Is an Accounting Degree Right for Me?

Working as an accountant can mean being a lot of things – math minded and diligent, intelligent and careful. But it also means being a creative, dynamic, sound minded and critical part of a business team or organized, detail oriented, thoughtful tax person for individuals and companies. Accountants are integral part of the business economy. They are needed by both businesses and are hired by individuals.

So how do you know if earning your degree in accounting is right for you?

Who Should Study Accounting?

All kinds of personalities work as accountants, but there are many qualities that it helps most accountants to have. For instance:

  • Do you enjoy organizing and analyzing data?
  • Do you enjoy working in an office or desk job setting?
  • Do you consider yourself highly logical and approach situations with a high degree of reason?
  • Are you good at or do you enjoy solving problems?
  • Are you comfortable explaining idea to other people?
  • Can you deal with concrete ideas and details?
  • Can you see patterns in numbers and figures?

These are some starting point questions to get you thinking about if a potential degree in accounting is the right one for you.

What About Jobs in Accounting?

After graduation, accounting majors are faced with finding a job. In 2012, there were over 1.2 million accounting jobs, and job growth in that field is projected to steadily grow at the same rate over the next ten years. Some jobs – over a number of industries – include:

  • Auditor
  • Tax Accountant
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Reporting Manager
  • Bookkeeper
  • Government Accountant
  • Management Accountant

The average job salary over the majority of the accounting job titles is about $63,000 a year.

Plus, working as an accountant can be a stepping stone to other careers or branches of business. Those who work in accounting often go to work as chief financial officers, chief executive officers, or on financial boards. Accounting is a definite way to get to know a business, understand its leaders and its mission, and even begin to better it and help it mature and flourish.

Accountants can also, with time and experience, begin to work for themselves as private tax accountants, analysts, or consultants. These positions are perfect for the skills and qualities of an accounting major.

What Are the Responsibilities of an Accountant?

Studying math and analyzing numbers are part of the accounting world, but there are a lot of specific tasks exclusive to the industry and jobs of accounting. Tax and account professionals work to:

  • Organize the financial records of individuals and businesses
  • Inspect accounting systems
  • Examine financial statements for accuracy and compliance with laws
  • Recommend financial processes or practices for management
  • If working for a corporation, work to reduce costs and improve profits

While the duties of an accountant are fairly straightforward, they do require an ability to focus, a high level of knowledge, and a thorough execution of processes.

Deciding if you want to get a degree in accounting is part personality and part perspective. Can you see yourself working long, predictable hours? Are you a good communicator? Do you thrive in situations where you have to analyze complex numbers and conditions? Do you have the skills to work in accounting long term, and grow in accounting careers over time? Understanding the answers to these questions is an effective way to think about taking the time to invest in a degree and ultimately a career.

Online Master of Accounting Programs

Walden University MS - Accounting Walden University – Walden University has several different online master's degree programs for students interested in the field of accounting. Students can generally choose between MBA and MS in Accounting degrees as well as becoming certified or obtaining an international MBA. These programs explore advanced accounting principles to help students improve their analytical and financial decision-making skills. Additionally, students will be prepared for professional certification examinations.
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Liberty University MBA - Accounting DBA - Accounting Liberty University – Liberty University offers an online DBA in Accounting for students interested in further advancing their careers. For this program, students will master tax and auditing skills, accounting theory and accounting information systems. Students will also study accounting ethics and best practices both individually and as a part of a team.
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Kaplan University MS - Accounting MS - Accounting: Tax MS - Accounting: Audit MS - Accounting: Govt Kaplan University – Kaplan University offers several accredited online MSA degrees with specializations in Taxation, Auditing, and Government Accounting. These degree programs are great for students who already have a bachelor's degree in business and are hoping to specialize in a particular field of accounting. Additionally, these courses help prepare students for the certified public accountant examination.
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Grand Canyon University MBA - Accounting MS - Accounting Grand Canyon University – Grand Canyon University offers online MS and MBA degrees in Accounting. The programs are designed to enhance theoretical and practical accounting skills for practitioners, researchers, and educators. The coursework focuses on advanced accounting, auditing and taxation practices while developing students’ leadership skills as well. Additionally, these programs prepare students for professional certification examinations.
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Northcentral University DBA - Advanced Accounting PhD - Business Admin: Advanced Accounting Northcentral University – While Northcentral University does not offer any master's degrees in accounting, it does have two doctorate level programs for those wanting to advance their careers in the field. The PhD program is a research-oriented degree focusing on forensic analysis, economic effects, and performance. The DBA program is professional degree designed to teach students technical skills and practical applications in accounting.
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