Exploring Sales as a Career and a Major

By: Amanda

It is easy to hear the word “sales” and have your mind automatically jump to a stereotypical salesperson: motivated only by money, willing to do anything for commission, and making wildly unrealistic promises to close deals. Those looking to choose a career path often say they would do anything but sales. 

All of this being said, these preconceived notions are far from the truth for most positions. Building relationships, working to solve problems, and helping others are just a few characteristics that make sales roles fulfilling and worthy of considerations. Nearly every job has a sales component. 

Sales is becoming increasingly demanded as a career path, with more than 50% of college graduates’ first job being some type of sales-related position. 

Text: Sales as a career and major
Photo: coffee cup on wood desktop

UMD’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) has a Sales Club and a newly established Professional Sales major, making this the ideal time to pursue a Professional Sales career. 

Through the Professional Sales Program, students are taught analytical skills to meet the customer’s needs, gain experience with data analysis to facilitate buying decisions, and are exposed to customer relationship management systems. While all of these technical skills are great, arguably the largest benefit to students through this program is the real-world exposure and networking it provides. Students in the program are given the opportunity to work on projects for companies, participate in mock presentations at local and national competitions, and interface with industry professionals. 

Personally, I am majoring in both Marketing and Sales. I am excited to be a part of the Professional Sales Program at LSBE and I know it is going to be a perfect fit for me for a variety of reasons. I am passionate about connecting and building relationships with others. I know each person has their own story to tell and I go into conversations curious to connect and learn more. Sales is a perfect way to connect my analytical mindset to my love for working with others. Through a Sales internship position with CUNA Mutual Group this past summer, additional job shadowing opportunities, joining the Sales Club at UMD, and an upcoming Sales internship with Land O’Lakes for summer 2020, I have been able to fully delve into a variety of sales areas. By no means am I close to an expert in sales, but I have learned a few things along the way. Based on what I have learned, if you are considering a career path in sales, think about the following ideas: 

  1. We sell to our coworkers and managers all the time. Whether it be a new idea for the office or a proposed team bonding activity, we are basically selling on a day to day basis in some way. 
  2. Think about how you interact with others. Do people find it easy to talk to you? Maybe you’re good at remembering details about people you just met. 
  3. Consider how you manage your goals. If you are thinking of pursuing a career in sales, it is critical to be driven to succeed. A large piece of this is being able to set goals, break them down into actionable steps, and reach them successfully.
  4. How do you solve problems? Think about the times in your professional and personal life when you have had an issue come up. In sales, it is often helpful to be able to look at a problem and come up with innovative solutions quickly, while also weighing alternatives. 
  5. Look at your personality. In sales, it is common to hear no, or a negative response, on a regular basis. It is important to be upbeat and be able to power through setbacks. Salespeople are also passionate. Passionate about changing lives, making an impact, growing their careers and the product or service they are working with. 

Hopefully, these ideas have helped you figure out whether a career in sales could be the right fit for you. Here at Career & Internship Services, we understand choosing a major, minor, or career path is not an easy decision. We are here to help you through every step of the way. Stop by Solon Campus Center 22 to chat and make a plan today. 

Of Possible Interest:
Choosing a Major – all our blog posts on the topic
Turn Your Major into a Career; Boost Your Career in College – our Pinterest boards filled with articles & resources
• Check out Amanda’s Instagram takeover from her summer internship at CUNA Mutual.
Professional Sales at UMD
What UMD grads are doing with Professional Sales
Career Planning for Business Majors

Read Amanda’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Garrhet Sampson

Updated: July 2020

What to do with an Organizational Management Degree?

By: Rachel

What is Organizational Management?
Organizational Management is a major within the Labovitz School of Business & Economics (LSBE). It can cover such a wide variety of areas that it’s difficult to sum it all up in one line, but here is the description provided by LSBE: “The Organizational Management major provides students with an understanding of management principles to direct the skills and efforts of people within an organization and to make strategic decisions that meet organizational needs.”  

