Educator Edition — Free Tools For Teaching Accounting

Future Job Descriptions

Knowing where you want to go is a lot easier when you know what to expect when you get there. The same applies to careers. This activity helps students learn what kinds of CPA jobs they might enjoy by considering the day-to-day responsibilities involved with specific positions. This exercise does this by asking each student to write his or her own future job description.

FutureMe is a tool that allows students to discover their potential futures in the CPA profession. By answering 10 questions about themselves and their preferences, students receive short descriptions of several CPA jobs they might enjoy the most. Once your students have each completed their own FutureMe, ask them to choose the one job that sounds most interesting to them.

Next, have students explore the Real-Life CPAs section of the site to find CPAs with similar positions. They can use the information within those CPA profiles to draw connections between the questions they answered in the FutureMe feature and what to include in their job descriptions.

Students should also perform additional online research based on what they learn in the profiles. For example, students could visit that CPA’s company website or the website for the company from their chosen FutureMe job. There they would be able to get more information that would allow them to make some inferences about how much travel might be involved in the position, who they would report to, etc. Or they could use the information found within a profile to make an educated guess about how many years of experience the position would require, based on the similar CPA profile they found.

Ask your students to compile the information they’ve gleaned to write the job description for their future CPA job. Make sure they include the description of the position, a list of the duties and/or responsibilities and the skills or qualifications needed for the job, in addition to its title, company name and salary.

Here's an example:
Environmental Accountant, Whole Foods
Salary: $66,275 – $87,175
Qualifications Needed: Bachelor’s degree, though many Environmental Accountants also hold Master’s degrees. Course work in geography is also desirable, as well as knowledge of waste management practices.
Job Description: My job is helping Whole Foods make smart decisions on ecological matters, weighing each decision’s impact on both planet and profit. I will assess current standards and practices regarding pollution output, industrial development, and environmental management, determining the best ways to lower Whole Foods’ environmental impact and operating costs.
Additional notes: I probably work at Whole Foods' headquarters in Austin but travel around assessing environmental sites and making presentations.

Difficulty
Advanced
Duration
Multi-day
Format
Online activity