Ernst & Young, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers are a few of the prestigious accounting firms with offices in North Carolina. What's more, Chief Executive Magazine named the state as having the third best business climate in the nation in 2015. Those two facts add up to North Carolina being a potentially good place for future accountants to study and eventually work.
North Carolina accounting schools are on the forefront of preparing the next generation of professionals who can crunch numbers, balance the books and create forecast reports for businesses of all sizes. Given the vibrant economy of the state, students may find plenty of opportunities to complete internships at accounting firms or attend networking events where they can rub shoulders with CPAs and other professionals already working in the field.
Students will find there are North Carolina accounting programs to fill every need. Keep reading to learn more about which schools offer programs and how you can complete your education online.
Online Accounting Programs in North Carolina
According to the North Carolina Association of CPAs, there are 39 schools in the state with accounting programs that result in bachelor or master's degrees. These include a mix of major universities and smaller colleges, all of which have programs that may be used for CPA licensure.
In addition to the schools listed by the association, community colleges and technical schools may also offer associate degrees and certificates in accounting. While these programs won't allow students to become CPAs, they may be used to gain entry-level positions in occupations such as bookkeeping and tax preparation.
For students who have family or work obligations, an online degree program may be the right choice. Offered either fully online or as hybrid programs that include both online and on-campus instruction, these programs allow students to work from the convenience of home and often on their own schedule
UNC Online is one of the najor providers of online degree programs in the state. It brings together 300 fully online degrees from 16 campuses that include the following.
- University of North Carolina
- North Carolina State University
- East Carolina State University
- Western Carolina University
- Winston Salem State University
North Carolina students can also use private schools such as Kaplan University, Ashford University and Colorado Technical University to complete their education online.
What's the Accounting Career Outlook in North Carolina?
Accountants and auditors are expected to see robust job growth in the years to come. In North Carolina, demand for these professionals should outpace the average for other jobs, and related positions will see similar growth.
Here's a closer look at some of the positions pursued by graduates of North Carolina accounting programs, along with average salary and job growth predictions.
|Position||Employment in North Carolina (2014)||Average Salary in North Carolina (2014)||Expected Job Growth Statewide (2012-2022)|
|Accountants and Auditors||30,170||$71,200||16.7%|
|Bookkeeping, Accounting or Auditing Clerks||43,490||$35,790||14.1%|
|Personal Financial Advisenors||5,620||$117,520||38.4%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Accountants in some cities might have slightly different income potential. Here's a look at how much accountants and auditors earned, on average, in some of North Carolina's major metropolitan areas in 2014.
- Raleigh: $67,450
- Charlotte: $76,390
- Durham-Chapel Hill: $76,060
- Greensboro: $69,630
- Greenville: $63,030
What are North Carolina Accounting Specializations?
One decision accounting students must make is whether to specialize in a specific area of the field. Some North Carolina accounting schools offer concentrations such as the following.
- Corporate accounting
- Forensic accounting
Another option some students pursue is to earn an online MBA in accounting.
For those who want to become a CPA, specialization isn't as important as meeting the state requirements for licensure. The North Carolina Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners notes CPA candidates in North Carolina must sit for the Uniform CPA Examination. In order to be eligible for the exam, candidates must earn a bachelor's degree in accounting that includes 120 semester hours, including at least 30 hours in undergraduate accountancy courses and 20 hours of graduate level classwork.
Other professional designations for those working in accounting-related fields includes the following.
- Certified Public Bookkeeper
- Certified Management Accountant
- Certified Financial Planner
- Chartered Financial Analyst
North Carolina accounting schools can help students determine which of these voluntary certifications may best help them meet their career goals. Get started today by contacting one or more the North Carolina accounting programs below for more information.
1. Projections Central, Long-Term Projections, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm2. Occupational Employment Statistics, North Carolina, May 2014, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nc.htm3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition
4. CMA vs. CPA vs. CFA: Which accounting credential is right for you? Grant Tilus, November 25, 2013, Rasmussen College, http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/business/blog/cma-vs-cpa-vs-cfa-which-accounting-credential/5. NC Colleges & Universities, North Carolina Association of CPAs, http://www.ncacpa.org/nc-colleges-universities/6.These accounting firms are hiring in Charlotte, Amy Shapiro, Charlotte Business Journal, February 4, 2015, http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/top_25_list/2015/02/these-accounting-firms-are-hiring-in-charlotte.html7. CEO Magazine: North Carolina is no. 3 for business climate, Steve Cranford, Charlotte Business Journal, May 8, 2015, http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2015/05/08/north-carolina-is-no-3-for-business-climate-ceo.html8. UNC Online, http://online.northcarolina.edu/9. Uniform CPA Examination Applicants, North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners, http://nccpaboard.gov/applicants/exam-applicants/#heading-3