No matter what your area of study is, chances are you’ll be working in some form of an organization. Even if you’re a freelancer who works alone, you’ll probably be collaborating with other groups. Organizational Management is about a lot of things, but one of the biggest points I’ve picked up on is that it’s about leveraging people and forces at work to meet various goals.

plant leaves; What to do with a degree in organizational management.

What can I do with an Organizational Management degree?
Since it is so broad, there is almost no limit to the occupations where you could apply your Organizational Management degree. To start with an obvious job title, you could be a manager. It may sound basic, but think about how many different fields that title could apply to! You might be a manager of a restaurant, retail department, accounting firm, construction outfit, sports team, health care office, or engineering company.  

Some people jump into the workforce by applying for management positions, while others begin in an entry level position and spend years working their way up the ladder. It is also worth mentioning that many companies have management-in-training programs where you might be cycled through a variety of departments and even company locations to build the knowledge and skills necessary for a leadership role. Some companies might pair you with a mentor as well. If you know management is where you’d like to be, a program like this can expedite the process of getting there.

Going back to what I said earlier, we will all likely work in a business at some point. Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a knowledge of general business areas, such as accounting, marketing, human resources, and economics? Wouldn’t it be beneficial to go into a job with some experience and knowledge of how to work in teams effectively? If you enjoy your job and would like to move into a leadership position, wouldn’t you feel better prepared for that role with some prior study of what goes into being a great leader? My education at UMD in the Organizational Management degree has already helped me grow in these areas.

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Rachel’s other posts

Photo source: Unsplash | Syd Sujuaan

Updated: July 2020

Major Exploration: Cultural Entrepreneurship (CUE)

By: McKenzie

The University of Minnesota Duluth is the home of a very unique major. Nestled in the College of Liberal Arts is a program called Cultural Entrepreneurship (CUE, pronounced like “queue”) which stands proudly within the Department of World Languages and Cultures. However, this still leaves people wondering, what is CUE?

Exploring a major in cultural entrepreneurship

What is Cultural Entrepreneurship?
This is a frequently asked question. Many folks know what “Cultural” means and what “Entrepreneurship” is, however few know what they are when the words come together to become Cultural Entrepreneurship. Cultural Entrepreneurship is much like social entrepreneurship, but what’s the distinction? Social Entrepreneurship disrupts existing systems while Cultural Entrepreneurship disrupts belief systems.

Applying the Design Thinking Model
Design Thinking is a cyclical model used for identifying, understanding, and unraveling problems. The model is used primarily in Cultural Entrepreneurship to develop products and/or services which best alleviate problems faced by the organization’s customers. Students learn to implement the process through practice in their coursework. Each semester they invest their time into projects for the Cultural Entrepreneurship Fair which allows students to have cultivated their problem-solving skills as well as given them the opportunity to produce a tangible product/service for the community.

The Process:

  • Empathize: Get to know your customers. Research what they want and what will benefit them best.
  • Define: Identify your customer’s problems based on your research.
  • Ideate: Conjure up as many ideas as possible, even if they’re outlandish. No idea is a bad idea because any idea could lead to the best one.
  • Prototype: Create representations of your idea.
  • Test: Bring your prototypes to your customers to conduct further research.
  • Implement: Actualize your product/service for your customer

Remember the process is cyclical. Repeating each step more than once isn’t just likely, but ultimately necessary. In order to build the finest product, you must work for your customer and their needs by constantly reevaluating how things could be done better.

circle graphic defining the design thinking model

Building a product/service (CUE Fair)
Cultural Entrepreneurship majors begin developing products and services early on in their college career. Students learn to implement the design thinking model and incorporate it into their process. Each semester, the CUE program hosts the CUE Fair for its students. The fair gives students the opportunity to present their work to business professionals, many of whom are based in the local community, in order to receive feedback and make connections with other entrepreneurs. Furthermore, some students will apply for the UMD Shark Tank, instead of participating in the fair, and selected students compete for money by presenting their project to a panel of professionals.

