So you have decided to become an accounting major at the university of your choice. Making this decision will allow you to have an abundance of job opportunities at the end of your (hopefully) four- year tenure. In addition to the decision to be an accounting major alone, the opportunity to participate in co-op and internship positions are available at most universities and colleges and will further assist you in being hired once you enter the real world.
Being an accounting major allows you to have a great deal of freedom in your future occupation, but be assured that working long hours in an accounting firm is not your ultimate fate. Consider a government job, in particular becoming a Special Agent for the Internal Revenue Service. Most people are surprised that this job titles requires an accounting degree because Special Agents are actually criminal investigators for the IRS.
The easiest way to get your foot in the door with the IRS is to apply for the available co-op position in the beginning of your junior year. This interview consists of three parts: a written part, an oral part, and a physical part. Many interviewees find the physical part the toughest of the three parts. It is helpful that Special Agents be physically fit, since there may come a time where physical force will be needed in the line of duty. If hired, you will be doing most of the same tasks that the actual Agents themselves do. After the co-op and upon college graduation, you will be sent to Georgia for six months to train for the Special Agent position. Along with physical training, agents-to-be sit through the Basic Criminal Investigator Course. Once the training is completed, Special Agents graduate the academy. Special Agents are even given their own
government car, which they drive to and from work everyday. If a person does not enter the IRS by doing a co-op as a college student, he or she may apply regularly, but must do so before his or her 37th birthday.
Criminal Investigation is known as the “Law Enforcement Arm of the IRS.” The job of a Special Agent of the IRS is to investigate a person or company that has been referred to him or her through an external audit team. These investigations usually take months to complete. It is the responsibility of the Special Agent to visit the company or business’s job site and interview the person he or she thinks would know its financials best. Financial documents are collected and an examination is done. If at the end of the money tracing, there is enough evidence to prosecute, the case will go to court. Since Special Agents are experts in this line of work, they will be involved in the court process and will testify in most of the cases. Many master-minds of white-collar crimes are put behind bars for many years thanks to the criminal investigators of the IRS.
If you are a person who has an interest in law, is not afraid of carrying a firearm at work, and who is ok with the idea of periodic physical tests, this may be the perfect career for you. As a new requirement adopted by the IRS on October 1, 2008, Special Agents are obligated to perform five physical strength tests: have a vertical jump of at least twelve inches, bench-press half their body weight, maneuver an agility run in twenty seconds or less, do at least twenty-six sit-ups in a minute, and lastly, run three hundred meters in a maximum time of eighty-two seconds.