Advice for an accountant

I am about to complete my accounting degree in Norway, and have been browsing the job market for a while; It looks lucrative, though I want to stay ahead of the pack.
My impression from the current job market and projections is that data analysis and data visualization are important skills today, though will become more important in the time to come. Therefore, I am aspiring to learn such skills.
I believe I have narrowed it down to SQL and Python as being the most applicable and important programming languages I could/should learn. My question is three-fold:

  1. Are these conclusions in part similar to those of your experience?
  2. Which programming language should be prioritized?
  3. If I chose to learn these skills here, on FCC, would it be possible to skip the “recommended learning path”?

I am very much looking forward to any and all replies. Thank you in advance.


Hi Cato,

nice to meet you! :wave:

Yes, the skill of automating (daunting) tasks is a valuable one.
E.g. instead of copy & paste some Excel data to Powerpoint, you can automate this stuff.

It doesn’t matter that much, as long as you know how to store and manipulate data (e.g. with SQL) and process the data (e.g. with Python).

Because SQL and Python are used a lot in this field, this is a good duo.

Sure, you can start with Data Analysis with Python.

Hello, Cato:

SQL skills will serve you well if you work as an accountant, especially so if you work for a big company with complex accounting needs. You can use SQL casually to look up things like “what happened on account number 1234 (office rent) in the past month,” without depending on your accounting package’s prebuilt reports. And, if you do “forensic accounting” – trying to track down evidence of problems or crimes in accounts – you’ll definitely need SQL. Being good with SQL is almost a superpower in many business settings.

SQL has been around for many decades and will, most likely, be around for your entire career. Almost all the worlds’ data is stored in systems than can be accessed with SQL, so it’s a skill that will serve you well.

Python is excellent for data analysis. Python programs that use SQL to retrieve data and process it are very common and very powerful. If you learn both languages you’ll have a lot of power at your fingertips.

FCC’s courses in these topics can stand alone. And, there are many other tutorials and courses available online.