The CUE Fair event is listed each semester on the Cultural Entrepreneurship Facebook page.

Securing an internship
Internships are an important piece of the Cultural Entrepreneurship major. Many students work with local business, entrepreneurs, and startups to learn integral skills for their post-graduate careers. This work prepares students for their future careers–whether it be building their own business or following a different path.

Of Possible Interest: 

Read McKenzie’s other posts

Photo Sources: Unsplash | Jess Watters; Nielsen Norman Group

Updated: June 2020

How I Chose MIS

By: Kimberly

On my student orientation day, I came in strongly believing that Computer Science was the major for me. My first semester consisted of some liberal education courses and one computer science course. I knew that this computer science course would either further solidify my decision or reject it. Soon enough, as I quickly stumbled upon the halfway mark of the semester I started to question myself and this major. My grade in the computer science course was slowly dropping, I wasn’t happy in the course, and I couldn’t help but doubt my abilities.

After a week of contemplation, I knew that the only way I could resolve this situation was… setting up an appointment to meet with someone who had the experiences and knowledge behind this dilemma – my advisor. It was through her I found out about Career & Internship Services and how helpful they would be. She recommended I take a few assessments through their department and in addition, schedule a follow-up appointment with a career counselor to dive more in depth into the assessments. Without hesitation, I made my way to their office and got all three assessments and all appointments scheduled.

MIS Major

My appointments with the career counselors were absolutely phenomenal. I came in stressed, frustrated, and full of negativity about the possibility of finding a new major that would fit me. Immediately, after I expressed to them about why I decided to take the assessments they responded with such positivity and reassurance that it was not the end of the world. As they went on explaining the results as well as shining some lights on some of my interests, we were able to narrow down a few possible majors that could potentially be options for me.

I took it into my own initiative to further my research behind the different majors that were most appealing to me. Thankfully, I knew some peers around me who were currently majoring in these majors, I could reach out to. Each one of them was extremely generous by taking their time to respond with helpful information and even sharing their own experiences. After much research and consideration, I decided to take courses related to the MIS (Management Information Systems) major.

In my MIS courses, I noticed a huge difference in my performance and interest within the major. For example, I didn’t score poorly on my exams and I enjoyed the material  I learned within each course. I was also able to slightly get a grasp of what I could potentially do with this major which made me more certain with this major. After halfway into Fall semester I decided to change my major officially and declare my major as Management Information Systems.

Currently, I am a Junior with an MIS major and I absolutely love it. I enjoy the things I am learning in my upper division courses and my performance also reassures me that I understand the material as well. Overall, if you feel like you are completely lost and don’t know which direction to go when deciding on your major(s), I highly recommend that you seek out the resources available to you. It’s also a great idea to explore on your own skills, interests, and truly get to know yourself better. Lastly, remember that if something doesn’t work out, it could just mean there is something else out there, that you are much better at.

Of Possible Interest:
What UMD grads in MIS are doing
Career planning for Business majors
Choosing a Major – all our blog posts on the topic
Turn Your Major Into a Career – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Kimberly’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Luca Bravo

Updated: July 2020

Navigating Human Resources: Part 1

By: Tori

I came to college undecided. Not just on what I wanted to study, but on if this was the best school for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Duluth. It was by far my favorite school, but I felt so much pressure to get everything right the first time; to meet all of my expectations. Soon I learned that when it comes to expectations, they sometimes are set too high. And when something doesn’t go how you expected it to, you get thrown for a loop.

I didn’t expect to be a Human Resource Management major. Honestly, it was not appealing to me at all. I was drawn to business, interpersonal relationships, and helping others, but I couldn’t figure out where all of this fit together. And then BAM! one day someone (actually it was my Strong Interest Inventory assessment) said, “What about Human Resources?” and I said, “What about it?”. So I learned more.

