Major Profile: Accounting

Ben Mehic, Staff Writer 

In the past, students didn’t necessarily have to obtain a higher education after high school in order to increase their chances of landing a job. Given the increased competitiveness in the workforce, more students are beginning to get college degrees for the sole purpose of growing their chances of finding a career. Even with a college degree, though, it can be tough to land a job. That’s why finding a career field with a high success rate, such as accounting, can be imperative to some students.

“We have a 100 percent placement rate out of our program, which isn’t easy to do,” said Arthur Caster, Associate Professor of Accounting. “Students can do anything from being an accountant, to being a manager, to being a bank loan officer.”

Growing up, many children dream about flying to the moon or becoming president of the United States, but not many kids are sitting behind their desks hoping to one day become accountants. However, a degree in accounting is more open-ended than many might think.

“An accounting degree doesn’t require you to be an accountant,” Caster said. “It’s an intellectual tool kit. You get a set of intellectual tools that you can apply to many, many types of business situations — management situations. It means you understand the numbers.”

Statistically, most people in the United States aren’t fond of mathematics. However, Professor Caster wants to dispel some rumors involving math in accounting.

“One of the most common misconceptions is, ‘Oh, I can’t do accounting because I’m not good at math.’ If you can take four numbers and add them together, you can do accounting,” Caster said. “This is not really a math intensive discipline. There are a lot of misconceptions. We are not a bunch of nerds who sit around and crunch numbers all day long. It’s a communications discipline.”

Amil Alagic, a junior, enjoys numbers and has found success in the accounting classroom as a result.

“When I see something on the board – when I walk down the hall – I can just calculate it,” Alagic said. “As a kid growing up, I was given multiple tests to test my proficiency. I guess, everyone in my family loves numbers. I have a really good memory, too.”

Alagic doesn’t plan on becoming an accountant after graduating, though. He wants to do something outside of the field, something Caster noted as an advantage to being an accounting major.

“I’m not going to be an accountant. I’m going to do my own thing – an entrepreneur,” Alagic said.

Almir Gredelj and Jamie McNamara, both of whom are graduate students in accounting, are also fond of the program.

“Before I was an accounting major, I was a biochemistry major. After I graduated, I really couldn’t find a job in that field. So, in accounting there’s jobs everywhere. It can lead to a very lucrative career,” Gredelj said. “I enjoy being in accounting classes more than other classes because I could find an answer, there’s always an answer, and stuff just has to add up. I would definitely recommend accounting to undeclared majors because, like I said, there’s always jobs.”

McNamara also didn’t originally start her college career in accounting.

“Jobs are the only thing that drew me to it. I know there’s a job market,” McNamara said. “I wanted to work on windmills prior to college. My sophomore year, my cross country coach suggested that I do accounting.”

Now that the job market has become increasingly more competitive, more students are turning to take part in accounting. The success rate at Utica College is exceptional, drawing more prospective students to the major in the near future.