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What Can I Do With an Accounting Minor?

by Jon Gjerde, studioD

An accounting minor prepares you for entry-level jobs in a number of finance occupations. Many of these jobs require a combination of customer-service, sales and finance skills. If you decide you like the accounting and finance aspects of these careers, you can earn a master's degree in accounting, business administration or finance to move up the career ladder.

Keeping Financial Institutions Honest

Financial examiners work to ensure that financial institutions are healthy and meet all regulatory requirements. As a financial examiner, you will most likely work government agencies, such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Financial examiners typically specialize in risk scoping or consumer compliance. Risk scoping financial examiners determine the overall financial health of banks and other finance companies. Consumer compliance examiners analyze companies' lending practices to identify cases in which banks may be taking advantage of consumers by offering loans consumers can't repay or are making discriminatory credit decisions. Exact requirements to become a financial examiner vary, but as an example, the FDIC requires you to have a bachelor's degree with at least six semester hours of course work in accounting. To advance to senior financial examiner positions, you will need to earn a master's degree and become a certified public accountant.

Funding the Economy

Loan officers collect information about people or organizations applying for loans and analyze that information to make decisions about creditworthiness and the terms of loan agreements. For this career, you will also need some sales skills to be able to seek out clients, promote your employer's lending services and maintain relationships with your clients. Some loan officers specialize in providing mortgages. This career path requires you to complete 20 hours of specialized course work and pass a licensing exam. With a minor in accounting, you may be limited to positions with consumer banks. Loan officers with commercial banks generally need a major in a subject related to finance.

Investing Is in Your Future

Financial sales agents include securities brokers, investment bankers and financial services sales agents. Securities brokers analyze company financial statements to determine the quality of their stock, prospect for new clients by making calls or attending networking events and make investment recommendations to their current clients. Investment bankers help companies finance their operations by facilitating initial public offerings and managing mergers or acquisitions. Financial services sales agents call potential customers to promote and sell services such as credit cards, checking accounts, loans or retirement planning services. These careers require a bachelor's degree and a firm understanding of finance concepts. Brokers and investment bankers must also obtain licensing through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Licensing requires you to obtain sponsorship from your employer, submit to a background check and pass one or several exams, depending on your duties. There is considerable competition for these jobs, making your undergraduate grade point average a big factor in landing your first job in this field.

Helping Americans Retire Early

Personal financial advisers help clients meet their financial goals. These goals may include saving for retirement or a child's education, growing savings funds through investment, tax planning and protection from unforeseen hardships through insurance. Financial advisers may provide all of these services or just a few. Prospecting is a huge part of the personal financial adviser's job. You can accomplish this by putting on personal finance seminars, asking current clients for referrals and using your personal and professional contacts to network. Personal financial advisers need licenses to sell securities, similar to securities brokers, or insurance if they choose to offer those services. Though not required, you can become a certified financial planner after gaining three years of experience and passing a certification exam.

About the Author

Jon Gjerde worked as a journalist in northern California where he covered topics ranging from city, county and tribal governments to alternative transportation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of California, Davis.

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