Accounting may seem like a difficult field of study. There are many aspects of business and finance that need to be understood in order to be an accountant, but the fact of the matter is that a career in accounting is one of the most stable. Every company and organization in the world needs an accounting department that will help it manage and keep track of its resources. It does not matter if we’re talking about companies that have four or 4,000 employees, every one of them still needs to have its accounting in order. Chicago, being a major city, is home to numerous businesses, and this means that you will always be in demand as an accountant. Let’s take a look at what you can expect on your journey to earn an accounting degree in Chicago.
Getting the degree
There are several paths to take if you want to start your career as an accountant. Your first option is a simple accounting diploma or certificate, which will open up a number of entry-level career points. However, if you are aiming for a CPA (certified public accountant) qualification, you will need a full four-year Bachelor’s program at the minimum. You can also opt for a Bachelor’s of Business and then complete a Master’s in Accountancy or an MBA with a specialization in accounting. The Bachelor’s degree in accounting consists of 120 credit hours, with 60 of them being removed if you already have an Associate’s degree.
You will study both a general and an advanced curriculum during the Bachelor’s program, starting with introductory courses in financial and management accounting. These will cover the foundational concepts of the subject, and you will learn about everything from financial statements to the double-entry system. You will then move on to more advanced topics such as accounting for inventory, accounts receivable, cost accounting, corporate taxation, risk analysis, assurance and audit service, and business law for accounting.
Accountants have a multitude of choices when it comes to the job market. The profession is very versatile, and you will find accountants working as regulatory experts, tax professionals, or in budgeting and payroll departments at various organizations. On top of that, a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers identified accounting as the second most in-demand Bachelor’s degree in 2018, beating business administration and computer science. Of the businesses surveyed, 60.6% of respondents sought to hire an Accounting major with Bachelor’s degree.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary in 2018 for accountants and auditors was $70,500 per year, or $33.89 per hour. The salary ranges from $43,650 for those in the lowest 10% bracket to $122,840 for those in the highest 10%. Several factors come into play here, such as the particular specialization of the accountant, seniority, geographic location, and whether the accountant works in the private or public sector. Accountants that work in the private sector in large metropolitan areas will earn higher salaries on average.
Are you interested in getting an accounting degree in Chicago?
Accounting is a very stable, in-demand career option, with a very attractive salary range. There are many job opportunities, and in a large metropolitan area such as Chicago, you have a leg up when it comes to salary. At Robert Morris University, we offer students state-of-the-art programs that include everything from theoretical courses to practical work experience. If you’d like to find out more information about enrollment, our coursework, and our curriculum, contact us today.