Economics & Accounting

What is Economics-Accounting?
Accounting provides the means for organizing, summarizing and interpreting information about economic activities within companies and organizations. Managers, lenders, analysts, and investors use this information. Accountants play a critical and ever-changing role in this process by providing relevant information to decision-makers and by acting as advisors in its interpretation. Accountants are needed within business organizations to provide information to business managers and to control business operations. Accountants can also work independently of businesses as public accountants providing management services, taxation advice and independent audit service, which lend credibility to financial and other information.

At UCSB, the Department of Economics places a special emphasis on accounting in the context of the study of economics. Economics-Accounting majors experience a rigorous series of courses in financial management, intermediate accounting, advanced cost/managerial accounting, and accounting information systems. The major helps students prepare for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) Uniform Examination. Historically, UCSB accounting students have achieved a high degree of success on the CPA exam. The student’s experience in accounting is formally acknowledged in the name of the major and on the student’s official transcript, for recognition by potential employers.

General Major Information

How Can I Tell If I Would Like Economics-Accounting?
Accounting majors enjoy business mathematics and the role accounting systems play in a modern business or governmental agency. Accounting requires an in-depth knowledge of how accounting systems are structured and implemented. Understanding these systems requires an ability to focus on details, remember the many federal and state laws that control such systems, and a broader view of how business organizations function. Accounting courses present an above average challenge in the amount of work they require. The accounting firms that hire many, but certainly not all of these majors, seek students with high grade point averages. Accounting majors may enjoy reading business magazines or articles, politics, learning strategies for business success, and applying mathematics to practical problems.

What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?
Although the following list can provide students with topics that may be covered in this major, look at the UCSB catalog and consult with the undergraduate advisor for more detailed information about requirements and course offerings.

  • Financial Accounting
  • Auditing 
  • Economics 
  • Finance 
  • Business Law and Ethics
  • Management
  • Public Finance
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Taxation
  • Econometrics
  • International Accounting

To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:
- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.
- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.

What Can I Do To Make My Major More Marketable?

  • Pursue relevant work, internship, volunteer, and/or research experience.
  • Choose a complementary minor.
  • Specialize in an area; take courses in related fields.
  • Develop your computer skills.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Study abroad.
  • Join professional associations.
  • Get involved in student clubs.
  • Participate in community organizations.
  • Seek out leadership positions.
  • Research specific prerequisites for different positions.
  • Network with others in fields that interest you.

General Career Information

What Are Some Possible Career Options?
Note: On its own, your major does not dictate what your job will be.  The following list provides only a handful of possibilities.  Economics-Accounting majors with strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in many fields.  Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study options include:

  • Financial Representative
  • Auditor
  • Natural Resource Manager
  • Industrial lawyer
  • Operations Researcher
  • Business Administrator
  • Accountant
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Credit Manager
  • Economist
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Tax Accountant
  • Tax Attorney

To learn more about these and other occupations, please visit:
O*Net Online
Occupational Outlook Handbook

Come visit the Career Resource Room to see our vast collection of career books and resources.

See what other UCSB alumni are doing with their major on LinkedIn.

Additional Resources
Accounting Careers
Provides everything you need to know for becoming a CPA as well as different career paths within the accounting field.

The Accounting Degree Guide
A comprehensive guide to Accounting degree programs, interviews with leading professionals, articles related to accounting specialties, and job search resources.

What is Accountancy?
Learn about the skills needed for accounting along with career planning and job vacancies within the field.

Accountant Job Overview
Learn about the different functions accountants perform, along with salary and training information.

Graduate and Professional Schools

CPA Requirements in California
Find out information about how to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of California.

Accounting Schools
Learn about the perks of going to graduate school in accounting, and search for accounting schools.
Find information about MBA programs and the GMAT.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Search for schools accredited in business and accounting.
This is a comprehensive website that provides information about where graduate programs are offered throughout the nation.

This is a database to help find where graduate programs are offered throughout the U.S.

Come to the Career Resource Room to view the CHOICES lab version of graduate schools.

Experience Search Strategies

Get Experience
Build your qualifications by exploring various opportunities to get experience in your field of interest.

Job Listings
AICPA Accounting/Finance Jobs
The official job board of the AICPA (American Institute of CPAs).

Accounting Jobs Today
Search for accounting jobs nationwide, and gain access to accounting resumes, salary reviews, and more.

Accounting Crossing
Search for jobs in all areas of accounting in locations throughout the world.
Job board for all things accounting.

The Riley Guide: Business; Finance, and Related Fields
Great site for employment opportunity links for finance and accounting, human resources and training, marketing and sales, purchasing and procurement, insurance, real estate and related business areas.

OneWire Finance is the leading online Career Management Tool that creates precise connections between individuals and opportunities. The world’s top financial services firms are currently using OneWire to hire candidates for open positions. To be considered, you must create a profile.

eFinancial Careers
Browse jobs by sectors in accounting, asset management, corporate banking, graduates and internships, insurance, risk management, and more.

UCSB Career Services “Job Links” section
Check out job links in the following categories: Local/CA, National, International, Industry Specific, UCSB Careers By Majors and Diversity.

When you join LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.

Professional Associations

Santa Barbara Associations
Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business
Get involved with Santa Barbara Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountant.

Accounting and Financial Women's Alliance
Join professional association whose purpose is to advance the interest of women in all fields of accounting and finance.

State Associations
California Board of Accountancy
Learn about specific requirements needed to become Certified Public Accountant within the state of California.

One of the largest networks of professional CPA’s in California. Student membership is FREE.

National Associations
American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)
AICPA develops standards for audits of private companies and other services by CPAs; provides educational guidance materials to its members; develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination; and monitors and enforces compliance with the profession’s technical and ethical standards. Student membership is FREE.

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy
Learn about CPA licensing across different states.

American Accounting Association
The American Accounting Association is the largest community of accountants in academia. Student memberships starts at $50 per year, which includes access to three different publications.

Association of Government Accountants (AGA)
AGA is the only association supporting more than 15,000 professionals working in federal, state and local governments as well as the private, nonprofit and academic sectors. Student membership is $30 per year.

Institute of Management Consultants
Members specialize in all management consulting areas including accounting, finance, human resources, logistics, manufacturing, marketing, purchasing, research, and technology.

Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting
The Educational Foundation encourages and enables women to enter the accounting profession and empowers them to achieve equal opportunities and equal rewards.

UCSB Resources