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Accounting Careers

Accounting is the foundation of all business. In understanding how a business runs and operates, you position yourself to:

  • Develop business acumen that is sought out and rewarded
  • Be upwardly mobile
  • Make valuable contributions to any industry
  • Work in any country around the world
  • Become recognized as a licensed professional and advisor

What are the benefits of becoming a CPA?

  • A dynamic career. 90% of CPAs indicate that one-third or less of their roles involve traditional accounting and financial reporting. They spend much more time on issues of information technology, risk management, organizational strategy, supply-chain management, human resources, and supporting the CEO and other managers. [Source: www.cpasuccess.com]
  • Opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of accountants and auditors will grow by 11% from 2014 to 2024.
  • Reward. Due to demand, entry-level and mid-level salaries are impressive. In addition, CPAs earn an average of 10% to 15% more than their non-licensed peers.

How do you seek CPA licensure?

Licensure requirements vary by state. To begin, you will need to determine in which state you will seek licensure. Then you must work to achieve those requirements. A website called This Way to CPA is a valuable resource for licensure information.

Studying accounting at Fordham

The Gabelli School of Business offers four undergraduate academic paths for those interested in accounting:

Public Accountancy (150 credit hours)

  • As undergraduates, students complete all 150 credit hours required for Certified Public Accountant licensure in New York State, where it is state-registered as meeting the educational requirements.
  • This program is completed in five years. The additional fifth year of undergraduate study allows students to explore an area of interest as an academic concentration. For a list of currently available concentrations, visit our Majors and Concentrations page.

Public Accounting (120 credit hours)

  • This program is completed in four years. Upper-level coursework focuses on developing a strong foundation for a career in accounting.
  • Students seeking licensure in New York State may sit for the CPA exam upon completion of this major, but licensure will not be granted until students complete the additional 30 hours of coursework needed to meet New York’s 150-hour minimum.
  • Students who complete this major and want to become licensed CPAs in New York State (or another state) usually go on to complete a separate master’s degree after graduation. The Gabelli School’s dual-degree programs are an option: our BS/MBA, BS/MS in Accounting, and BS/MS in Taxation are registered with New York State as meeting the educational requirements for CPA licensure.

Applied Accounting and Finance (120 credit hours)

  • This program is completed in four years. Upper-level coursework focuses on two industries, finance and accounting, allowing students to pursue both fields of study.
  • Students who envision a finance career find this major highly valuable. They graduate with a foundation in finance as well as with accounting knowledge that helps them to understand and interpret financial statements.
  • Students who envision an accounting career are well-positioned to take the next steps toward licensure. Combining the applied accounting and finance major with a master’s degree, such as one of the Gabelli School’s dual-degree programs, is a New York State-registered path toward meeting the educational requirements for CPA licensure.

Accounting Information Systems (120 credit hours)

  • This program is completed in four years. Upper-level coursework focuses on two industries, information systems and accounting, allowing students to explore both fields of study.
  • Students who envision a career in information systems can find opportunities in many business fields. Consulting firms, large corporations, insurance companies, financial firms, government agencies, and public accounting firms all appreciate the combined power of accounting and information systems knowledge.
  • Students who envision an accounting career are well-positioned to take the next steps toward licensure. Combining the applied accounting and finance major with a master’s degree, such as one of the Gabelli School’s dual-degree programs, is a New York State-registered path toward meeting the educational requirements for CPA licensure.

For more information about majoring in accounting, visit our accounting majors and concentrations page.

Is accounting right for me?

Your Gabelli School advisors—academic and career—can help you to contemplate this question. If you are considering accounting as a career, we recommend that you connect first with your class dean. Once you’ve spoken with your class dean, and maybe an accounting faculty member who has taught you in class, make an appointment on GabelliAccess for an individual career advising appointment.

Engage with the accounting industry

The more you get to know accounting firms during your time at the Gabelli School, the better they will know you when it comes time to apply for internships and jobs. Here are just a few ways you can strengthen your connections now:

  • Participate in on-campus, employer-sponsored case-study programs to showcase your ability to apply your classroom lessons to real-world accounting situations. PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG offer international and national case competitions, and Fordham is a designated school for all of their contests. Contact the Personal and Professional Development Center if you are interested in being a part of a competition team, and the career advisors can refer you to a specific competition’s coordinating faculty member or advisor.
  • Apply to large firms’ organized leadership programs. Postings for these opportunities are on Handshake.
  • Seek out internships to expand your skillsets and knowledge base. Individual firms offer detailed internship information on their websites, and you also will find valuable recruiting information through the University-wide Office of Career Services.
  • Attend industry engagement opportunities posted on the GabelliConnect calendar.