Becoming an accountant can open doors to a diverse range of career choices – and it can enhance your earning potential. Working as an accountant is a rewarding career filled with opportunities, and all you need to get started is the right education.
If you’re interested in launching a career as an accountant, here’s how earning your degree will help.
The Benefits of an Accounting Degree
Accounting degrees provide broad flexibility when choosing your specific career path. You can become a self-employed consultant, work for a local firm, or launch your career in the corporate world. With an accounting degree, your choices are endless.
The skills learned while earning your accounting degree can qualify you for high-level positions in businesses in almost any industry. Some of the main benefits of earning a BA in accounting include:
- High compensation: Certified public accountants make over $80,000 per year, Indeed¹ reports, while many specialties within accounting command six-figure salaries.
- Growing demand: The field of accounting is expected to grow by 10 percent over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics².
- Job security: Accountants are necessary for managing any business’s profits. With demand for accountants growing, accounting remains a field that provides consistent employment.
Which Accounting Degree Level is Right for You?
To become an accountant, you’ll first need to earn a degree in accounting before you’re able to legally practice. There are three different degree levels that future accountants can earn.
An associate’s degree is the first option, and it’s the quickest option for those who want to become accountants quickly. An associate’s degree is a two-year degree earned at a community college. With an associate’s degree, you’ll take classes that teach you the basics of accounting skills. Once you’ve earned an associate’s degree, you’ll be qualified for a variety of entry-level accounting jobs.
Another option is to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting. A bachelor’s degree program, which typically takes 4 years to complete, is the most common choice. A bachelor’s degree in accounting teaches you the basics of accounting as well as important business, finance, and management skills so you’re prepared for different types of accounting. Bachelor’s degree graduates are able to take on both entry- and mid-level accounting roles at accounting firms or corporations of all kinds.
If you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree, you’ll also be eligible to further your accounting education with a master’s degree. Many accountants who want to become CPA certified or advance their career in a different direction will opt to earn either an MBA with an accounting focus or a Master of Accounting. Typically two years in length, a master’s program will prepare you for the CPA exam and provide an in-depth education on areas of accounting.
An Accounting Degree Offers Flexibility
The flexibility an accounting degree can provide is unparalleled in other fields, so becoming an accountant and earning an accounting degree is a great way to keep your options open for the future. Overall, the key to becoming a successful accountant is to conduct your own research to discover a unique path to maximizing your potential.
In addition to providing flexibility in your career, getting started as an accountant offers flexible options. You have a number of ways you can earn your accounting degree: you can attend a traditional college, opt for an online degree program, or try an accelerated degree program. You can earn an accounting degree no matter your busy schedule or responsibilities, from absolutely anywhere at any time. An online degree program allows you to work through your degree at a pace that suits you. Accelerated programs, which are also often offered online, can help you speed up the process and earn a degree in less time. No matter the path you choose for your accounting degree, it can be adapted to your needs.
An online college is one of the most flexible ways to earn an accounting degree. Online accounting degree programs, if accredited, are as prestigious and widely accepted as a traditional college degree. Once enrolled, you can take all of your required courses when it’s convenient for you — and you never need to set foot in a physical classroom or commute to a college campus. You can earn your accounting degree at your own pace, taking classes that suit your busy schedule and avoiding the constraints of a traditional college degree program.
Additionally, choosing to earn your accounting degree online is often more affordable. Online degree programs often offer reduced rates for students, as there’s no need to meet regularly with a professor or live on-campus. You may even be able to find accelerated courses that allow you to earn your accounting degree at your very own pace when you take your courses online.
Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.