Delving Into the Accounting Major
Many online programs offer accounting degrees at various levels, ranging from associate to master’s degrees. All accounting degree programs will include a number of classes designed to give students a well-rounded education on the business world. In addition, accounting majors should expect to take more coursework in math, statistics and economics classes than their other business degree peers focusing on fields like management and communications.
Accountants have been counting numbers since the beginning of time. Modern day accounting education provides students with analytical, technical, communication, and problem-solving skills that are easily applicable to a variety of businesses. Students in accounting programs will also take the normal business curriculum which may include classes in finance, management, communications, business ethics, and marketing. An accounting degree is also a prerequisite for a number of master’s degree programs in business and will prepare a student for professional exams that will license an accountant as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
Associate degree in accounting prepares students for entry-level programs in the field. Students in an accounting associate degree programs are educated on principals of accounting, tax accounting, document processing, and payroll accounting. They also learn to understand accounting software and computer applications.
In addition to basic math and introductory classes, the curriculum is designed to give them an overview of accounting skills and techniques. They may study how companies and organizations conduct financial concerns and the methods and processes used in reporting this activity. An associate degree in accounting often serves as a stepping stone toward a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.
The purpose of the bachelor’s degree curriculum is to prepare students for a career in various facets of finance. The bachelor’s program provides students with a strong foundation in accounting principles and equips them with the analytical skills necessary to succeed in the business world. Classes and reading materials will vary from program to program, but bachelor’s degree coursework largely may include: financial accounting, intermediate accounting, finance, business law, marketing, management, cost management, and federal taxation.
A student who graduates with a bachelor’s degree in accounting may go on to work for the government, private firms, as well as for-profit and non-profit organizations, in areas such as budget control, audit procedure, and investment, just to name a few.
A bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement to work in finance, but a master’s degree will certainly broaden your job prospects. If you have a strong desire to work in accounting, you’ll find the master’s degree program to be a perfect fit. The focus of this degree level is to prepare career seekers for a dynamic business world.
Coursework may include: managerial accounting, income tax, fundamentals of auditing, financial theory, personal financial planning, and principals of investments. There are many wealthy companies and individuals who would pay generously for the services of a competent accountant. Master’s degree graduates will have no problem gaining employment with these and other employers.
At the doctorate degree level, accounting professionals build upon the master’s core skills while developing a higher level of competence in conducting research. Coursework may include: legal aspects of accounting, auditing, reporting procedures, statement analysis, planning and consulting, business information systems, ethics of accounting, and more.
The doctoral curriculum is typically geared toward helping students understand the complex nature of accounting. Graduates go on to pursue career in academia or publish text in the field, in addition to a wide array for employment opportunities in business.
Supplementing Your Accounting Major
Accounting degrees will give any student the core analytical and problem-solving skills needed to succeed in the business world. Accounting education equips professionals with the ability to move between several different types of companies. By gaining these general competencies, an accountant has the flexibility to compete in a rapidly changing business environment and in an increasingly competitive economic market.
In addition to finance, accountants may also work in management, business, and various administrative and leadership positions. Accounting students will be able to broaden their employment opportunities by supplementing their degree with training in business administration or management. As technology becomes a greater part of our economic framework, accountants will also be trained in more powerful and dynamic accounting practices and should be prepared to use computer programs as part of their daily work.
In addition, as businesses become more interconnected and global, accounting practices will become more dependent on technology. A background in computer-related fields, therefore, will be an increasingly important aspect of accounting education in preparation for a dynamic business world. It is always a good idea to supplement an accounting degree with classes in computers in order to prepare oneself for an ever changing and technological business world.
Learn More About the Accounting Major
The Accounting Major in the Job Market
An accounting degree provides a strong background in the skills necessary to compete in the business world and all businesses stand to benefit from the talents and services of an accountant. This degree offers many options when it comes to getting a job. All businesses and social enterprises need accountants, from non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 companies.
Job prospects for accountants and auditors are generally favorable. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 22 percent through 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. As economic growth spurs the increase in number of businesses, the demand for accountants will follow suit. Other factors that may increase demand for accountants are changing economic laws, corporate governance regulations, and increased accountability for protecting an organization’s finances. Businesses will rely on the services of accountants and other financial experts to navigate the sometimes tumultuous waters of finance.
An accountant’s value is largely increased with a CPA designation and post-graduate education. Accountants can expect to start making anywhere from $45,000 to $55,000 at a small to mid-level firm and up to $70,000 at larger firms. Accounting managers can expect to make from $100,000 to $150,000. Accountants also have the option of becoming independent contractors, providing their services to a variety of smaller businesses in order to have more independence. Actual salaries will vary based upon location, level of education, and experience.