The Guide to Accounting Degrees

Thursday, April 11, 2019

If your dream is to become an accountant, you’re going to need a degree. With so many types  of degrees out there, which degree is best for you? What does each degree entail? Whether you’re a prospective college student looking for a traditional on-campus degree, or a non-traditional adult distance learner, choosing the right accounting degree is imperative. Check out the list below of some of the most common accounting degrees out there!

Bachelor’s Degree
By far the most common accounting degree, a bachelor’s degree in accounting will provide students with the foundation of basic accounting principles. A bachelor’s degree usually prepares students to accurately report and interpret the financial events of any given individual or group. Common accounting principles studied are auditing processes, analysis of financial statements and the application of financial knowledge when making management decisions. Bachelor’s programs are normally 4 years long and are offered on campus and online.

Master’s Degree
An excellent option for current accountants looking to get an edge and further advance their careers, a master’s degree in accounting is the appropriate next step. Accountants looking to earn a CPA certification normally enroll in master’s of accounting programs as a means of obtaining necessary CPA credit to sit for the exam. Although the actual academics vary from program to program, students can expect to delve into advanced study of auditing, taxation, and fraud examination. Master’s programs normally range from 1-2 years in length, depending on how many courses the student takes on and if completed on campus or online.

Doctorate’s Degree
The most extensive accounting degree, a doctorate’s degree is great for accountants looking to move into academia and research. With managerial accounting and financial accounting as the most general fields of study for PhD students, courses are mainly theory based. Common courses include data mining, microeconomic theory and advanced accounting theory.  As PhD students, accounting students will also take part in investigative research related to the accounting field. In order to earn the accounting PhD, students are normally expected to complete a dissertation. Doctorate programs usually range from 4-7 years in length, depending on how many courses the student takes on and if completed on campus or online.

Associate’s Degree
Although not as extensive as a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree is the next best option for those looking to pursue an entry-level job in the field of accounting. Providing the general basis of accounting principles, typical courses include the fundamentals of accounting, business law and accounting, and introduction to management. Normally consisting of 2 years, associate degrees can be earned relatively quickly and are an excellent segway to completing a bachelor’s degree in the future.

Certificate Program
Individuals looking to familiarize themselves with the specific field of accounting as a means of opening up career opportunities should consider enrolling in a certificate program. Also providing an in-depth base foundation of accounting, students should expect to learn the introductions of accounting, auditing, and federal taxes. Generally lasting from a couple months to a couple years, certificate programs are offered on campus and online.

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