Accounting Degrees and Programs
In the wake of the financial crisis, increased government regulations for company finances are expected to create greater emphasis on financial transparency. Job opportunities for both internal and external auditors and accountants should grow as a result. Additionally, a globalizing business world requires trained accountants with skills in international trade, taxation and mergers.
Do the math on accounting degrees
Accounting degrees are available at all levels, from certificate to doctoral. The BLS says that most jobs in accounting require at least a bachelor's degree, and the best job opportunities are for certified public accountants (CPAs), who typically have some training beyond the bachelor's degree level. Accounting courses at the following levels include:
- Certificate: Most accounting certificates are designed for professionals who already have a bachelor's degree. The CPA is probably the best-known accounting certificate. Coursework may include topics such as introduction to business law, taxation or financial statement analysis.
- Associate degree: This basic two-year program prepares students for careers in bookkeeping, accounts payable or accounting clerk positions and includes coursework such as introduction to accounting systems and accounting theory and applications.
- Bachelor's degree: This versatile four-year degree prepares students for a wide range of accounting positions, from forensic accountant to auditor. Courses cover a variety of accounting topics, including cost accounting, managerial accounting and taxation.
- Master's degree: At the graduate level, students may pursue either a business degree with an accounting concentration or a dedicated accounting degree. Business degrees combine financial and business knowledge, while a master's degree in accounting focuses on accounting theory, advanced issues in taxation and managerial accounting, among other topics.
The evolving legal and commercial framework for businesses is expected to result in significant demand for accountants and auditors, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. In fact, the BLS projects demand for accountants and auditors should grow by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is significantly faster than the average.