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Degree Overview: Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degrees in Accounting & Information Systems

Majors Overview May 14, 2015

Get information about Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree programs in Accounting and Information Systems and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and certification and continuing education choices.

Information on Accounting and Information Systems Programs

Undergraduate degree holders who want to learn about information systems and advanced accounting could pursue continued education by enrolling in a dual-degree program that combines the study of the two disciplines. Coursework includes classes in financial and technical management. Students might consider earning a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Accounting or Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Information Systems degree wherein the respective emphasis is on accounting principles and advanced programming. These programs last up to two years and available in online formats along with flexible schedules. Enrolled students could also use the program as preparation for CPA licensing exams.

Master’s Programs in Accounting and Information Systems

Few schools, if any, offer a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program with the specialized field of accounting and information systems as a concentration. However, the blended areas within proprietary master’s degree programs or a Master of Science (M.S.) are offered by some schools. Dual degree programs that award both a Master of Science (M.S.) in Accounting and Information Systems and an MBA are available at others.

Coursework in master’s degree programs in accounting and information systems is commonly a combination of classes in accounting and financial management topics, including technical classes in information systems management. In accordance with their academic background, students typically take 1-2 years to complete these programs.

Supplemental learning is also available through some schools wherein students aspiring to become a Certified Public Accountant can meet licensure requirements.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. While admission counselors could recommend technical and financial majors, schools may admit students with a degree in another field who might need to complete a few extra classes aimed at gaining a fundamental grasp in these areas. Incoming students are also expected to have basic knowledge of statistics and calculus.

Coursework

Coursework includes subjects in technology, financial environments, economics, and management. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Web-based applications
•Systems security
•Technology analysis
•Computer networking
•Fraud investigation and ethics
•Taxation
•Financial accounting and auditing
•Database design and administration

Career Choices

With a master’s degree in accounting and information systems, graduates can seek careers in public accounting offices, information systems departments and consulting firms. They may choose from popular career options such as:

•Financial analyst
•Computer systems analyst
•Technical or financial consultant
•Fraud and tax examiner
•Information systems manager

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

A CPA license is obtainable by satisfying state requirements that may vary by state; many states mandate some graduate-level accounting courses. Professionals who want to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission must compulsorily hold the CPA credential. Graduates may also seek continued education through the doctoral degree in either a combined accounting and information systems program or a specialty program. Students who complete Ph.D. programs can seek careers in academia and research.

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Programs in Information Systems

Elective or concentration courses and core business management training are usually available within MBA programs in information systems specializations. These programs are at many schools through flexible learning options, such as blended, weekend and evening formats, apart from online and on-campus courses.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to some MBA programs to hold a bachelor’s degree, in any major. Applicants to some other programs may be expected to have an academic background in business or technology or experience in the business field.

Coursework

An MBA program includes standard coursework in topics such as human resources, marketing, management strategies, and accounting. The curriculum in some programs is restricted to elective courses that can be applied directly to students’ career goals. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•IT resource planning
•Supply chain technology
•Internet application development
•Information technology management
•System implementation
•eCommerce
•Advanced programming

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of 15% has been predicted for IT managers (BLS). In 2013, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $120,950 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

While continued education can help managers showcase their supervisory skills, students may earn voluntary certification through technology hardware and software vendors, or industry standards organizations. IT managers can use credentials to demonstrate their expertise in specific technologies, such as information management, data security, programming or networking.

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Programs in Accounting

As in the case of MBA programs in Information Systems, core business knowledge predominates Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Accounting coursework, with an elective focus on accounting and finance principles. Flexible program options, such as blended or online formats, can be found to suit the individual learning styles of students. In some MBA programs, sufficient coursework is offered to prepare students for CPA licensure testing, though additional coursework may be offered by some schools, for students seeking that career path.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. A graduate school admission test may not be required to be taken by applicants to some accounting concentrations. Prerequisite coursework in accounting, finance and economics may be required to be taken by students without any prior business or accounting training

Coursework

As in the case of information systems concentrations, coursework in MBA Accounting programs often includes standard business management classes. Additionally, topics for the CPA exams, such as cost accounting, auditing, and taxation, could be covered in the program curriculum in accounting concentrations. Elective coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Taxation
•Accounting technology
•Forensic accounting
•Nonprofit and corporate accounting
•International accounting
•Internal and external auditing

Career Choices

In accounting, qualified professionals with CPA licensure are preferred by employers. Accountants can seek employment in most industries, including academia, nonprofit, government and business.

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of 13% has been predicted for accountants and auditors (BLS). In 2013, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $63,550 (BLS).

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