Beyond Balance Sheets: Exploring Diverse Industries for Accountant Graduates

Anna Franek

Anna Franek ’22 accounting graduate of St. Catherine University

When most people think of accountants, they envision number-crunching experts poring over spreadsheets and tax forms. While that's certainly a part of the job, the accounting world offers far more diversity and excitement than meets the eye.

Anna Franek

Anna Franek ’22, an accounting graduate of St. Catherine University, in St. Paul, Minnesota, always thought she would work in public accounting, but an internship with an aviation company changed all that. 

“Being an accountant for an airline is very unique and keeps my work interesting. Touring the operations at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, where I got to go inside the control tower and see the baggage handling is a highlight.” Anna currently works at Endeavor Air, a subsidiary of Delta Airlines as a financial analyst in the accounting department. “I love how involved I can be working for a smaller company while having the perks of a large company like Delta. The best benefit of my job is the travel perks!”

Accountant graduates have the unique advantage of versatility, allowing them to thrive in various industries beyond traditional finance. Here are some unexpected and intriguing sectors where accountant graduates can put their skills to work.

  • Entertainment and Media: Lights, camera, accounting! The entertainment and media industry relies heavily on financial management to ensure successful productions. Accountants in this sector handle budgeting, royalties, licensing agreements, and financial forecasting. Whether it's a blockbuster movie or a streaming platform's original series, accountants play a crucial role in keeping the show on the road.
  • Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals: Financial precision is paramount in the world of healthcare. Accountants contribute to managing medical billing, insurance claims, and compliance with complex healthcare regulations. Additionally, pharmaceutical companies require accountants to handle financial analysis and cost management while ensuring adherence to industry standards.
  • Technology and Startups: As the tech industry continues to expand, so does the need for financial expertise. Startups and tech companies rely on accountants to manage funding, evaluate investment opportunities, and handle intricate tax structures. Accountants in this sector often work closely with innovative teams to ensure financial sustainability and growth.
  • Hospitality and Tourism: Behind every luxurious hotel stay and exquisite dining experience is a team of accountants managing financial operations. From cost control to revenue management, accountants in the hospitality industry contribute to the seamless functioning of hotels, restaurants, and travel companies.
  • Nonprofits: Accountants with a heart for social impact find fulfillment in the nonprofit sector. Financial transparency, grant management, and compliance are essential for organizations that make a difference. Accountants help ensure that funds are allocated efficiently to support charitable initiatives.
  • Sports Management: Beyond the thrill of the game, sports management relies on astute financial management. Accountants in this industry manage athlete contracts, endorsements, sponsorship deals, and ticket sales. They contribute to the financial success of sports teams, leagues, and athletic events.
  • Real Estate and Construction: Real estate and construction accountants handle intricate financial transactions, property management, and development projects. They monitor budgets, oversee cash flow, and provide insights into investment opportunities.

Accountant graduates possess a versatile skill set that can transcend traditional financial roles. From the glitz of entertainment to the heart of healthcare, the impact of accountants reaches far and wide. As industries continue to evolve, so do the opportunities for accountants to make their mark. Accounting expertise can open doors to a world of diverse and exciting sectors with unique financial challenges and rewards. 

When acquiring about college programs, choose a university that also provides well-rounded opportunities and active alumni who are there to engage and mentor, such as St. Catherine University, where students have the opportunity to learn, work, and study with accounting faculty who have real-world experience and alumni at Fortune 500 companies.

Think creatively when picturing a career in accounting. Every business needs accounting, so the opportunities are endless.