Earning a degree in accounting gets one on the fast track to securing a high-paying job. Trained accountants can further catapult themselves up the corporate ladder by continuing education in accounting.
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Types of Accounting Degrees
An associate's degree is a basic two year program that opens doorways to higher accounting degrees. Bachelor's degrees require students to undertake four years of accounting education and training, including auditing and analysis of financial statements. A bachelor's degree is often considered essential for landing lucrative positions. Many bachelor's degree programs in accounting also include courses related to finance and business. A master's degree in accounting is usually pursued by students who are training to become chartered financial analysts (CFA), certified management accountants (CMA), or certified public accountants (CPA). Students can also opt for an MBA degree in accounting. Trained accounting students who choose to undertake a doctoral degree usually pursue a career in consultancy or education. Some short diploma and certificate programs are also available for students who wish to learn the basics of accounting.
Accounting students can major in a number of fields ranging from internal and external auditing to budgeting. Accounting degrees also cover a wide variety of accounting software programs that are used professionally. All accounting students in the US are required to follow guidelines and rules set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in order to acquire a license.
Advantages of Pursuing an Online Accounting Program
Online accounting degree programs are usually more affordable than full time university and college degrees. Many of these programs make accounting books and reading material available on their website, which further cuts down the price of an online accounting degree. It is ideal for trained accounting professionals who want to continue their education without having to compromise their existing career. Many students, who undertake higher studies in accounting, work while studying. In fact, it is one of the core requirements for a few certifications. Online accounting programs also do away with the hassle of commuting to a university or college every day and empower students to undertake distance learning. Most of these programs even allow accounting students to study at their own pace and schedule. However, students should confirm whether the accounting program they plan on joining is accredited or not, before filling out the application. A variety of scholarships, funds, loans, and grants are also available for students pursuing a degree in accounting.
There is an abundance of career opportunities for accounting and finance graduates, especially certified public accountants. Some of the common roles and responsibilities that accountants perform include handling tax strategies, financial analysis, management accounting, budget analysis, and auditing. But the scope of work for trained accountants is not limited to these. A number of new and exciting opportunities, such as forensic accounting, have emerged for accounting graduates during the recent years. Accountants also play a significant role in the finance and banking sectors. In addition to looking for jobs in the private and corporate sectors, accounting graduates can also specialize to become government accountants. There are even a few lucrative freelance opportunities for trained accountants.