Human Resources is the “umbrella” of all businesses. It is where the development and managing of an organization and its people happens. Some would say that without Human Resources there would be no business. There are 5 overarching sectors to this “umbrella” that stretch across all aspects of an organization.

Image: looking down into a lobby area where people are sitting at tables or walking
Text: navigating human resources: recruiting & staffing, compensation & benefits, employee & labor relations, safety & health, training & development

Recruiting and Staffing
People are a necessity to an organization’s success; without them, organizations wouldn’t exist. But how do you figure out who you want to work in your organization? This is where Recruiting and Staffing come into play. Recruiters look for and “recruit” qualified employees to work for their company and staffing makes sure we have employees whose skills match with open positions. Interviews, phone calls, brochures, questions, job descriptions, and first impressions all happen in this sector of HR.

Compensation and Benefits
No one works for free; aka there is no such thing as a free lunch. If we want people to perform services and do their job, we need to reward them. Compensation and Benefits is the sector of HR that motivates employees. Compensation looks at pay structures, which determine how much money you want to pay your employees for their employment and tasks accomplished. Benefits are the alternative, non-financial parts of a business offered to employees, this includes stock, insurance, paid vacation, etc.

Employee and Labor Relations
Recognizing state and federal laws and abiding by them is the purpose of Employee and Labor Relations. Understanding the government, how it works, and how to maintain positive relationships with your employees are all important tasks for this position. Remaining discreet and ethical is vital in this area of HR.

Safety and Health
Safety and Health HR employees strive to minimize any legal action that might be taken against the company by implementing safety procedures and health guidelines. Their main goals are to provide for physical and mental well-being and prevent work-related accidents.

Training and Development
Training and Development is the first step to helping employees feel at home. So much so, training and development is usually part of the on-boarding process. This includes making connections, navigating new positions, and learning the company culture. Diversity inclusion, performance management, and team building all happen in this sector of HR. Keeping employees up-to-date will allow them to continue to be an innovative part of the company.

If after reading this post you are interested in learning more, check out the Human Resources Management major at UMD and talk to your advisor or the department head. Or come into our office and meet with a career counselor. They are more than happy to help you navigate Human Resources and all the nitty gritty details.

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Tori’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Daria Shevtsova

Updated: July 2020

Why Health Care Management was Right for Me

By: Cassie

I recently wrote a post explaining the careers that fall into health care management. There are so many different sectors and areas you can go into. I realized after I wrote the blog post that I didn’t explain why health care management was the right fit for me. Maybe it will inspire you to consider it as a path for yourself.

I originally was dead set on being a nursing major. I wanted to work in a clinical setting and I wanted to be able to help people. Then I took high school physics and realized if that was that hard, there was no way I was going to make it through the nursing classes. At this point I hadn’t picked a school and I was searching through programs when I found health care management. I did some research into what it was and decided, “well I can always change my mind!” Truthfully, I didn’t have any knowledge of what the major entailed until I got into my sophomore year at UMD and made a friend who was an upperclassmen in the health care management major. She told me about all the classes and what they were learning and I thought hey maybe this really will work out! I am now a junior, I absolutely love all my health care management classes and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. There are a large number of reasons this major is right for me.

Image: person's hands typing on laptop keyboard with stethoscope laying on wood desk
Text: reasons to pursue a health care management major

There’s Variety
Depending on what job you get, you may not do the same thing every day which is a huge bonus for me. The fact that there are also so many different directions within health care management is a huge contributing factor for me. I’m someone who likes options and who doesn’t like doing the same thing all the time. Health care management is great for that type of work environment.

You’re Constantly with People
This is a very people oriented field. Not only will you have coworkers, but you also have to work across different departments, with other managers, patients, and more. I am someone who is extremely extroverted, so this part of the job is very appealing to me.

It is a Part of Health Care
These jobs are very essential to the health care field. You get to help patients without having to deal with the “blood and guts” aspect of health care. You are always working towards people’s lives better, even if it is behind the scenes.

