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Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

Majors Overview March 25, 2014

Earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Accounting would be a good first step for those looking for a career in the accounting field. The program will teach students the basics in accounting and business, which will prepare them for work in the field or further education.

B.S. Programs in Accounting

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in Accounting are imparted knowledge of accounting practices and principles. Students learn to analyze general accounting documents, such as business financial statements and tax forms. They also study industry regulations and information systems, in addition to ethics and professionalism. After they complete the program, graduates can seek entry-level work with global businesses, non-profits and small and large companies.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework in a bachelor’s degree program combines core courses with general education classes. Through general education classes in an Accounting program, students can expect to hone basic skills in areas such as communications, computers, writing and communications, which they can articulate into their work in accounting professional positions. Students are provided the skills needed to perform work in the accounting field. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Cost accounting
•Financial statement analysis
•Corporate finance
•Managerial accounting
•Financial accounting
•Business law
•Auditing procedures

Career Choices

Graduates of a bachelor’s degree in Accounting can seek entry-level work in the private or public sector, education, government, or non-profit field. They may choose from various career options, such as:

•Auditor
•Budget analyst
•Insurance underwriter
•Loan officer
•Accountant
•Financial manager

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 16% has been predicted for accountants and auditors over the 2010-2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)); during the same period, budget analysts are expected to enjoy a job growth rate of 10%, while business managers are likely to experience a job growth rate of 9%. In May 2012, accountants and auditors earned an average annual wage of $63,550 (BLS), while budget analysts earned $69,280, and financial managers took home $109,740.

Continuing Education Information

Accountants and auditors with a master’s degree in Accounting are preferred by some recruiters (BLS). A combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in Accounting program is offered by some schools.

Most states require education beyond the bachelor’s level as a qualifying standard for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential. CPA qualification standards vary by state, but applicants are typically required to pass an examination and are expected to have earned 150 college-level semester hours. The CPA license can be kept valid through continued education. Individuals can prove their competency in accounting to potential givers by obtaining professional certification. Professional designations are conferred by the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Institute of Management Accountants, among other such organizations.

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Quick Fact
In 2017, 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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