You can make some serious dough being an accountant!
See prof. Doug Northway's thoughts on the program.
Q: How long have you taught accounting at PC?
A: 9 years as and adjunct faculty and 3 years as residential
Q: What are the current certificates or degrees students can start earning credits toward within the accounting program here?
A: We have the Accounting CCL, Banking and Finance CCL, and soon the Enrolled Agent Certificate. These certificated can be earned separately or together with the AAS degrees. In many cases students earn the AAS in Accounting, which comes with the Accounting CCL, and they can qualify for the General Business AAS, and/or CCL, and other management certificates. Depending on the career path of the students, we encourage them to take a few more courses to qualify for additional degrees and certificates.
Q: What would you tell a student about the this program if they said they were considering choosing it as a major?
A: I first ask the student if they plan on attending a 4-year degree right after completion at Phoenix College. If so, then the student should work toward the ABUS-GR transfer degree. The ABUS-GR transfers up to 63 credit, or more depending on the university. If the student wants an associates degree and go right to work in an entry level accounting position, then the AAS and CCL would be best for them. The key here is understanding the student’s short and long-term goals.
Q: Tell me about one of your favorite experiences in an accounting course.
A: One of my favorite and most rewarding would be teaching the ACC260 Certified Bookkeeper class. In this course the student earns 6 certificates of completion, plus the opportunity to pass the 4 exams required to become a CB (Certified Bookkeeper). During the semester students report that they passed the Prometrix exams to move one step closer to becoming a CB. Our favorite time is when students report that they passed all required exams and receive their certificate allowing them to place “CB” behind their name as a designation. Nothing compares to the joy on their faces and the applause from the students when they announce that they are a CB!
Q: Why is this degree track important? Are there a lot of open jobs in accounting?
A: Every company needs accounting personnel. Students with an accounting degree can begin a career with the government, cities, corporate, or private sectors. In class we look at Jobing.com. I have them look for the number of job openings for a particular job, say in biology. Then I have them add up the number of jobs available in the field of accounting. No comparison! Our degrees and certificates can start the students down a pathway with endless opportunities.
Q: How much can accountants make here in the greater Phoenix area?
A: According to Salary.com for the Greater Phoenix area, I listed accounting jobs starting with associate degrees starting and average salaries, then I listed bachelor degree positions (Accountant I, II, III)
Accounts Payable - $37,000 - 41,000
Accounts Receivable - $36,000 - 40,000
Bookkeeper - $36,000 - 42,000
Accountant I - $48,000 - 53,000
Accountant II - $55,000 - 61,000
Accountant III - $70,000 - 77,000