These are just a few of the reasons I chose health care management. I hope if you have even let the thought of a career in health care management cross your mind you consider these reasons for pursuing the major and career path.

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Cassie’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | National Cancer Institute

Updated: July 2020

So You’re Thinking About Health Care Management

By: Cassie (an actual Health Care Management major!)

There is a common misconception that working in a hospital means that you have to be a doctor or a nurse. Well, I am here to tell you that that is WRONG. There are so many more opportunities in the hospital setting than what you see on the surface.

Health Care Management is the section of the hospital that works behind the scenes. They are the people who run the ship, so to speak, and they make sure everything is running smoothly and swiftly. The jobs they do include things such as scheduling, clinic management, financing, data analysis, quality management, and so much more. If you don’t know what some of those jobs entail, don’t worry, I’ll give you some examples.

Image: stethoscope laying on wood desk
Text: health care management careers

Clinic Managers
These are the people who organize specific clinics in the hospital. By this I mean the sections of the hospital like pediatrics or orthopedics. As a clinic manager you wear a lot of hats. You are there to keep everyone happy. You work with nurses, physicians, and patients to make sure schedules are working and to make sure everyone is having the best possible experience. Clinic managers also have to attend meetings to make sure they are meeting hospital standards. A large chunk of this job involves adapting, being able to think on your feet and be flexible, so if you are looking for a job that isn’t the same every day this is something you should really look into.

Health care is expensive, insurance is very confusing, and it can be very hard for patients to figure out what they need to pay and why. Working in this area of the hospital means that you help patients work through how they are going to pay their fees and you work through how insurance can benefit them. If you are interested in math or money this job would be good for you. In this role you get to work with people and you get to help them and if those are areas that interest you, this is something worth looking into.

EHR’s and Coding
EHR stands for Electronic Health Records which in short terms are the health records that are attached to each person’s health history. By working in EHR’s you are focused on things like technology advancement, data collection, and troubleshooting. You can also go into coding which is the computer language EHR’s are written in. This is less people focused and more focused on progressing health care management into the future.

Community Outreach
Being a health care management major means you can also go into areas of public health. You are focused on the overall wellness of communities and focus on getting healthy habits out into the community. This would be things like focusing on nutrition, physical activity, water quality, and laws & acts to enhance the influence of health care. This area of health care really focuses on working in a team to decide how to benefit the lives of the community that you serve.

I know I’ve thrown a lot of information at you, and I want to emphasize just a few of the jobs and job areas that a health care management major can offer. The nice thing about a health care management degree is that you have SO many options of things to do. I hope you really consider this major because it is a field that is always growing and a field that allows you to help people and help the health care field.

Of Possible Interest:
What are UMD Health Care Management grads doing?
Health Care Management at UMD
• Explore Health Careers: Health Administration/Management
Career Planning for Business Majors
Choosing a Major – all of our blog posts about the topic
Turn Your Major Into a Career – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Cassie’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Bill Oxford

Updated: July 2020

Marketing as a Major

By: Brian

Many people come into college not knowing what to major in. There are so many different major/minors to choose from that you can get so overwhelmed and can’t decide what to do. Being a marketing major requires you to have good people skills. You are dealing with people every day and it requires you to talk, network, and, at times, be aggressive. If these skills fit you, then the marketing major might be the right major for you. Marketing is one of the most popular majors in UMD’s Labovitz School of Business & Economics, because with a marketing degree you can use the skills you’ve learned in the major in just about any job. I will try my best to convince you why marketing is a good choice for a major.

Marketing Major

What is Marketing?
Before you decide if you want marketing as your major, you have to ask yourself, what is marketing? I too had this question when I was deciding on which major I wanted to seek in college. Marketing is about understanding consumers’ behaviors and their needs, while being the eyes and ears of the organization. To elaborate on that more, marketers do a lot of research and implement strategies for the product they are trying to market whether it’s by pricing, development and management, distribution, or promotions. This is just a broad overview of what marketing is, but a lot of people have their own definition of what it means. Marketing deals with people every single day of the week no matter what route you decide to take with your marketing degree. Other marketing degrees you can pursue at UMD are Consumer Insights & Analytics, Marketing & Graphic Design, or Professional Sales.

