Pennsylvania was home to more than 12.7 million residents according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports over 5.6 million Pennsylvania residents were employed in 2013, eartning a mean annual wage of $45,280. Many of these workers will need personal accountants, and the businesses they work for will need to hire corporate accountants as well. Fortunately, Pennsylvania accounting schools can prepare students for a career in this exciting field. Accounting programs can introduce students to accounting basics, financial principles and specialized programs such as internal auditing. Pennsylvania accounting schools can also prepare you to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Online Accounting Degree Programs in Pennsylvania
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) lists 116 Pennsylvania schools that offer programs in accounting and accounting technology. Though many degree options are offered, some accounting careers do have minimum education requirements. For example, the BLS reports most accountants and auditors need a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. Some advanced positions for accountants may also require a master's degree in business administration or accounting. Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks typically learn their skills on the job after earning a high school diploma. However, they may need to pursue some formal education in the computer software programs required for their job.
The following table includes the accounting schools in PA that awarded the most accounting degrees during the 2012-2013 school year:
|School||Location||Number of Bachelor's Degrees Awarded in 2012-2013||Number of Master's Degrees Awarded in 2012-2013|
|Pennsylvania State University||University Park||362||115|
|University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||164||54|
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2013
|School||Location||Number of Degrees Awarded in 2012-2013|
|Pennsylvania State University||University Park||477|
|University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||218|
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2013
Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates in Pennsylvania
The BLS reports accountants and auditors in Pennsylvania earned an annual mean wage of $70,380 in 2013. Meanwhile, bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks in Pennsylvania earned an annual mean wage of $36,380 in 2013.
Meanwhile, the future looks bright for students who pursue programs at Pennsylvania accounting schools. U.S. Department of Labor data shows jobs for accountants and auditors in the state are expected to surge 9.1 percent from 2012 to 2022. Employment for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks in Pennsylvania is expected to increase too. According to the latest figures, jobs for these workers are expected to increase 8.2 percent during the decade leading up to 2022.
Though there are many career paths you could take in accounting, some specialties are more common than others. Accounting education can potentially prepare candidates for one of the following careers:
- Management accountants manage the financial information of the organizations they work for.
- Government accountants manage internal government financial data while also auditing private businesses and individuals on behalf of the government.
- Internal auditors check internal organizational documents for mismanagement or misappropriation of funds.
- Information technology auditors perform checks and audits on their organization's computer systems to ensure that financial data is safe and accurate.
Should You Pursue Accounting Degrees in Pennsylvania?
Careers in accounting can be a profitable and rewarding endeavor. To get started, prospective students should explore Pennsylvania accounting schools to see what they have to offer. The NCES lists the following 4-year public schools in Pennsylvania where one can pursue a bachelor's degree in accounting:
- Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
- Clarion University of Pennsylvania
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania
- Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
- Lock Haven University
- Pennsylvania College of Technology
- Pennsylvania State University (multiple campuses)
- Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
- Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
- Temple University
- Lincoln University
- University of Pittsburgh (multiple campuses)
- West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Whether a student chooses to earn a master's degree in accounting, bachelor's degree in accounting, associate's degree in accounting, or certificate in accounting, they have plenty of schools to choose from.
"Accountants and Auditors," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-1
"Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/bookkeeping-accounting-and-auditing-clerks.htm#tab-1
"College Navigator," National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=PA&p=52.0301+52.0304+52.0302&l=93&ct=1&ic=1&pg=2
"Long-Term Occupational Projections," Projections Central, 2015, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
"Pennsylvania, State & County QuickFacts," U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/42000.html
"May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Pennsylvania," Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_pa.htm#43-0000
"IPEDS Data Center," National Center for Education Statistics, February 2015,http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/Ranking.aspx