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10 In-Demand Finance and Accounting Careers

By Shayna Joubert
July 5, 2018

Monica Borgida, faculty lead for Northeastern’s Finance and Accounting Management program, admits that the term “accounting” doesn’t always conjure up excitement for prospective students. But she believes it should. While people frequently use buzzwords like “bitcoin” and “cryptocurrency,” she says, they fail to realize that what underlies these exciting technologies are tried-and-true accounting principles.

These buzzwords are key examples of how the finance and technology industries—together referred to as “fintech”—are beginning to intersect. Along with globalization and increasingly complex regulatory frameworks, the growth of the “fintech” industry means the demand for finance and accounting professionals will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for financial occupations is expected to grow 10 percent by 2026, introducing more than 773,800 new jobs to the marketplace.

As the financial industry evolves, Borgida says, companies are racing to find new finance and accounting talent, making it an opportune time for students to upskill and break into the field. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, here are 10 of the most in-demand finance and accounting careers for bachelor’s degree holders in today’s market.

In-Demand Finance and Accounting Jobs

1) Accountant

Accountants prepare, maintain, and examine the accuracy of financial statements for an organization. They ensure all financial records, such as balance sheets, income and loss statements, cash flow statements, and tax returns, are compliant with federal laws, regulations, and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). They are also responsible for identifying and resolving any discrepancies in records, statements, or documented transactions.

Average Salary: $72,942

10-Year Projected Growth: 10 percent (This field is projected to grow faster than the average growth rate for all occupations, which is seven percent.)

 

2) Financial Analyst

These analysts examine an organization’s financial data. By analyzing past financial and investment data, as well as estimating future revenues and expenditures, they can provide guidance to businesses making investment decisions.

Average Salary: $84,367

10-Year Projected Growth: 11 percent (Faster than average)

 

3) Personal Financial Advisor

Financial advisors help their clients understand the health of their finances and make personal investment decisions. They monitor the state of clients’ investments and finances, and can provide advice on insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement.

Average Salary: $90,640

10-Year Projected Growth: 15 percent (Much faster than average)

 

4) Management Consultant

Management consultants, also known as management analysts, propose improvements for operational efficiencies, in an effort to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.

Average Salary: $82,450

10-Year Projected Growth: 14 percent (Much faster than average)

 

5) Financial Managers

Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They generate financial reports and develop strategies to help meet the long-term financial goals of their organization.

Average Salary: $125,080

10-Year Projected Growth: 19 percent (Much faster than average)

 

6) Budget Analyst

Budget analysts help companies organize their finances, prepare budget reports, and monitor institutional spending. They regularly review an organization’s financial plans for completeness, accuracy, and conformance with regulations and organizational objectives.

Average Salary: $75,240

10-Year Projected Growth: 7 percent (As fast as average)

 

7) Auditor

Internal auditors and audit managers identify financial and business risks and assess compliance with government regulations. They evaluate existing internal controls, identify areas for improvement, and may coordinate the implementation of internal improvement efforts.

Average Salary: $69,350

10-Year Projected Growth: 10 percent (Faster than average)

 

8) Senior Tax Accountant

Tax accountants prepare federal, state, and local tax returns for individuals, businesses, or other organizations.

Average Salary: $85,690

10-Year Projected Growth: 13 percent (Faster than average)

 

9) Controller

Controllers and assistant controllers prepare financial statements and reports that summarize and forecast a business’s activity and financial position. They may also develop internal policies and procedures for an organization’s budget administration, cash and credit management, and accounting functions.

Average Salary: $125,080

10-Year Projected Growth: 15 percent (Much faster than average)

 

10) Credit Analyst

These professionals review and analyze financial information from sources such as reporting services, credit bureaus, and bank branches to evaluate the profitability of loan requests and approve or deny loan applications.

Average Salary: $71,290

10-Year Projected Growth: 8 percent (As fast as average)

 

Skills for Finance and Accounting Careers

Borgida says that the key to success in any of these careers is to develop an interdisciplinary skill set that focuses on finance, technology, and communication.

“Successful professionals in the field are critical thinkers,” she says. “They’re analysts, problem solvers, and effective communicators that combine financial knowledge, technical aptitude, and interpersonal skill to solve complex business problems.”

According to Burning Glass Technologies, the skills in greatest demand among financial professionals include:

    • Financial analysis
    • Accounting
    • Sales
    • Financial management and reporting
    • Project management
    • Technology skills
    • Data analytics

Borgida notes that even for those who have already been in the industry for some time, emerging technologies are requiring people to sharpen and update their skill set. One way to gain the necessary skills, she says, is to complete your bachelor’s degree.

After earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance and Accounting Management, Borgida’s former students now work at leading financial institutions and consulting agencies, such as Citibank, Accenture, KPMG, Capital One, PWC, New York Life, Deloitte, and JP Morgan.

By earning a degree, you’ll have a pulse on market trends, learn best practices from industry professionals, grow a robust network, and gain the most relevant and up-to-date skills you need to succeed in the field. As more and more students compete for entry into one of the fastest-growing and most critical areas of management, a degree, she says, will help get you there.

To learn more about earning your finance and accounting management degree, explore our program page or request more information.


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About Shayna Joubert
Shayna Joubert is the senior content marketing manager for Northeastern University.