With the industries expanding and competition increasing, more businesses are on the lookout for specialized finance and accounting staff. The finance sector has experienced a significant growth due to implementation of highly specialized functions. While many people assume that accounting is all about sitting behind closed doors and working with complex mathematical equations, the field in reality is much more diverse and challenging. The role of accounting professionals has diversified and the focus has shifted. Besides calculating figures, accounting experts must be skilled at analysis, interpretation, and should be well-aware of different business strategies.
Accounting Degree Programs
There are a number of degreeprograms that are offered in the field of accounting. However, the most common degree programs that can help you to prepare for a career in accounting are:
Associate degree in accounting
Bachelor’s degree program in accounting
Master's degree program in accounting
Doctoral degree in accounting
These programs are offered by many accredited accounting schools and universities.These degree programs are comprehensively designed to provide students with a greater understanding of accounting and its role in business. Students will acquire in-depth knowledge of accounting functions and disciplines. While associate and bachelor degrees in accounting will emphasize fundamental concept development, a masters and doctoral degree are more advanced in nature.
The curriculum may vary from school to school and will depend upon the level of degree being pursued. However, some common areas of study have been described below:
In this course, students will learn about the core principles of the field. Topics included in the course are financial management, decision-making, and financial accounting.
Accounting Information System
This course will provide students with an overview of different technologies and how they can be used for accounting functions. E-commerce, information systems development, decision-support systems, and human synergy are a few of the areas covered in this course.
This course is designed to help students learn about taxation. Student will cover areas such as tax issues, tax history, policies of federal taxation, and tax laws.
This course will cover the standard cost systems, relevant cost systems, budgeting performance measurement, and cash flows.
Advanced Topics in accounting research
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Students will learn how to apply different research skills and methods in this course.
Accounting Programs Online
Other than regular degree programs, you can also opt to earn a degree in accounting online. There are various online accredited schools that offer degree programs in this field. Compared to regular programs, online courses are more flexible. You can manage them from the comfort of your own home and complete it according to your pace and time.
Careers with an Accounting Degree
There is a lot of demand for accounting professionals in different sectors and fields. You can improve your prospects of finding related jobs once you complete a degreeprogram in accounting. Many Individuals opt for careers in private organizations as well as federal. Some of the main careers you can choose from have been listed below:
The banking industry offers many challenging career opportunities for accounting majors. Individuals can seek work as an accountant or a finance manager. Broking, investment management, treasury management, and tax work are few of the areas that demand accounting professionals.
The demand for insurance is high in all sectors. There are many insurance companies that offer coverage to companies, families, individuals, and even the government. As the system is becoming more complex, accounting specialists are in high demand by insurance companies. Some areas include pension’s management, underwriting, claims work, and more.
Accounting professionals are hired by almost every organization in all industries. Finance is one of the most important functions in a firm. Many accounting degree holders can be found working in retail firms, productions firms, marketing firms, and more.
Public accountants are also known as certified public accountants (CPA). These professionals are hired by many federal and private firms. Some common areas of work include external audit, tax consultation, management consulting, and review engagements.
It is important to remember that the exact job position, one may qualify for, will depend upon his or her area of specialization and level of degree. Bachelor degree holders may qualify for entry-level jobs whereas a masters degree in accounting can lead to managerial or specialist job positions in the industry. Here is a list of popular job positions:
Public Sector Accountant
Accounting professionals made a median annual wage of $63,550 in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics whereas tax preparers made a median annual income of $35,310 in 2012. The exact salary of an accounting professional depends upon the level of degree, specialization, work experience, and expertise in this field.