An accounting degree is an excellent opportunity in the business world, whether you end up practicing as an accountant or not. Every company needs accountants and people with accounting degrees, making it one of the most flexible and dynamic opportunities on the market.
But where do you start? And what degree is best for you? Take some time to search accounting degree prerequisites before you enroll in a program, as they will differ depending on what type of degree you pursue. Also, make sure to search job boards for accounting jobs to see if the function is something that interests you once you graduate.
Types of Accounting Degrees
The first way is through an associate’s degree, which is often the quickest and most affordable. This two-year degree can be earned at many community colleges across the country. An associate’s degree will provide you with the basics of accounting skills, setting a good foundation for future job prospects. Once you’ve achieved your associate’s degree in accounting, then entry-level accounting jobs will be well within your reach. Search for accounting associate’s programs at your nearest community college.
The next type of accounting degree is one attained through a bachelor’s program. This is a four-year degree offered at accredited universities across the nation. A bachelor’s degree in accounting builds on fundamentals while incorporating other important skills into the curriculum, such as finance, marketing, and business management. People who graduate with bachelor’s degrees in accounting are more likely to get mid-level accounting roles at corporations and notable accounting firms. Search to see if there are any bachelor’s programs in accounting near you.
After a bachelor’s degree is a master’s degree in accounting. Some programs offer a one-year accelerated course that also prepares the student for the CPA exam. However, most programs will run for two years, focusing on advanced accounting principles that will prepare people to become certified public accountants.
Flexibility in Your Degree and Your Career
As mentioned, pursuing an accounting degree allows for flexibility that is unparalleled in other fields. It allows you to keep your options open while still giving yourself a high earnings potential. Doing a quick search on any job recruiting website will show you how many jobs require some sort of accounting degree.
Once you earn an accounting degree, the types of jobs that are open to you are limitless. Corporate finance roles require an accounting degree, as do accounts payable and accounts receivable roles. Personal accountants or tax accountants necessitate an accounting degree, as well as some level of expertise. Working for banks and other financial institutions is difficult today without an accounting degree. All businesses require the tracking of money, a fundamental skill that is learned with even the most basic of accounting degrees.
No matter if you’re early in your career or looking to make a career change, accounting degrees have many different ways they can be attained. Outside of the more traditional route via community college, university, or master’s program, there are also options for accelerated degree programs and online degree programs. It’s possible to earn an accounting degree no matter how busy your schedule might be, or how many responsibilities you might have.
Online college is currently one of the best and most flexible ways to attain an accounting degree. They can be just as prestigious as other accredited universities, without the additional fees and expenses that go with them. They often have the same caliber of professors.
Many universities are switching to online programs due to the global pandemic. You can set your own pace and schedule, taking classes that work around your responsibilities and job without being tied to commuting to a fixed location. They can also offer night courses, weekend courses, and accelerated courses to best fit your needs.
Benefits of An Accounting Degree
Now that you’ve learned about different types of accounting degrees and the flexibility and affordability they bring to your career, what are the benefits? Learning and mastering a difficult subject means that there will be a reward for the tough challenge you put yourself through. Here are some things to look forward to after earning an accounting degree:
- Job Security: Any business that makes money needs to know where it is. That is what accountants do. As companies continue to grow and do business, the need for accountants will continue to grow in step with it. Replacing a salesperson or receptionist is easy; replacing an accountant is difficult.
- High Compensation: Depending on the state, certified public accounts can make anywhere from $80,000 to $120,000 per year. At some companies, entry-level accounting roles can start at $60,000 per year. The ceiling for accounting roles only continues to climb as experience grows and specialties narrow.
- Growing Demand: With many job functions being replaced by automation and robotics, employers are looking to grow other departments instead. The next decade is expected to add even more jobs to the accounting field, with some estimates showing a 10% increase or more.
Like any important decision, it is important to do your research before making your decision. It’s best to search for accounting degree programs that might be best suited to work for you and your goals, getting at least 3 or 4 options to choose from. Searching online is the best way to do it, with all the information you need right at your fingertips. So search for accounting roles, and search for accounting programs to see what is the right course of action for you.