As tax preparation season is in full swing, and many of us are staring down that April 15 deadline, would it surprise you to learn that one of the most in-demand career opportunities locally is in the tax industry?
Everyone dreads being audited by the IRS, but when it happens, most taxpayers seek out professional counsel from attorneys and certified public accountants. There is also a third professional who can help. Known as enrolled agents, they are federally licensed to represent taxpayers before the IRS when it comes to collections, audits and appeals.
According to the National Association of Enrolled Agents, individuals in this profession have a broad range of opportunities in corporate, individual or government employment; can start their own business; may practice full- or part-time; and can have high earnings potential.
Enrolled agents are the only professionals who are granted the right to practice by the US government and can represent clients in any state across the country. Attorneys and certified public accountants, on the other hand, are licensed by each state and are limited in their practice.
To meet the growing demand for enrolled agents locally, Scottsdale Community College (SCC) is launching an Enrolled Agent certificate of completion (CCL) program starting with the Fall 2020 semester. This particular program provides the training necessary to prepare a student to successfully pass the national exam that covers every aspect of the tax code and ultimately leads to the Enrolled Agent designation.
“Currently, there is a significant shortage in the number of Enrolled Agents operating within the Valley of the Sun; we need to attract more individuals into this particular professional path to support the demands of representing the tax paying public,” said Aaron Blau, president of Blau Company, in Tempe, Ariz. “I'm thrilled that Scottsdale Community College will launch an Enrolled Agent certificate program in the fall (of 2020) to train and prepare the next generation of Enrolled Agents. It is time that we elevate and celebrate this noble and necessary profession so that we can continue to support and serve taxpayers in front of the Internal Revenue Service in a timely and effective manner.”
Separate from tax-related employment opportunities, the Phoenix-area has been attracting major players in the insurance industry in recent years, including Nationwide, State Farm and Farmers. For those looking for a fulfilling career that does not require a bachelor’s degree, SCC’s new Risk Management and Insurance Studies program helps prepare students for a wide variety of professions within the insurance industry.
Debuting with the Fall 2020 semester, students pursuing the Risk Management and Insurance Studies program are also trained to successfully complete the Associate of General Insurance (AINS) certification exams. AINS is a nationally recognized verification of one’s knowledge in general property and liability insurance.
With Scottsdale’s booming real estate market, it’s no wonder that more and more people are pursuing a career in this industry. To provide an easier pathway, SCC’s online Real Estate Principles I and II class specifically prepares students to qualify to take the Arizona Real Estate Licensing exam. One online course meets the 90-hour state requirement. SCC is the only Arizona college to offer the prelicensing course online. In addition, students may earn a certificate of completion in Real Estate by completing a one-day face-to-face course in contract writing.
These three new educational programs alone demonstrate the strategic role that a community college can play by providing in-demand skills training for students that directly align with the needs of local employers.
Summer and Fall Semester enrollment at Scottsdale Community College is now open. Anyone interested in taking a class or pursuing one of SCC’s 100+ degree and certificate programs should phone 480-423-6700 or visit the Getting Started page.