Accounting is one of the most stable and lucrative career paths. If you have a knack for numbers, details, and organization, it may be ideal profession for you. On top of that, you have many specializations to choose from at different levels of education. In this article, we’re going to cover the different types of accounting degrees and the careers that open up with each one.
1. Accounting Diploma or Certificate
This is the most basic entry point into accounting, and it consists of a diploma or certificate that is awarded following a short accounting program. This type of certificate also provides the starting point for many accounting careers. However, the courses are not enough to meet the requirements needed to transfer to a 4-year college after the program is complete.
2. Associate’s Degree
At the next level, you have the associate’s degree, which is a 2-year program that usually consists of 60 credit hours. Here, the courses will take you past the basics, and you will be able to transfer to a 4-year college upon completion. The professional opportunities that come with an associate’s degree are similar to that of the accounting certificate. However, you will be able to advance further in your career, you will be a more appealing candidate, and you will be able to further your studies after earning the degree.
3. Accounting Bachelor’s Degree
The bachelor’s degree is the minimum standard qualification needed if you want to work as a certified public accountant (CPA). This is a 4-year program with at least 120 credit hours. However, if you earned an associate’s degree in accounting, you’ll have the first 60 credit hours covered. The classes you take will focus on everything from math to statistics to finance to business, and of course, accounting. On top of earning your CPA license, you can choose a further specialization in fields such as actuarial science, accounting information systems, and forensic accounting.
4. Accounting Master’s Degree
Also referred to as MAcc, a master’s degree in accounting will require another 1-2 years of study beyond the bachelor’s degree. Here, you will learn advanced accounting theory, along with a specialization of your choice. The demand for job candidates with a master’s degree in accounting is currently very high, and the positions afforded by this degree are at higher echelons of a company or government agency. It’s also worth noting that many universities now offer accelerated learning programs in order to address this increase in demand.
5. MBA in Accounting
Some students will take a different post-graduate route, opting for an MBA with an accounting specialization instead of an MAcc degree. An MBA places a stronger emphasis on management than an MAcc, and this allows an accountant to aim for leadership positions in certain departments of the company. This degree is also better suited for students who would like to open their own businesses at some point in the future.
6. PhD/DBA in Accounting
Doctorate programs have not been very common in accounting, but in recent years, the demand for increasingly higher levels of education in the field have created a base of professionals who participate in doctoral programs. The main difference between a PhD and a Doctor of Business Administration degree is that the DBA is a professional degree intended for people who, rather than teach accounting or work in research, want to practice accounting in the field. The DBA provides a path to C-level positions and focuses on the use of accounting knowledge in administrative capacities.
Contact Robert Morris University to Learn More About One of Chicago’s Best Accounting Schools
If you would like to know more about the various accounting degrees, their requirements, costs, and the careers that they open up, contact us today. Robert Morris University aims to be the best accounting school in the state of Illinois with leading-edge educational programs and opportunities for all of our students.