How to Break into the Accounting Field

I’m a 37-year-old recent graduate with a degree in accounting. Unfortunately, I did not do an internship while I was in school. I’m currently looking for an entry-level position since I don’t have experience. Please advise.

—S. Carter
Via e-mail

Good decision to earn your degree in accounting!  According to Joe Watson, CEO of Without Excuses and Strategic Hire in Reston, Virginia, and author of Where the Jobs Are Now (McGraw-Hill; $18.95), accounting is recession-proof. He estimates the field will grow by 15% over the next decade.

Make sure to join the National Association of Black Accountants (www.nabainc.org), the largest pool of African Americans in accounting and finance nationwide. NABA offers members leadership training courses and access to professional and social networks for mentoring and internship opportunities. In addition, you can research potential jobs through NABA’s online career center.

You should also consider joining the American Accounting Association (www.aaahq.org). AAA promotes accounting education, research, and practice. The organization has a resource called Future Accounting Faculty and Programs Projects to develop and share resources for communities to support accounting programs, students, and faculty. AAA also has an online career center.

Also, read Great Jobs for Accounting Majors, Second Edition by Jan Goldberg (McGraw-Hill; $15.95).

This Q&A appears in the September 2010 issue in Workplace.

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