Students working toward an accounting degree must take certain required courses as well as supplemental courses outside their core curriculum. These elective classes can be used to gain more insight into accounting or to broaden the student’s knowledge in other fields. Several popular electives help prepare accounting majors for the business challenges they will encounter after graduation.
Resource: Top 10 Online Accounting Degree Programs
Good communications is a key to developing successful business and interpersonal relationships. A communications course teaches students the basics required to write professional emails and other business correspondence, prepare presentations and improve public speaking skills. The class emphasizes logical thought formation, sentence structure and grammar. It helps students develop the essential communication skills that most employers desire in a prospective job candidate. The elective provides future accountants with the basic understanding of how to communicate effectively within the workplace and with clients. The ability to speak and write effectively will create a positive image for you and your organization.
At some point in your career, you may be chosen to lead and manage a team. It could be on a short-term basis to complete a specific project or long-term as the head of a department. A psychology class will help accounting students learn individual and group dynamics as well as professional interpersonal skills and management techniques that can be applied in the workplace. Students gain managerial and administrative skills required to understand human behavior in the job market. They will also learn organizational planning and employee relations. The result is an accountant with well-rounded business and interpersonal insights.
The majority of employers will expect potential job candidates to have at least a rudimentary knowledge of basic computer software, such as word processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs. While most computer science electives typically cover only the fundamentals, a higher-level programming course can provide prospective accountants numerous advantages. Along with the basics taught in a required accounting systems course, a programming class provides an even deeper understanding of the capabilities of various database programs. Knowing how to code will enable you to more effectively collaborate with information technology specialists and manage the large volumes of data that technology currently makes available.
Most students do not receive coursework in personal finance. A personal finance course provides important concepts and tips regarding money management, debt, budgeting and other financial matters. The skills taught in the course can be used to create financial reports and budgets. It also helps students analyze transactions and spending that can be applied to the business world as well as individual clients. The course provides insights into creating an integrated, balanced financial plan and tax strategies as well as retirement planning and income protection. Other elements covered may include real estate, stock, mutual fund and fixed-income investment strategies.
Whether you are promoting your services or those of your organization, a marketing class will provide the necessary background in marketing plans, initiatives and goals as well as strength, weakness, opportunities and threat (SWOT) analysis. The course will help you promote your talents so that you can be more successful in the marketplace. A marketing course provides the opportunity to learn how to incorporate Internet platforms, such as social media and e-commerce, into your professional life. You will learn concepts like consumer decision making, selling and pricing strategies and advertising, promotion and public relations. Other topics include business ethics and corporate social responsibility.
The right electives provide the opportunity to broaden your knowledge. They can also make you a better, well-rounded accountant.