Want to Earn Your Accounting Degree?

Accounting is one of those online college majors that seems to be a good choice—especially if you are great at crunching numbers, at ease working with computers, and have strong time management skills[i]. Not only could you be self-employed when you jumpstart your career, you may also have a job title such as underwriter, auditor, IRS investigator, management accountant or loan officer administrator[ii].

Job Growth. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), anticipated job growth is 16% through the year 2020; and accountants who are professionally recognized, like Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), along with graduates who have earned their Master’s degree in accounting, might have certain advantages when it comes to jumpstarting their careers[iii].

Show me the money! In May 2010, the average annual pay for accountants was $61,690 and one in five accountants worked more than 40 hours a week[iv]. Most accountants, however, work full-time, according to the BLS.

Coursework. Whether you are earning your Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in accounting from an accredited college online, you will probably take classes such as[v]:

  • Financial Investigation
  • Business Law
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Audit Research
  • Cost Management

What you’ll do

As an accountant, you typically perform tasks like[vi]:

  • Prepping and maintaining financial records
  • Analyzing financial statements for accuracy
  • Using accounting systems and inspecting account books
  • Preparing tax returns and ensure they taxes are paid in a timely manner
  • Checking records for cost effectiveness

Accountant Licenses and Certification

Three general categories of accountants are:

  • Certified Public Accountant or CPA
  • Certified Management Accountant or CMA
  • Certified Internal Auditor or CIA

Because of stricter state regulations—think Enron—accountants who plan on becoming a CPA, CMA or CIA usually have to undergo additional steps to obtain licenses or become certified. To become a CPA, for example, you may have to complete 5 years of undergrad coursework or earn your Master’s, as well as have accounting-related work experience[vii].

According to eLearners, employers that hire people with online degrees in accounting include credit unions, hospitals, labor unions, retail business and federal agencies, just to name a few. Whether you end up working at home as an accounting consultant, joining a large governmental agency, or being employed by a private firm, earning your accounting degree online may be a great first step towards a rewarding career as an accountant. 

 

 


[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/43-3031.00

[ii] ncsu.edu/majors-careers/do_with_major_in/showmajor.php?id=10

[iii] bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-6

[iv] bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-5

[v] rasmussen.edu/degrees/business/accounting/bachelors/

     cox.smu.edu/web/master-of-science-in-accounting-students/sample-course-of-study

     franklin.edu/accounting-associates-degree-curriculum

[vi] bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-2

[vii] ledgerlink.monster.com/benefits/articles/25-5-step-guide-to-becoming-an-accountant?page=