As accounting majors, we are always looking for ways to give ourselves competitive advantages in the recruiting process. One of the best ways to do this is to pursue a skill-building minor, such as Business Analytics or Information Systems Management. Other students with a few extra credit hours might consider a more traditional business minor like Finance. While I won’t deny that these minors provide an excellent toolkit for a future CPA, they may not be the best fit for some students. ISMN and BUAL are awesome minors, but the subjects don’t excite me in the same way that accounting does. So, I decided to pursue a minor in Professional and Public Writing, a subset of the English minor. While the subject matter may not intrigue everyone, I believe that it can be a good path for people who enjoy writing.
According to a January 2018 article by Glassdoor, “strong writing skills” are the number one skill managers look for in college grads, shortly followed by “public speaking abilities”. While this is a subjective opinion, it is undeniable that communication skills, both written and oral, are a fantastic enhancing characteristic to any résumé. Mrs. Lakas has even mentioned to me that she wished a professional writing course could be added to the accounting curriculum.
Professional writing teaches a student to analyze dense texts, write clear communications for internal and external purposes, edit the communications of your coworkers for clarity and grammar, research topics, deliver an effective presentation, and design aesthetically pleasing documents. These skills are invaluable in every workplace and could serve to differentiate a candidate from accounting majors with a more conventional minor. I’m not suggesting that a Professional and Public writing minor is superior to a skill-building minor and, realistically, most CPAs won’t get quite as much as mileage out of it as they would a business minor. However, if you’re looking to diversify your academic experience and technology minors aren’t in your wheelhouse, maybe you should consider Professional and Public Writing.