An Accountant job description can be for many types of accounting work. An accountant can have a bachelor degree, a masters of business degree, or no degree at all. It all depends on the company and experience of the individual.
Most accountants pursue a bachelor degree from a university and then decide what area of accounting to call a career.
The business course of study that an accountant takes will be general and cover many types of accounting, including: general ledger accounting, auditing, cost accounting, financial analysis, etc
A traditional path for an accountant is to obtain a bachelor degree in business, then work for a CPA firm to gain experience in auditing, then to pass the CPA exam. From here, many will then work for other companies in various roles.
With the requirements of Sarbanes Oxley, the prospects for an accounting career are very good for new graduates. All publicly traded companies of a certain size must perform audits to ensure that the financial reporting is in compliance with this act. Many accountants are being employed as auditors and are on staff at most corporations.
Another path for an accountant is to be a cost accountant, or a managerial accountant. This role usually does not require a CPA designation. These types of accountants are employed at manufacturing companies, health care institutions, etc.
Some accountants work with tax. These accountants are employed by large corporations, the federal government, tax preparation firms, etc. Many firms are requiring a masters in taxation for this specialty.