Ultimately, the decision depends on your career goals and personal interests. But one thing sure is that they both have their challenges and benefits.
If you found this article helpful, you can also check out the degree pages of the website to learn more about pursuing a career in any degree.
There are helpful articles on the pages that would point you in the right direction for any degree you wish to pursue.
Thanks for reading.