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What can I do with this degree?

It's important that students take the necessary and early steps to professionally develop themselves and get ready for their career after graduation. Taking internships and being involved helps build a well-rounded professional resume. For more information contact Career Services.


ACCOUNTING

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AREAS 
PUBLIC ACCOUNTING 
Auditing/Assurance Services 
Tax 
Environmental Accounting 
Forensic/Investigative Accounting 
Information Technology Services 
International Accounting 
Personal Financial Planning

EMPLOYERS 
Large/multinational, Regional, or Local Public accounting firms 
Sole practitioners

STRATEGIES 
Public accounting firms hire candidates who meet the educational requirements for sitting for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam: 150 hours of education including 24 hours of accounting, i.e. the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in accounting. State laws govern the practice of accountancy and specify the requirements to be eligible to sit for the CPA exam. In most states, the State Board of Accountancy has a website that outlines those requirements.

AREAS 
CORPORATE ACCOUNTING 
Financial Management 
Financial Reporting 
Internal Auditing 
Cost Accounting 
Tax Planning 
Budget Analysis

EMPLOYERS 
Companies of all sizes, in all industries

STRATEGIES 
Many managers in corporate settings obtain an MBA degree after several years of work experience. 

AREAS 
GOVERNMENT 
Auditing 
Financial Reporting 
Financial Management 
Budget Analysis 
Research

EMPLOYERS 
Federal agencies and departments including: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury, General Accounting Office, Office of Management and Budget, Securities Exchange Commission, and State and local agencies.

STRATEGIES 
Become familiar with the government application process.

AREAS 
EDUCATION 
Teaching 
Research 
Consulting

EMPLOYERS 
Universities and colleges

STRATEGIES 
A Ph.D. in Accounting or a DBA, Doctorate in Business Administration, in accounting is generally required. Maintain a high GPA and secure strong faculty recommendations for admittance into graduate school.

AREAS 
NON-PROFIT 
Accounting 
Internal Audit 
Financial Planning 
Budgeting 
Money Handling 
Record Keeping

EMPLOYERS 
Social service agencies and organizations 
Hospitals 
Public school systems 
Universities and colleges 
Religious organizations 
Libraries and museums 
Political parties 
Labor unions

STRATEGIES 
Volunteer at non-profit organizations and build a network of contacts in the non-profit sector.

GENERAL INFORMATION 
Earn good grades. Grades are an indicator of technical competence in accounting and of a person’s work ethic.

Actively participate in student organizations to develop leadership skills.

Develop excellent computer skills.

Learn to work well within in a team.

Develop strong communication skills.

Gain work experience and information about careers through internships.

Join Beta Alpha Psi, the honorary fraternity for accounting and finance information professionals, to gain knowledge about the accounting profession.

Certifications available through the Institute of Internal Auditors or the Institute of Management Accountants may increase job marketability in some areas of accounting.

Accounting students should develop their analytical, critical-thinking and problem solving skills. Develop high ethical standards.

Accuracy and attention to detail are important traits for accountants.

Accounting is a versatile degree. Students who graduate with a major in accounting may find jobs in many areas of business including: sales, production management, client management, product development, procurement, general management, banking and financial planning.

What can I do with this degree? (printer friendly version)

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer

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FINANCE

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AREAS 
CORPORATE AND PUBLIC FINANCE 
Financial Analysis 
Cash Management 
Credit Management 
Budget Analysis 
Investment Management 
Investor Relations 
Financial Reporting 
Payroll 
Benefits 
Real Estate 
Risk Management

EMPLOYERS 
Private businesses of all sizes and types 
State and local government entities 
Federal agencies including: Internal Revenue Service, Treasury Department 
Schools and universities 
Non-profit organizations 
Foundations 
Hospitals

STRATEGIES 
Complete a related internship. Develop strong computer skills, including spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software. Sharp analytical skills are crucial in this industry. Earn an MBA to reach the highest levels of corporate finance.

