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Ranging the Spectrum: Accounting Jobs and IT Jobs

Accounting jobs are among today’s most stable career opportunities. IT jobs, conversely, is among the least stable job fields. Both careers can pay lucratively, and both require a great deal of specialized training to enter. For those on the cusp of deciding which career field to pursue, a breakdown of the differences in these two careers may be a helpful guide in pursing the future.

Accounting has many branches of practice. Public, private, and government accounting are the three main branches. Public accountants will need a 4 to 5 year education from an accredited college to be competitive. To work in the public environment, these individuals will also have to complete four basic tests of proficiency in order to earn their CPA (Certified Personal Accountant) license.

Private accounting may have a lower entry range, and depending on the size of a company and the scope of its accounting needs, individuals may find work without a CPA, but in all cases, an accountant will need his or her Bachelor’s degree. Entrance after a degree, into the field, should provide a living income between $40,000 and $70,000 dollars a year.

Government accounting and specialized sectors such as Forensic Accounting may be the desired outcome for most accountants, since these fields provide the top job security, the best benefits and the highest pay. Some corporate or management accounting jobs can pay as much as $170,000 a year for a traditional five day work week. However, entry level jobs in this career field often require people to work long hours, six or even seven days a week.

IT jobs contrast greatly. Because the field is ever changing, and rapidly so, most successful IT employees do not possess a traditional college degree, and instead, have obtained licenses in various specializations. Entry into IT work may be achieved in as little as a year of training, with starting salaries between $30,000 and $60,000. Advancement from entry-level work can take an IT professional to a comfortable $150,000. Though, unlike accounting work, the IT industry is extremely fickle.

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Successful IT companies may miss a trend and fail overnight, resulting in the loss of employment for most of their workforce. Because of the volatile nature of the field, many workers compile a portfolio that shows various kinds of experience to assure future work. With these two lucrative career fields, someone considering their future should decide when to begin their education. Accounting education happens up front. IT education continues throughout a career, and both have long-term financial gains and a variety of enjoyable outlets for growth and fulfillment.

By Faith Kaltenbach