Making a Successful Switch: How to Transition to Accounting From Your Current Career

Although you would like to continue pursuing, growing and flourishing in your career, there are instances you should consider switching areas.

Although you would like to continue pursuing, growing and flourishing in your career, there are instances you should consider switching areas.

How to Transition to Accounting From Your Current Career

When you often feel stressed and tired at work, undervalued, think your job doesn’t matter and your values don’t align with your company’s, and no longer learning and growing, it may be time to switch careers.

Changing careers may be daunting but knowing the right one to switch to can make the entire process go smoothly and successfully.

This article explains why you should consider choosing accountancy as a career and how you can make a successful transition.

Why Choose Accounting as Your Second Career

There are several reasons why you should consider switching to a career in accountancy. Below are some of these:

1. Wide range of job opportunities

Accounting offers numerous opportunities for professionals in different fields and organizations. The variety of job openings can help you find a career that interests and excites you.

Accounting is one of the most popular and stable careers to get into. In the U.S. alone, the employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow six percent from 2021 to 2031 and about 136,400 job openings are available for these professionals each year.

2. Career advancement opportunities

Another benefit of switching to the accounting field is the potential for career growth.

Specializing in accounting prepares you for many career paths. With the right qualifications, training and experience, you can work your way up from an entry-level position to corporate and upper management.

Additionally, accounting offers numerous job opportunities in different fields and companies. Because of this, you will be able to find a role you’ll love and flourish in.

3. Financial proficiency

Learning about and specializing in the field of accountancy will help you understand various financial topics, including budgeting, bookkeeping, banking, auditing, economics and taxation.

You can apply the knowledge and skills you gain in the professional setting as well as in your personal financial activities.

4. An exciting work environment

Working in accounting immerses you in an exciting work environment that presents constantly changing challenges and puzzles to solve.

As an accounting professional, you can support companies as they make important financial decisions and find solutions to help them save money.

How to Switch to an Accounting Career

If you are interested in following a career in accounting, follow these tips to ensure a smooth and successful transition:

1. Understand the field.

Before embarking on a career change to accounting, conduct a thorough research about the industry.

You need to understand the different types of accounting roles and the qualifications required for each. Also, take the time to look into the job market in your area and other places if you plan to work abroad, the salaries for various positions, and the opportunities for growth and advancement to map out your career route.

By doing sufficient research, you can learn more about the field of accounting, know if it is the right career choice for you and identify the best path to take to reach your goals.

2. Pursue an accountancy degree.

You need to have at least a bachelor's degree in accountancy or a related field to become a qualified accounting professional.

You also have to consider obtaining a postgraduate degree in accounting or finance to become a full-fledged accountant.

There are several in-person and online degree programs that can help you obtain the education and qualifications you need to start a career in accounting and finance.

Choose a program that’s accredited and recognized by the industry to ensure you receive the highest quality education and training.

3. Obtain an accounting certification or license.

Since this is your second career, you want to move up quickly on the corporate ladder and stand out from the competition.

Acquiring an accounting or finance certification lets you specialize in a particular area and give you an edge as you pursue your new career.

Obtaining an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification proves you have the skills, knowledge and values to be a chartered accountant.

You could demonstrate your understanding of the stock market with a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification.

You can also work on being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to show your expertise as a consultant or advisor in various areas of accounting and finance.

Acquiring these certifications requires a significant amount of work experience and passing one or more exams which also confirm your expertise in this field.

4. Gain experience.

Aside from acquiring a degree and qualifications, practical experience is also crucial in finding success in the field of accounting and finance.

Find opportunities where you can gain hands-on experience in the field, such as internships or entry-level positions.

These experiences will help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in the accounting and finance field. They can also make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.

You can also consider volunteering or accepting pro bono work to acquire additional relevant experience and build your resume.

5. Build and expand your network.

Networking is an essential part of career growth. Building a strong network can put you in a better position to connect and engage with other professionals in the accounting field, learn about job opportunities and gain valuable insights into the industry.

Start by attending industry events, joining professional organizations and connecting with other users on LinkedIn to build your network.

Make sure you stay consistent and proactive in your networking efforts so you can make the most of every opportunity.

6. Update your resume.

Before you start searching for accounting jobs, take the time to update your resume and cover letter to highlight your new relevant skills and experience.

Always customize your resume and cover letter to the particular job you are applying for. Ensure you emphasize your accounting education and all relevant paid and unpaid work experiences you have.

Lastly, take a few minutes to proofread these documents before submitting or sending them to ensure they are error-free.

7. Prepare for interviews.

Finally, increase your chances of landing your first accounting job by preparing well for interviews.

Research the company and the position you are applying for and practice answering common interview questions.

Wear a professional outfit and bring copies of your resume and other important documents with you to the interview.

Be punctual and courteous to everyone you meet where you’ll have your interview since this can make a positive impression on your potential employers.

Switching to another career can be challenging. But when you’re sure accounting is the right field for you and follow these tips, you’re sure to thrive in your new profession.

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