Accountants analyze financial data for businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations. They prepare reports that help clients make good financial decisions and track economic progress. To become an accountant, a student must attend an accredited college or university and pass courses in a variety of subject areas.
Many of an accounting student's classes are likely to be specific to subjects in the field of accounting. These may include general classes such as a survey of accounting practices along with more focused courses on auditing, income tax systems, financial theory and managerial cost accounting.
Most colleges require accounting students to take additional business classes that are not specific to accounting, These courses might include economics, business finance, investments and business management.
Because an accounting career relies heavily on numerical data, the majority of colleges require accounting students to take several math courses as part of a degree program. Statistics classes are very common, with courses such as business statistics, applied probability and regression and variance analysis.
At some colleges, students have the option or additional requirement of completing credit work through an internship. These courses combine real-world experience at a variety of work settings with classroom analysis of the work students perform. Internship courses usually come later in the college career and fall under the accounting subject heading.
Besides accounting, business and math classes, accounting students must usually take liberal arts courses in subject areas not directly related to accounting. In some cases there are general education classes that a college requires all of its full-time students to take, such as English, history or religion. Some accounting students may also wish to study computer science or social science as a means of augmenting a background in accounting for specific types of accounting careers.
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