6 Ways to Prepare for Your Finance and Accounting Degree
Accounting and finance degree programs are said to be among the hardest degree programs that a student can pursue. These degrees require extensive knowledge of mathematics and statistics, both theoretical and practical. And as it is known that mathematics is an area of study that most students struggle in, it is no surprise that accounting and finance degrees can be extremely hard to tackle.
In addition to mathematics and statistics, the courses also include material relating to marketing, business, economics, and data science.
Hence, students enrolled in these programs often face a lot of challenges in a lot of different areas on a daily basis.
The workload is heavy, and students usually struggle to meet multiple deadlines. However, once they graduate, career opportunities are ample, and they have their pick of jobs to choose from. This is why many people opt for degrees in finance and accounting, despite the many hurdles they know they will face.
However, your degree doesn’t necessarily have to be this difficult to manage. Here are a handful of steps that you can follow that will make your accounting and finance degree a bit easier to handle.
Work smart, not hard
Although it’s true that hard work pays off, if you’re not being smart about it, the payoff will be much more difficult to achieve. In order to make it easier to study, you need to equip yourself with the proper tools. So, look for the best books and test prep material online.
However, don’t spend too much time reading the textbook. Instead, take out some time to do practice questions. When you can see exams approaching, take mock tests and see how you’re performing on them. This will give you a better idea of the status of your preparation and which topics you need to revise.
Practice simple math skills
When you enter this field of study, expect to see a lot of numbers. You will be working with lots of numerical data that you will have to perform loads of calculations on.
Although most of the time, you will have access to a calculator, being able to do quick mental math will save you a lot of time, which can be especially helpful during an exam. You can hone your mental math skills through a lot of practice which will help you ace your exams and fly through your degree program.
Learn time management
When there is a lot of work to be done, it is easy to fall behind due to poor time management.
The lack of time management skills is often the only reason some students are unable to complete a semester.
To avoid this, start planning from the first day of the semester. Most of the time, course outlines are provided at the start of each course, detailing what you will be studying each week; they usually also mention important deadlines.
Once you have the course outlines for all your courses, jot down important dates in an online planner. Divide your time between each course smartly and strictly follow your planner. If you stay on schedule and don’t fall behind, you will find it much easier to pass the semester.
No matter which degree you choose in the field of accounting and finance, you will have to use complicated software. All students in this field need to be good with computers.
You will be learning tons of new software, which you will then be tested on to see how efficiently you can use them. However, this will not stop once you graduate. With time, new programs will be developed, which you will have to teach yourself while you’re working.
Hence, it is important that you don’t find technology intimidating and have the ability to learn new things on the go.
Become good at networking
You might not need networking while you’re studying, but eventually, you will have to start your career in this field. Even if you have a spectacular resume, getting your foot in the door at accounting firms can be hard.
Networking can help you with that, but you must start making connections while you’re still studying. Chances are, your professors know a lot of people in the field and can put in a good word for you if you have a good relationship with them.
You can also meet new people in the field at events and seminars hosted by your university. You can stay in contact with these people on LinkedIn so that when you graduate, you’re in a suitable position to find a job.
Look for an internship
Another important thing for accounting and finance students to accomplish is to complete an internship – or multiple. Even though it is something that will bear fruit after you have graduated, it is important to mention it here because you have to do this during your degree.
Internships can make your resume stand out from other candidates and also help you make connections. Often, the firms where you work as an intern end up hiring you permanently after you graduate.
Even if it doesn’t directly lead to a job, an internship shows other potential employers that you not only possess the theoretical knowledge you gained in your degree but you also have some practical experience in the field.
Completing a degree in the field of accounting and finance is no easy feat, but with proper preparation and commitment, you are bound to succeed. Because the workload can be extensive, you need to plan how you will divide your time between each course.
You will have to study the material extensively, learn to take good notes and test yourself through mock quizzes and exams. You will also need to get acquainted with technology and computers and learn how to operate new software. Be on the lookout for good internships in reputable firms.
Try to connect with people working in the field, so you have many options and job opportunities once you graduate. This will ensure that you complete your degree with flying colors and find a good job to get you started on the right career path.
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