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Associate Degree vs. Bachelor Degree in Accounting

Higher Education Articles April 17, 2013

The differences between an associate degree and bachelor degree in accounting include the career opportunities, rigorousness of coursework, and program completion duration. Students who have earned their associate degree in accounting may transfer their credits to a bachelor degree program.

Overview of Associate Degree Program in Accounting

Students will spend most of their time in courses involving science, public speaking, writing, computer applications, marketing, organization, and management; it usually take students approximately two years to earn their associate degree in accounting, if they are enrolled full-time in the program. The accounting portion of the program teaches students about cost accounting, managerial accounting, and financial accounting. Students are required to have knowledge in various software and computer applications programs, such as QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel, if they want to work in the accounting field.

Career Information

Students may obtain jobs as public accounting assistants at government agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporations; if they have earned their associate degree in accounting. Also, graduates are able to pursue a career as a bookkeeper.

Overview of a Bachelor Degree Program in Accounting

Students are required to have a minimum of one hundred twenty credits, and it takes approximately four years to complete a bachelor degree program in accounting. Through the bachelor degree program in accounting, students can take sixty credits or more of accounting and business-related coursework and sixty credits of basic education electives and requirements. Core accounting and business courses include fraud examination, management, finance, marketing, managerial accounting, financial accounting, and business law. Basic education courses concentrates on areas such as humanities, public speaking, English, and science, as well as offering students a well-rounded education.

Career Information

Students may pursue entry-level employment with accounting departments in government agencies or corporations once they have completed the bachelor degree program in accounting. Students will have the opportunities to become a certified internal auditor, certified management accountant, or certified public accountant. To pursue these three career fields, students are required to successfully pass the examinations.

Aspiring certified public accountant is required to complete an additional thirty hours of coursework beyond a bachelor degree program, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). Individuals who want to work as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) are required to pass the four-part Uniform CPA Examination.

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