Skip to main content
Accountant

What does an Accountant do?

To be an accountant, you require a love of numbers, a fondness for reading reports, and an eye for details. While some accountants work on their own, the majority are part of a team. Working well with other people is equally important.

The role of an accountant

People who choose accounting as a career should possess the skill set for the following tasks:

  • Monitor the income and expenses of an organization.
  • Prepare profit and loss statements and reports to a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or clients to establish profitability.
  • Analyze and correct reports for discrepancies.
  • Supervise the accounting department.
  • Explain billing procedures or other basic bookkeeping procedures to other staff, if needed.
  • Provide statements and reports to the internal or external auditing team.
  • Comply with federal, state and local tax guidelines.

Accounting education

Initial training can be gained by taking a two-year course in bookkeeping or accounting, but to practise as an accountant, a Bachelor’s degree is required. This degree can be in arts or science or any other discipline. If you’ve set your sights higher than a mere entry level job, earning a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and auditing is recommended.

Other than training in financial management and tax laws, an accounting degree teaches research skills, problem solving, knowledge of accounting technology and software, and project management.

If you’re looking to get a high paying job, you will have to earn a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. In 45 States, 150 semester hours are required after earning a Bachelor’s degree in order to apply for certification. With this certification you’ll have a distinct advantage in securing management jobs.

Job prospects

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an increase of 22 percent in accounting and auditor positions. The best paying markets are identified as:

  • Tax preparation
  • Payroll services
  • Government (state and local)

Contrary to popular belief, not all accountants are geeks or nerds. Intelligence balanced with social skills allows many accountants to become partners in firms or executives such as a CFO or Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

actuary

What does an Actuary do?

In a world in which risk and uncertainty are present in all aspects of human life, an actuary is a skilled professional who has been trained in the assessment of those elements to determine their financial impact. Actuaries use their mathematical skills to evaluate the likelihood of certain events, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes, then go on to tally the possible outcomes and propose measures to minimize the financial impact associated to them. For example, when a hurricane causes heavy damage to a certain area, an actuary must assess the risk of it happening again over the long term to be able to set prices for property insurance and reserves that will prevent future financial loss.

What sort of training and education will prepare me to become an actuary?

Because of the specialization an actuary needs to be able to accurately assess risk and uncertainty, training is extensive and involves several years. When you are looking to become an actuary, you will need to place your focus on subjects such as calculus, probability and statistics, economics, finance, and business.

While courses in finance, math, economics, or statistics are desirable when you want to become an actuary, many different backgrounds can be helpful, including research and physics. This means you will require at least four years of college prior to becoming an actuary. In some cases, a master’s degree in math or actuarial science are a good choice if your undergraduate studies were in liberal arts or other unrelated subjects.

Once you have finished college and earned your bachelor’s degree, you will have to start taking a series of preliminary exams that will determine whether you have the necessary skills to become an actuary. These exams can take place over a span of 6 to 10 years, but passing the first two is the most important step forward into an actuarial career and will allow you to start out as an actuarial assistant. Eventually, with hard work and good skills, you will reach your goal of becoming an actuary and reap the benefits of what has been deemed as one of the most satisfying careers today.

aerospace engineer

What does an Aerospace Engineer do?

Every day millions of people all over the world take to the skies in a wide range of aircraft, from single engine planes to gigantic shuttles designed to carry hundreds of passengers. Each of these planes was once only a vision deep inside an aerospace engineer’s mind, one which came into existence through the skilled work and testing of its creator.

An aerospace engineer has been trained to design airplanes, spaceships, new forms of aircraft, and even satellites and missiles for use by the military. They also test all prototypes to ensure they work as designed. Because of the work they do, aerospace engineers have taken us to the moon, have designed the devices that have taken flight beyond our solar system, and allow us to reach our destinations easily and comfortably through the use of their creations.

The profession is challenging and enjoyable, and has direct applications that can benefit humankind. Today, aerospace engineers have come to realize that the sky is no longer the limit and are looking for new and exciting ways to apply their knowledge to take us beyond the limits of what we know, making this one of the most sought after careers.

What sort of training and education will prepare me to become an aerospace engineer?

When you are looking to become an aerospace engineer, you will need to place a large focus on subject such as math, physics, aerodynamics, computer science, and chemistry during high school. As you enter college you will have to major in engineering, which will advance your skills in this area to prepare you for an advanced degree in aeronautical engineering.

Once you have graduated, you will very likely enter the workforce as a junior engineer, but experience and continued training will allow you to step up the ranks until you earn a position that will allow you to research and work on original products, giving way to breakthroughs in all areas of aeronautics and design. Being an aerospace engineer will require great knowledge of current and new technology, which is why it is said that you will never stop learning new things, making it one of the most satisfying careers in existence today.