With a stable statewide population and an accounting workforce that's projected to grow faster than the national average over the next several years, solid employment prospects are on the horizon for graduates of Kansas accounting schools. With salaries for accounting, auditing and budgetary positions considerably higher than the mean annual occupational pay in Kansas, accounting programs might just be your ticket to a secure income and a stable career.
Online Accounting Programs in Kansas
There are a total of 33 accounting schools in Kansas, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), but residents of the Sunflower State are actually free to choose from quite a few more than that. More and more schools across the country are beginning to offer accounting degrees through digital distance education programs, with on-demand video lectures and message boards or live chat sessions for student-to-faculty and student-to-student communication, which can allow you to consider accounting programs from many states away without the need to uproot your life and relocate.
The exact curriculum requirements of Kansas accounting schools vary somewhat from institution to institution, but there are a few central concepts of the discipline that most programs have in common. Here's a list of courses that students can expect to see on their schedule at some point between enrollment and graduation:
- Accounting processes and controls
- Accounting theory and history
- Managerial reporting
- Financial reporting
- Organizational behavior
Many new accountants choose to become Certified Public Accountants, or CPAs, which can lead to a considerable increase in employment prospects. Candidates for the Kansas CPA exam must have earned at least 30 semester credit hours in accounting theory and practice, 42 or more credits in business and general education courses and at least 11 semester credit hours in written and oral communications.
Students at Kansas accounting programs are permitted to apply for their CPA exam up to eight weeks before their education is complete, although the official Notice to Schedule (NTS) for the exam won't be delivered until after graduation. Other guidelines apply to the Kansas CPA exam, as well; check with the Kansas Board of Accountancy for more detailed information.
What is the Job Outlook for Accountants in Kansas?
Accountants in Kansas earned a mean annual salary of $58,570 in 2014, according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the bottom 10 percent taking home $36,550 or less and the top 10 percent earning more than $100,420. The securities and commodities contracts brokerage industry paid accountants the highest average salary nationwide in 2014, with a mean figure of $95,970.
Graduates of Kansas accounting schools may find themselves employed in any one of a number of counties in the state, each of which comes with its own salary expectations. Here's a list of the top median annual wages by county for accountants in the Sunflower State, according to 2014 data provided by the Kansas Department of Labor's Labor Information Commission (LIC):
- Johnson County: $62,923
- Sedgwick County: $60,681
- Wyandotte County: $57,428
- Harvey County: $56,690
- McPherson County: $56,037
- Douglas County: $53,940
The LIC predicts that jobs for Kansas accountants will grow 16 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the national average in the field. Here's some employment projection data on some of the fastest-growing statewide occupation groups that may be available to graduates of Kansas accounting programs:
- Personal financial advisors: 32.3 percent
- Logistics analysts: 29.4 percent
- Financial analysts: 20.0 percent
- Credit analysts: 17.6 percent
- Accountants and auditors: 16.1 percent
- Tax preparers: 13.9 percent
Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services firms employed most working accountants in 2014, encompassing around 28 percent of the total national workforce.
What are Accountant Specializations in Kansas?
General accounting degrees are fairly common among Kansas accounting programs, but students may also decide to concentrate their study in a specialized area of the discipline. Here are a few of the specialties available to students at campus-based and online Kansas accounting schools:
- Business administration
- Management and leadership
- Public accounting
- Information systems
- Project management
Many colleges and universities offer MBA degrees with an accounting specialty, either along with or instead of master's-level accounting degrees, which can allow students to choose from an even wider range of specialties. Adding coursework in marketing, finance, business law, database management or supply chain management to your accounting skillset may help you enter the workforce with an advantage in a particular job market.
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College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed October 26, 2015, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=KS&p=52.0301+52.0305+30.1601+52.0304+52.0399
Accountants and Auditors: Kansas, Career InfoNet, accessed October 26, 2015, http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?optstatus=001000000&soccode=132011&id=1&nodeid=2&stfips=20&search=Go#SectionOp3
Accountants and Auditors, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed October 26, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm
Kansas, May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed October 26, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_KS.htm
Exam Information, Kansas Board of Accountancy, accessed October 26, 2015, http://www.ksboa.org/exam_info2.htm
Occupational Profiles, Kansas Labor Information Center, Kansas Department of Labor, accessed October 26, 2015, https://klic.dol.ks.gov/vosnet/drills/occupation/occdrill.aspx
School pages, accessed October 26, 2015: Master of Accountancy, Kansas State University, http://cba.k-state.edu/future-students/mba-and-macc/macc.html; Master of Accounting, Tax Track, Kansas University, https://business.ku.edu/tax; Online Accounting Degree, Ashford University, http://www.ashford.edu/degrees/online/ba-accounting.htm; Degree Specialization in Accounting, Colorado State University - Global Campus, https://csuglobal.edu/graduate/programs/specializations/accounting; Accounting (B.S.) Kansas State University, http://catalog.k-state.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=13&poid=3382&returnto=1426