Employment for Tax and Accounting Professionals Expected to grow in the Next Decade
A skilled tax professional is indispensable. The best specialists in this field operate with a deep understanding of the legal landscape that affects their clients. Additionally, they ensure that current practices are not only legally sound but also best use the tax regulations to their clients’ advantage. Finally, their advanced strategic planning is an invaluable service for any individual or business client. The growing need in the coming decade for professionals with a knowledge of taxation means that it’s wise to for you obtain more education now.
Current Realities Dictate Future Needs
One of the most notable characteristics of the tax code is its complexity. Deciphering it and using that knowledge to assist clients is the job of the taxation, accounting or finance professional. This is especially true given the difficulties in achieving a complete understanding of the code, available loopholes to evade paying taxes and the struggle by taxpayers to comply with the Internal Revenue Service. Because the future of tax reform remains uncertain in this country, having expertise in this area is beneficial.
Additionally, the rise of the “gig economy” brings with it some new challenges. Forbes Online reported that 1099 filings began keeping pace with W2 filings after 2001. With more independent contractors working at a variety of jobs from writing web content to driving for transport services such as Uber or Lyft, more people will need a savvy tax and accounting professional to manage their finances.
What Degrees Should I Pursue?
Some programs, such as the Master of Science in Taxation at Northeastern University, are specifically geared to help learners understand taxation in the United States. These curricula delve into the specifics of the tax code, particularly for businesses and other kinds of organization. If you plan to primarily work as a tax professional in any capacity—whether it’s advising and preparing returns for clients, or serving within an organization’s financial department—this may be your best bet. For those who already have an undergraduate accounting degree, a master’s in taxation is possibly your next logical step.
However, after considering your career goals thoroughly you may feel led in a slightly different direction. If you’re planning on a vocation that focuses more on accounting and finance, you could be better off pursuing the corresponding degree with your field. For example, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) offers several undergraduate and graduate curricula in finance and accounting. Some include education on the United States system of taxation, so you should still be prepared to assist future employers with compliance to regulations and revenue-saving strategies.
Seize the Day—and Your Future
The outlook for finance, taxation and accounting experts appears to be bright. Continued complications of the tax code plus the increase of individuals working in the 1099 economy may precipitate the need for more professionals who can serve clients with their knowledge and skills. Beginning a new educational path now is a great tool to securing your vocational future, as you’ll be ready to provide important guidance and services as a self-employed professional or as part of an organization.