What skills are needed for a good marketer?
The first thing you need in order to be a good marketer is great public speaking skills. You have to be brave and willing to become a social butterfly in order to be a good marketer. Many people believe that marketing is a very aggressive career and if you don’t know how to talk to people, then you will be pushed right out of that career. After being in the major now for four years, I have found that to be false. I think it depends on what path you want to take with your marketing skills, and it does not always have to be in the business world. As a marketing major, I decided to choose a different career path and take my marketing skills into College Student Affairs. I am now working as an Outreach Assistant for the Career & Internships Services office. Some other basic skills to keep in mind for being a good marketer are writing skills, leadership, curiosity, agility and experimentation, understanding technology, and insight into analytics and interpreting data.

Steps needed to seek a marketing degree
There are many simple steps in seeking a marketing degree at UMD. As a senior right now, I can tell you some of the courses you will need to graduate with a marketing degree. All marketing majors are required to take Consumer Behavior, Marketing Research, and Marketing Management and Strategy. In order to take these classes, you need to complete your pre-business classes that help shape the skills you need to start seeking a marketing degree. The core classes for marketing are broken into two categories. Group A are the courses I mentioned already in this section. Group B is a little bit different. In Group B, there are 11 different courses listed, but the cool part is that from the 11, you choose four of the courses that you want to take. I really like this because you can choose a focus area of marketing you really want to study.

Courses needed to complete a marketing major:

  • LSBE Core: Production and Operations Management; Corporation Finance; Organizational Management and Behavior; Principles of Marketing; Human Resource Management; Strategic Management; Advanced Writing; International Requirement (choose any upper division international course); Upper Division Economics Course

More courses related to major:

  • Group A: Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Management and Strategy
  • Group B (choose any 4): Fundamentals of Selling; Marketing Ethics; International Marketing; Marketing Internship; Business-to-Business Marketing; Adverting and Marketing Communications; Developing and Marketing New Products; Retailing; Special Topics (such as Social Media or Sports Marketing)

In addition to these courses, you will also need to complete additional electives outside of your marketing major. These courses help you become a well-rounded person, in addition to your major. If you are still not sure if marketing is for you, these courses can help you explore other options.

I hope that I convinced you on choosing marketing as a major and gave you a little bit more understanding of what marketing is. Hope you continue to explore more opportunities on choosing the right career path for you.

Of Possible Interest:

Read Brian’s other posts

Updated: July 2020

Sales: Why Are People So Frightened By It?

By: Ashlee FB

Growing up, I was often exposed to the world and the idea of sales. What many people fail to understand, however, is they have been around sales probably more than they realize. When people think about sales, many think about the door-to-door vacuum salesman and the guy receiving commission selling used cars. Think about the pencil you take notes with, the television you watch every night before bed, or the frying pan you use to make breakfast. Those items were all sold at some point. What most people don’t realize is that sales happen all around us, in every industry, every single day. It’s not only physical products that require sales; think about a financial advisor who sells dreams, sustainability advertisements selling ideas, or an entrepreneur selling a goal to his/her company. Sales take place in every sector and many of us fail to see the opportunities this presents.

Image: Black man holding iPad filled with charts
Text: Benefits of a sales career

High-energy work environment
Sales is a highly competitive and challenging career; therefore, high-energy work environments can almost always be expected. Sales is mainly about the relationships established between people. It is also about helping other people achieve their goals and solve their problems by introducing different products or services needed. The competition involved in sales can create innovation and better performance, which, together, can construct an incredibly high-energy work environment.

