Should I Double Major in Human Resources and Accounting?

As an aspiring business professional, you already know that you enjoy working with numbers and that you want to study accounting. However, if you are among the 5.5 percent of students that TIME reported choose to double major, you might be looking for a second program of study that could expand your opportunities in the field of business. Depending on your career goals, one possible major to consider is human resources. 

How Human Resources Relates to Accounting

Because you plan to work in the field of business, many colleges recommend that students who choose to double major supplement their accounting studies with studies in another business degree program. Human resources is a discipline of business that deals with employment placement and policies. Human resource personnel have a role in hiring employees, managing a company’s policies and employees’ compliance with those policies and handling matters of employee compensation, contracts and benefits.

At first glance, it may sound like human resources has little to do with accounting. However, human resources degree programs require some coursework similar to general business programs and provide information that can be valuable to business professionals and employees in general. For example, human resources students must study organizational behavior, administration policy, and training and development.

Benefits for Either Career

Knowing both subjects can help candidates regardless of which career field they enter. Human resources personnel often have a role in budgeting. They handle employee benefits, which may include communicating information to workers about health insurance, life insurance and retirement planning. Having at least some background in accounting can prove valuable for human resources personnel. Likewise, accountants can benefit from their human resources knowledge. Increasingly, accountants’ roles are expanding to include not only preparing financial statements but also helping clients meet big-picture goals. When working with companies, for example, they may be called upon to help develop budgets or suggest ways to increase profits and efficiency. The knowledge gained from studying human resources can help accountants fulfill these duties.

For the right student, the benefits of pursuing a double major during your accounting education are numerous. Students who want to take the certified public accountant (CPA) examination must complete an additional 30 credits of study to sit for the test. Students who aren’t interested in pursuing a master’s degree at this point in their lives but still want to take the exam can use a double major to fulfill this credit requirement. Doing so can save students money, at least in the short-term, since graduate school programs are often more expensive than undergraduate programs.

Choosing to double major in accounting and any subject is a personal decision. As an aspiring accountant, you must ask yourself what your personal career goals are and how your intended second major will help you achieve those goals. If you are interested in both human resources and accounting, having both degrees will provide you with more opportunities and job security than a single degree would.

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