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Early development and exposure are essential for accounting students

Written on Mar 30, 2023

By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager  

While high school classes are a great way to expose students to accounting, teachers are often battling the same tired myths about the profession.   

“A lot of them are afraid, they think accounting is so hard,” said Nicole Snider, teacher at Hoover High School in North Canton. “They think accounting is boring and coming into it there are all these myths.”  

Snider teaches financial accounting and honors accounting, and she partners with The Ohio CPA Foundation to bring in guest speakers to show the wide variety of paths possible with an accounting degree. She said she’s constantly telling her classes the possibilities that accounting can bring, otherwise students might revert to their previous misconceptions.  

She joins The Ohio Society of CPAs podcast The State of Business this week to continue the focus on workforce development for the profession, this week’s episode looking at the student and high school perspective. She’s joined by recent The Ohio State University graduate Kayla Campbell.  

Campbell was exposed to accounting from an early age as her mother has a background in accounting, something she said initially turned her away from the profession. But after taking a couple of classes in college she said it all “just clicked.”  

Campbell said one of the biggest differences she noticed in going from college to the professional world was the nuances that come with what you learn in the classroom and how to apply it to real-world scenarios.  

“The real world is very different than application or being tested on something,” she said. “And depending on whatever space you're in, or whoever you're working with, that really does impact the work that you do within itself.”  

Ebone’ Johnson, current Sinclair Community College student, found her goal of helping businesses could be achieved through accounting. She took classes in high school but went to work for Dayton Public Schools for several years before continuing her education  

“I always said, if I went back to school I would finish where I started,” she said. “I've always been very interested in the finance aspects of business. After listening to other people in their careers and how they got started, I heard a lot of people say accounting gave them a wide variety of options to go to different aspects of business.”  

Johnson said the early impression from high school accounting teachers made an impact on her, one that continued to pique her interest in accounting once she returned to school.  

“The teachers in the accounting department were very adamant about making sure that we knew how to take care of ourselves,” she said. “So, for me, it gave me more of a boost to go further on what I could do with accounting.”  

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