There are things you’ll learn in university that you will never need to know again. Learning useless things can result from choosing bird courses like “love and its myths” or “grief, death and dieing.” It can also be caused by administrations that emphasize meaningless prerequisites given your major – i.e. forcing business students to take calculus.
As for accounting, what you learn in school you will need to know for your job. This hit me square in the face today when I had to create a cash flow statement using the direct method. The only thing I remember about the direct method from school is that it’s allowed under GAAP, however most people don’t use it because the indirect method provides more useful information. The only time I’ve seen it used was in a text book. And it wasn’t even in the chapter, it was buried in an appendix of the chapter.
So as lame as this sounds, pay attention in your accounting classes if you intend on pursuing an accounting career. You will need to know how to do a bank reconcilliation. You will need to understand bookkeeping inside and out – especially if you work for a small firm. If I knew this while I was back in school, I would not have let myself get 52% on my first midterm in intro accounting – I ended up with a B so everything worked out ok.