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Degree Overview: Associate of Science (A.S.) in Accounting

Majors Overview June 11, 2013

In this article, you will learn about the associate degree program in accounting, as well as receive information on possible career options, courses, and requirements to make an informed decision about your education.

Associate of Science (A.S.) in Accounting

Accounting associate degree program graduates will possess skills needed to work cooperatively with members of other departments, manage payroll, utilize technology-based accounting resources, compile financial statements, and prepare tax statements. Programs combine required core courses in the sciences and liberal arts with courses from various areas of business. Most postsecondary schools, such as community colleges, technical institutions, and colleges offer associate degree programs in accounting. To gain admission into the program, students are required to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Course Topics

The associate degree program courses are usually intertwined with marketing, management, and other business topics for fundamental comprehension. As a result, students who have earned their associate’s degree will become more versatile in tax-preparation, bookkeeping, or business management roles. Students may take the following program course topics:

•Payroll accounting
•Financial planning
•Taxes
•Managerial accounting
•Cost accounting
•Marketing basics
•Finance
•Business communication
•Business organizations
•Business ethics

Career Options

Accounting-related or bookkeeping positions are available in most industry, as any business needs professionals who know how to keep track of finances and record transactions. Accounting associate degree program graduates will be able to start their career as:

•Auditing clerks
•Accounting clerks
•Entry-level bookkeepers

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Qualified accounting, auditing and bookkeeping professionals can pursue the Certified Bookkeeper credential awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB – www.aipb.org). To obtain the certification, students will need to pass an examination, along with having adequate experience. In order to keep the certification valid, continuing education is required.

Students enrolled in most A.S. in Accounting programs are allowed to transfer some or all of the credits earned to a bachelor’s degree program. Coursework in these programs are devised to equip students with more in-depth knowledge in their field of interest where they will be able to acquire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. Bachelor’s degree students are also typically provided internship opportunities. Beyond a bachelor’s degree, interested students can earn a master’s degree in accounting to facilitate career advancements.

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Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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