AREAS 
BANKING 
Corporate Credit Analysis 
Commercial Lending 
Trust Management 
Capital Services and Mergers & Acquisitions 
Mortgage Loans 
Originations and Packaging 
Branch Management 
Operations 
Cash Management 
Credit Scoring and Risk Management 
Private Banking

EMPLOYERS 
Commercial banks 
Credit unions 
Savings and loan associations 
Savings banks 
Mortgage banks 
Captive finance companies 
Regulatory agencies including: Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC, OTS

STRATEGIES 
Develop a solid background in business including marketing and accounting. 
Get experience through part-time, summer or internship positions in a financial service firm. Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills in order to work well with a diverse clientele.

AREAS 
INSURANCE 
Claims Analysis 
Underwriting 
Risk Management 
Sales 
Actuarial Science 
Loss Control

EMPLOYERS 
Life insurance firms 
Property and casualty insurance firms 
Commercial banks 
Savings banks

STRATEGIES 
Complete an internship with an insurance agency. Talk to professionals in the industry to learn more about claims, underwriting, and risk management. Many good, entry-level positions exist in these areas. Initiative and sales ability are necessary to be a successful agent or broker. Develop strong communication skills, as many positions require interaction with others and the ability to explain information clearly and concisely. Take additional statistics classes to prepare for a career in actuary science. Prepare to take the first in a series of actuarial examinations.

AREAS 
PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING 
Sales 
Customer Service 
Operations 
Portfolio Management

EMPLOYERS 
Brokerage firms 
Trust companies 
Financial partnerships 
Multi-line insurance firms 
Sole practitioners

STRATEGIES 
Gain experience in sales. Must be highly motivated and entrepreneurial. 
Research how one obtains the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. 
Develop a solid personal network.

AREAS 
REAL ESTATE 
Residential Brokerage 
Commercial Sales 
Appraisals 
Property Management 
Real Estate Portfolio Management

EMPLOYERS 
Real estate brokers 
Commercial banks 
Appraisal firms 
Apartment and condominium complexes 
Developers 
Real estate investment trusts 
Mutual funds

STRATEGIES 
Obtain sales experience through part-time, summer or internship positions. 
Research how to become a real estate broker through the National Association of Realtors. Develop an entrepreneurial spirit. Research apprenticeships in appraisal.

AREAS 
INVESTMENT BANKING 
Corporate Financial Analysis 
Mergers and Acquisitions 
Equity and Debt 
Underwriting 
Institutional Bond and Equity Sales 
Retail Bond and Equity Sales 
Business Valuation 
Business Sale Transactions 
Currency Trading 
Derivatives, e.g. options 
Trading 
Venture Capital Fund Management 
New Venture Analysis

EMPLOYERS 
Investment banking firms (Changes in laws have created a fluid situation in this industry; Mergers and acquisitions continue to take place.) 
Financial services firms 
Insurance firms (The Gramm Leach Bliley Act of 1999 allowed financial services firms to acquire or build investment banking subsidiaries and vice versa.)

STRATEGIES 
An M.B.A. is required to move beyond the entry-level analyst position in investment banking. Investment banking is highly competitive. Be prepared to work many hours of overtime per week, start at the bottom, and pay your dues. 
Develop strong analytical and communication skills. Cultivate personal ambitiousness. Obtain a Series 7 License for both institutional and retail broker sales positions. Work toward the CFA designation.

AREAS 
MONEY MANAGEMENT 
Research 
Trading 
Marketing 
Portfolio Management

EMPLOYERS 
Portfolio management firms 
Commercial banks 
Investment banks 
Federal Reserve banks 
Insurance firms

STRATEGIES 
Most positions require an advanced degree in economics, finance or business and many years of financial experience.

GENERAL INFORMATION 
Quantitative skills are extremely important. Take additional courses in math, statistics, and accounting.

Many positions in finance require the ability to analyze and interpret data.

Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills. Cultivate an eye for detail.

Gain experience through internships, summer and part-time positions.

Read the Wall Street Journal and other financial news magazines to stay abreast of current events and to learn more about the industry.

Join student professional associations in the field of finance.

Several professional designations and licenses, e.g. Chartered Financial Analyst or Certified Financial Planner, are available to finance professionals working in a particular area. Earning these designations may help one obtain advanced positions.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer

Printable version (10kB) ( PDF - Download Acrobat Reader )