While an accounting major has always been deemed the smart choice for undergraduates, an accounting double major might be an even better choice during today’s fragile economic recovery, according to an article in The Chronicle. Completing a double major gives graduates two potential pathways to a professional career and it can help maximize employee marketability to new employers. The question for accounting students isn’t whether to choose a double major, but instead which additional major to pair with this number-crunching field of study. The good news is that accounting’s broad nature makes it easy to pair with virtually any other growing field.

The Business Pairing: A Practical Choice for the Corporate Types

Accounting is generally offered through a university’s business school, because the vast majority of accounting is done for business clients in the corporate world. For those accountants who have a management streak, pairing the major with something like business administration might be a sensible choice. This would allow graduates to have two career paths of entry-level accounting work or mid-level management positions. It would also prime them for easier, quicker upward mobility into a role where they rank as the senior accountant within the organization that eventually hires them.

Another Good Choice Might Be A Finance Double Major

Finance is another great major. Whether it’s financial planning, analyst jobs, stock trading or corporate advising, there’s plenty of work to be found even with just a single major in finance. Accounting takes it to the next level; however, for several key reasons:

– Many finance positions require a certification exam, either issued by a state, a national body, or the company itself. Accounting is a key component of this exam and can power finance jobseekers through the screening process and into a new position.

– Working with numbers all day in the finance industry is actually easier for those with an accounting background, since coursework in accounting focuses on ledger work, separation of different accounts, and in-depth analysis of the numbers as they concern risk, reward, profit, loss, and ethical violations.

– Finance can be a volatile industry. Pink slips go up when the stock market goes down, and hiring rates go up as the market rebounds. Those with a dual focus on both finance and accounting may be able to protect their position by offering their employers twice the value at half the cost.

Related Resource: Career Outlook for Accounting Majors

Liberal Arts Pairings Make Sense for Accountants as Well

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of a liberal arts education when paired with something more practical, like accounting. Those who really enjoy foreign languages or history might find that their accounting skills give them the background they need to start a small business focusing on tutoring, private education, or other areas. Furthermore, liberal arts skills can help strong accountants land rewarding positions with area schools, museums, and educational entities that might prove far more rewarding over the long-term than a corporate position.

Liberal arts studies also give accountants the added advantage of being well rounded, able to crunch numbers and relate to a broader number of professionals in other applications. Whether it’s a liberal arts major or a pairing that focuses more on other fields of business, one thing is for sure, today’s students who choose an accounting double major will be primed for long-term success in a diverse number of fields at virtually every level.