Are you a numbers person? Those in accounting prepare, produce and analyze financial records for organizations. Tasks may include computing, classifying and recording data, or performing any combination of routine calculating, posting and verifying duties. Accounting is the language of commerce and important to a variety of fields, from business and industry to government, education, entertainment, and even the legal system.

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Jackson College Offers the following program options:

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An accounting certificate or associate degree is necessary for beginning positions; further study will bring more job opportunities. Those interested in accounting should have good analytical and math skills, as well as good interpersonal and communication skills for working with clients and in today’s business environment. Jackson College offers both accounting associate degree and accounting certificate programs that may be completed online via Internet, or in the classroom.

Career Paths

Completing any number of college credit hours adds value to a resume when looking for work. In particular, completing Principles of Accounting I and Principles of Accounting II with strong grades can lead to an office job. This is always a good place to start during the college experience to gain work skills, check out work environments and secure work references for future job opportunities. Positions such as Accounting Clerk in the Jackson area range from $17-20 per hour.

Completing an associate degree makes a job applicant even more marketable. Students could complete a stand-alone AAS degree in accounting from JC leading to bookkeeping type positions. Students could complete the AA transfer degree from JC and continue their studies leading to a bachelor’s degree. Positions such as assistant controller in the Jackson, MI area range from about $40,000-$60,000 depending on experience.

Entry level work in the field of accounting requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting. This is the essential goal for any student interested in a career in accounting. Students can complete a BS in ACC locally at SHU after the AAS in ACC at JC as one cost effective option. Students can also complete a BS in ACC at a university after the AA transfer degree at JC. The important matter is to complete a bachelor’s degree. With a bachelor’s degree in accounting, all kinds of positions are available in accounting, auditing, tax and more. Starting salaries in the Jackson, MI area range from $50,000 to $75,000.

Pinnacle marketability in the field of accounting requires a CPA license. Becoming a CPA requires 150 specific credit hours of academic coursework in addition to professional experience and completion of the uniform CPA Exam. Becoming a CPA is the ultimate goal for any student interested in maximizing career opportunities. CPA public accounting positions in southern Michigan are posting starting salaries from $60,000 to $75,000+.

Public accounting is what may be the most visible of the accounting areas of specialization. A small business such as The Rehman Group is a public accounting practice that provides accounting, auditing, tax and payroll services to the public. Accountants that work in public are either CPA’s, on track to become CPA’s and/or supervised by CPA’s. Audits and tax returns are signed by CPA’s providing assurance to the public.

Private accounting is a combination of financial and managerial accounting. Every organization has an accounting staff whether 1 or 1000 strong. These accountants are focused internally on the accounting needs of their employer. Work ranges from financial accounting and month-end reporting to cost accounting and budgeting. Accountants in this area would aspire to becoming a CFO, chief financial officer, and perhaps becoming a CMA, Certified Management Accountant.

There are a tremendous number of accounting positions available at all times with governmental units. A quick job search at is illuminating. This kind of accounting is truly “fund accounting”, which is introduced in a governmental accounting course within a bachelor’s degree accounting program. Work entails all sorts of financial, managerial, costing and budget tasks all within a non-profit framework.

Larger businesses often have their own internal auditing team in addition to their accounting staff. This is another top area to consider. Other accounting fields include forensic accounting, payroll specialists, financial planners, professors and more.