Accounting for the Future: An Evolving, Fast-Growing and Misunderstood Field

If you think accountants are just pencil pushers, hacking away in some drab cubicle to the buzzing symphony of fluorescent lights… think again. Today’s accounting careers are all about managing wealth, providing dynamic corporate solutions, and performing high-level reporting and auditing responsibilities.

For businesses, in Southern California and beyond, an ever-increasing reliance on technology has placed tremendous value on college-educated Accounting professionals with up-to-date software skills. Beyond just bookkeeping, today’s Accountants are involved in critical functions like fraud auditing, reporting, consulting and advising.

In simple terms, accountants allow businesses and individuals to evaluate profitability. Thus, there is demand for these professionals in virtually every sector. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10% increase in available jobs in this field by 2026 – and salaries are growing right alongside opportunities.

Contrary to the “accountant stereotype,” real-world professionals in this field tend to be collaborative, high-energy individuals with imagination and vision.

Accounting students are often technologically savvy and quantitatively, with a proclivity for applying their technical skills to analyze financial issues and provide innovative solutions.

Your Future Built Golden West College education opens doors to a wide range of career possibilities: running your own accounting practice, working with large or small businesses, or even investigating financial crimes with the FBI.

This program may be completed 100% online!

Program Details

Accounting Degrees & Certificates

Golden West College’s Accounting program provides fast, focused pathways leading to high-paying careers in the public and private sector. Currently, GWC offers three programs in the Accounting department – one major and two certificates:

  • Accounting – Associate in Arts (AA) Degree:
    Develop important university-level fundamentals, and prepare for careers in accounting, clerking, management and more, as you earn your Associate in Arts Degree in Accounting.

  • Staff Accountant – Certificate of Achievement:
    Prepare for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam, and set the foundation for a Future Built career.

  • IRS Enrolled Agent – Certificate of Specialization:
    Learn about the latest concepts in individual and business taxation, and much more! Meanwhile, you’ll be building the tools to ace your CPA exam, land a great career, or even transfer to a four-year Bachelor’s program.

For additional program details, see the Accounting Program Main Page or the Golden West College Catalog.

Why Golden West College?
  • Golden West offers relevant courses such as Financial Accounting, QuickBooks, and Individual Income Taxation every semester. No waiting to get the classes you need for your certificate or degree!
  • Our knowledgeable and accessible faculty are chosen for their real-world industry experience. This ensures that GWC Accounting students learn the latest in software, technology and industry philosophy.
  • Golden West Cares! GWC is an energetic and welcoming community of learning, committed to supporting your higher education aspirations. Learn more about Golden West College’s student services and support resources by clicking here.
Golden Opportunities in Accounting

With the Accounting sector growing faster than the national average, the future is bright for college-educated professionals with applicable, hands-on skills. Golden West College Accounting program grads are earning great salaries, in these positions and more!

  • Accounting Assistant
  • Accounting, Billing, Payroll or Auditing Clerk
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Specialist
  • Auditor
  • Bookkeeper
  • Budget Analyst
  • Corporate Controller
  • Corporate Entertainment Accountant
  • Cost Estimator
  • Credit Analysis Manager
  • FBI Agent specializing in Accounting
  • Finance Director
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Government Accountant
  • Information Technology Accountants
  • Managerial Accountant
  • Personal Financial Advisor
  • Recreational Sports Centers Accountant
  • Risk Compliance Professionals
  • Senior Financial Analyst
  • Tax Accountant
  • Treasury Analyst
Affording the Opportunity

Golden West College is proud to provide excellent-quality Career Education at a low cost. Our goal is to remain accessible to ALL community members seeking to enrich their future.

Tuition: $46 per unit for California residents.

Information on College Service Charge and additional fees available at:

For Financial Aid information or to find out if you are eligible for Free Tuition through our
Golden Promise Program, visit

Accolades for Golden West College Accounting

Golden West College’s Accounting department is honored to be the recipient of a 2018 Strong Workforce Star from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. GWC Accounting earned a Bronze Star for excellence in earning outcomes, with the accolade noting a 63% average increase in earnings among program alums.

Future BUILT Support

Golden West College is committed to providing students with affordable, accessible Career Education pathways, along with responsive staff to assist and guide you on your way!

  • Career and Employment Center:
    GWC’s Career Center is a hub for services related to the career development needs of students and the general public. Our friendly staff can assist you in exploring career fields with a comprehensive library of up-to-date, computerized and published resources.
  • Learning Resource Center:
    Featuring facilities and materials for general assistance in math, reading, writing, and more, GWC’s Learning Resource Center is a one-stop destination for student support. Take advantage of tutoring services, computer lab access, library resources, and more!
  • Special Programs:
    Golden West hosts a variety of career-oriented programs and services, including CalWORKS, Cooperative Work Experience (CWE), and many others.
  • Advising and Counseling:
    Make sure you’re in the right classes… and on the right course! GWC’s Planning and Guidance Services cover a broad range of student needs, including degree advising, career counseling, and transfer assistance.
  • Special Programs:
    Golden West College is committed to assisting our underserved and challenged students in any way possible. GWC offers specific resources for DACA students, Former Foster Youth, students requiring Basic Needs Assistance, and more.
Gainful Employment Information
For more information regarding the Accounting program costs and employment outcome averages, click here.
Program Learning Outcomes

Accounting – Associate In Arts:

  • Process and apply accounting transaction analysis into an accounting system.
  • Prepare the four basic financial statements.
  • Analyze results of financial information via ratios, relationships, and variance analysis to aid management decision making.

Accounting – IRS Enrolled Agent Certificate of Specialization:

  • Define the essential elements of the major taxable entities: individuals, partnerships, and corporations, estates, and trusts.
  • Compare and contrast between these taxable entities.
  • Utilize the fundamental principles of taxation to prepare a variety of tax returns, forms, reconciliations, and supporting schedules.
  • Describe the unique taxation issues related to each of the taxable entities as they relate to tax planning and public policy.

Staff Accountant Certificate of Achievement:

  • Process and apply accounting transaction analysis into an accounting system.
  • Prepare the four basic financial statements.
  • Analyze results of financial information via ratios, relationships, and variance analysis to aid management decision making.

Program Contact

For more information contact:

Average Salary in this Field

$41,864 –


California Community College Strong Workforce Star Recipient

Careers in this Field


Ready to Get Started?

Orange County industry depends on Future BUILT professionals with the next-level knowledge and skills learned in Golden West College’s Career Education programs.
Apply today, and start building your  bolder future!

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