Potential for high income
Companies need to generate sales to survive. Usually organizations highly reward successful sales people, to ensure they stay in the position and with the organization. As a fundamental part of the source of profit for organizations, it seems appropriate for the salesperson to reap financial rewards. Many sales jobs include excellent salary packages with base salaries, benefits and generous commission schedules, and, unlike most jobs, generally, the harder you work, the more you make.

One of the best perks (in my opinion) in a sales career is that many times you dictate your own schedule. Oftentimes salespeople are able to make their own appointments, and run their own days the way they see fit. As long as they’re producing the results their bosses require, they are able to more or less do what they want.

A good resource to look into is the Graduate Follow-up Report put together by our office every year. It does a wonderful job of breaking down majors into very specific categories, such as where to find jobs, pay, etc. You might be surprised at how many jobs there are in sales, throughout a wide variety of majors. Check it out!

Of Possible Interest:
Professional Sales at UMD; Marketing at UMD
• What UMD grads are doing with Professional Sales & Marketing
Career Planning for Business Majors
Exploring Sales as a Career & Major
Choosing a Major; Career Planning – all our blog posts on the topics
Turn Your Major Into a Career – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Ashlee’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Adeolu Eletu

Updated: July 2020

Why Should You be an Accounting Major?

By: Michael

It seems like lately I’ve been meeting a lot of students who are either an undecided major, switched majors, or are considering adding a new major/minor. It might seem tough to decide what you want to study and what kind of career you want to start working towards, but I’m going to try and make it easier for you by outlining some steps you can take to match your strengths to a major or career and maybe convince you to become an accounting major at the same time.

Acct major

To start, I’ll outline what my CliftonStrengths results are:
Significance | Futuristic | Analytical | Restorative | Focus

Also, my Myers-Briggs results:
Extrovert | Sensor | Thinker | Judger (ESTJ)

Side note, if you haven’t done any personality or career assessments such as the ones I’m discussing, be sure to stop into Career & Internship Services and inquire about one, they can be incredibly helpful.

So, even though I had decided on my major prior to taking these assessments, it was nice to be reassured that I am making a good fit as many other people with these personality types/traits go into the same field.

I’m aspiring to become a public accountant and anyone who knows the field understands that you need the standard analytical skills required for accounting in general but also the ability to work well with others, whether it be clients or coworkers, it is definitely not a cubicle job like many perceive the accounting field to be.

Here is a list of my top 5 reasons why I think you should look into becoming an accounting major:

The math isn’t that hard
Many people have the false assumption that accounting majors have to know a lot of math. In fact, the only requirement you have for math is an introductory level of calculus (which you never even use). A basic understanding of algebra is all you will really need.

There are many different fields you could go into
With an accounting degree you could go into all kinds of different fields including retail or investment banking, public accounting (tax or audit), private accounting (financial or managerial), etc.

You learn about more than just accounting
If you are interested in also learning about the law or how businesses work in the United States, Accounting provides the knowledge about these and much more, including a basic understanding of economics and finance.

The job prospect is very high
By deciding to go into accounting, some statistics show a 93% job placement rate after obtaining a degree. While many graduates may be going into different areas of work, employers are actively seeking accounting majors for the communication and analytical skills. Many employers I’ve spoken to over the past year attribute the job growth rate to two major factors:

  • A growing industry (thank you capitalism!)
  • An upcoming turn-over as the baby boom generation begins to retire

You will get paid well
According to our Graduate Follow-up Report, accounting majors from UMD receive an average salary of $48,478 (5-year average, 2013-2018).

Maybe this isn’t enough to convince you to become an accounting major, but if there’s one thing to take away from this it’s this: Do your research, take career assessments if you are unsure of your interests, and talk to people in the field! By having a fundamental understanding of who you are and what you want to do, you will be able to confidently begin your job/internship search as you progress through college.

Of Possible Interest:
Accounting at UMD
Choosing a Major – all our blog posts on the topic
Career Planning for Business Majors
Boost Your Career in College, Turn Your Major Into a Career – our Pinterest boards filled with articles & resources

Read Michael’s other posts

Updated: June 2020