Online Accounting Degree Programs

Most accounting positions require a bachelor degree and most accountants start their career with a bachelor degree. An online accounting degree helps students build the necessary foundation to pursue a successful accounting career and fill a critical role within today’s corporate and business environment. A bachelor degree in accounting provides students with broad accounting knowledge and fundamentals and business skills as well as an option to choose an accounting specialty. Students who decide to pursue graduate degree options in accounting can pursue higher positions such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

Some Stats

In 2006, there were 14,232 associate degrees, 41,964 bachelor degrees, 10,415 master degrees, and 35 doctorate degrees conferred in accounting (1). In 2006, accountants and auditors held 1.3 million jobs, with 21% working for accounting, bookkeeping, payroll services, and tax preparation firms and 10% being self employed (2).

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook varies depending on degree and position, the employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow faster than average for all professions through the year 2016, increasing by 18% and creating 226,000 new jobs (2). The employment of accounting, auditing, and bookkeeping clerks is expected to grow as fast average, increasing by 12% and creating 264,000 new jobs (2).

Specialties

Students who wish to enter the accounting field can choose from a vast variety of accounting specialties such as financial accounting, public accounting, management accounting, tax accounting, forensic accounting, auditing, governmental accounting, fraud, private accounting, corporate accounting, and e-commerce strategy. The most common specialties are auditing, tax accounting, e-commerce strategy, and public accounting.

What to Expect

Accounting coursework includes general education courses such as English, history, mathematics, humanities, physical sciences, and social sciences. Students will also learn the fundamentals of accounting and business by completing a variety of accounting courses such as accounting basics, accounting systems, accounting ethics, bookkeeping, accounts payable, auditing, credit reporting, investing, managerial accounting, payroll, and economics. Students will also develop significant computer skills and the ability to work with database and financial analysis packages, spreadsheets, and other accounting programs. Some coursework also focuses on accounting specialties. Students who wish to become an accountant should also consider the licensing requirements.

The End Result

An undergraduate accounting degree provides an abundance of career opportunities. Students with an accredited online accounting degree will qualify for many entry- and mid-level accounting careers. An undergraduate accounting degree will provide students with many opportunities in many and large corporations, public accounting firms, and a variety of companies and organizations. Career opportunities include:

Public Accountant
Auditor
Contract Manager
Forensic Accountant
Government Accountant
Management Accountant
Personal Financial Advisor
Internal Compliance Manager

People who enjoy working with numbers and financial concepts will find satisfaction in an accounting career. Those who decide to advance their education and pursue master or doctoral degree will be able to advance in their careers and move into higher paying positions.

(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition

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