With exceptional performers earning in excess of $127,550 per year, an unemployment rate of only 3.8 percent*, and a spot on Business Insider’s 2016 top 20 list of best business jobs, it’s no wonder that many dream of a career in accounting.
Its reputation might make the field seem out of reach, but career advancement in accounting can appear endless. At St. Charles Community College, students have access to programs that are the stepping stone to career success.
Interested students can get their feet wet with SCC’s non-credit Bookkeeping Certificate program.
“The bookkeeping certificate was designed with two types of students in mind,” said Kathy Stearns, SCC program specialist. “It’s an excellent option for students with little to no experience who are looking for a marketable skill to enter the workforce immediately in an entry-level position or for those with experience who want to add the certified bookkeeper designation to their résumé.”
Bookkeepers compute, classify and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. They perform any combination of routine calculating, posting and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining account records. They check the accuracy of figures, calculations and postings pertaining to business transactions by co-workers.
Classes are taught by professionals who emphasize real-world skills that can be immediately applied to the workplace. “Every business needs trained bookkeepers who can record, track and analyze a company’s finances,” Stearns said. “From one-person businesses to large corporations, the opportunities for bookkeepers are growing!”
And training and education in accounting doesn’t have to stop there. SCC offers for-credit certificate and degree options that will fit a variety of career goals.
“If you already have some accounting skills from the certificate, you can jump right into your required accounting classes and complete your degree in record time,” said Anna Boulware, SCC accounting professor and chair of the Accounting Department.
For a smaller time-commitment, a one-year path with SCC’s Certificate of Achievement or Specialization in accounting is the right choice. These certificate programs prepare students for entry-level positions such as accounting clerks.
Students who are willing to invest a little more time take the two-year path toward an Associate of Applied Science degree in accounting. This degree will develop the student’s skills, knowledge and aptitudes related to the field of accounting. Graduates are prepared to seek employment in paraprofessional accounting, senior-level bookkeeping or junior-level accounting positions.
For students who want a four-year degree, they may choose to pursue an Associate of Arts transfer degree at SCC with an emphasis in pre-business. This pathway lays a strong foundation for junior- and senior-level classwork at the four-year institution. With a bachelor’s degree, students can look forward to earning certifications such as Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Manager (CFM).
“As an accountant, you can count on people wanting your advice, work in an area you’re passionate about – like sports technology or fashion – and earn a great salary with job security,” Boulware said.
For information about non-credit bookkeeping certificates, visit SCC’s Continuing Education web page. Learn about the college’s certificate, A.A.S. or A.A. degree options in accounting on the Accounting Department web page.
*U.S. Department of Labor