Should I Double Major in Economics and Accounting?

Double majoring, or pursuing two separate bachelor’s degrees in different subjects, has grown in popularity among college students. The benefits of pursuing a double major during your accounting education depend on a variety of factors. What second major will you choose? What are your career goals? What sacrifices will you have to make to earn two degrees? For some students, double majoring in economics and accounting can be a smart choice that can increase their knowledge, skills and career opportunities.

Understanding Accounting and Economics

Accounting is the process of preparing and maintaining accurate financial records. In an accounting degree program, you will learn the technical skills to prepare financial statements, including tax returns. You will also learn the principles and theories at work in the field of accounting.

Economics is the study of choice in regards to how to spend money, time or other resources or commodities, according to The Princeton Review. As a social science, economics studies how markets work and how people, organizations, businesses, governments and societies value goods and services.

Benefits of This Double Major Combination

There are many overlaps in the focuses of accounting and economics and in the skills you will need to work in both fields. Like accounting, economics focuses closely on numbers at times, and students may take several mathematics and statistics courses during their studies. Students who major in economics become skilled at communicating, solving problems, and managing and analyzing data – all skill which can come in handy for accountants, as well. Economics is a popular choice among students who double major and is in fact the most popular major among male students who double major, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. As accountants are increasingly called upon to help individuals and businesses make decisions to increase productivity or profits and meet financial goals, understanding how and why markets work can add to the accountant’s background of knowledge.

Double majoring can be helpful for aspiring accountants who want to become certified public accountants (CPAs) but may not want to earn a master’s degree. The additional courses necessary to double major can often be completed in five years, which is the same amount of time candidates must spend in college to be eligible to take the CPA exam. Having both an accounting degree and an economics degree allows a student to explore a wider variety of job opportunities than a single educational background would.

Double majoring in economics and accounting can provide you with a broader set of skills than you would get from studying just one subject in college, but it’s not without sacrifices.  To make sure that double majoring helps you without hurting you, plan your course schedule carefully and early on in your college career, U.S. News & World Report advised. Make sure you have enough time to not only complete the studies required for both majors, but to do well in them and still devote time to an internship opportunity.

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