Accounting Degrees and 25 Notable Online Programs

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accountingAccounting degrees teach you how to keep track of money. A well-known Chicago banker insisted that all his children take an accounting class in college, regardless of their major. Accounting traces the flow of money. It tells us when we are doing well financially or going bankrupt.

In personal life, everyone needs some minimal understanding of accounting. But in business, a high level of accounting is absolutely indispensable. That's why accountants are in hot demand. If you are reasonably good with numbers (you don't have to be a whiz), accounting may be the career for you.

See also: What can I do with an Accounting degree?

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Job outlook for accounting degree graduates:

Associate (Accounting Clerks) Bachelor's (Accountants & Auditors) Master's (Financial Analysts)
Pay Range (2012): $21k--$54k $39k --$111k $47k--$148k
Median Pay (2012): $35,000 $63,500 $77,000
U.S. jobs in 2012: 1,799,800 1,275,400 253,000
Projected U.S. Jobs, 2022: 1,997,780 1,441,200 293,480
Job growth forecast 2012-22: 11% 13% 16%

Accounting graduate students can expect favorable job growth due to the fact that graduate degrees are now essentially required for CPA examination. See more below.

Job opportunities for accounting degree graduates:

Associate Bachelor's Master's
Accounting assistants Budget analysts Financial managers
Auditing clerks Loan officers Certified Public Accountants
Tax preparers Forensic accountants Financial advisors
Payroll clerks Tax attorney assistants Corporate finance or tax associates
Billing clerks Financial managers Financial Analysts
Bookkeepers Certified Public Accountants Assurance associates

The associate accounting degree:

Consider an AAS (Associate of Applied Science) in Accounting if you want to begin earning income as an accountant quickly without continuing on to a bachelor's degree.

The AA and AS (Associate of Arts and Associate of Science) in Accounting degrees are generally springboards to a bachelor's degree. These degrees can be an excellent way to save money while working toward a bachelor's degrees, at the same time providing valuable work experience and an income.

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The bachelor's degree in accounting:

A BS (Bachelor of Science) in accounting allows you to focus entirely on accounting. Instead of it, you may also want to consider a BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) with an emphasis in accounting. Besides giving you expertise in accounting, the BBA will give you broader exposure to business courses (such as marketing and entrepreneurship).

For some accounting positions, you will need a license. In the U.S., an accounting bachelor's degree is required in order to sit for licensing exams. The bachelor's degree will prepare you to take the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants exam to become a CPA. In over 40 states, however, 150 credit hours is required to take the exam. Most often the extra hours needed are achieved through a graduate degree.

Many accounting jobs require one to be a CPA, and even those jobs that don't will often prefer a CPA.Accounting-graduate

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The master's degree in accounting:

A master's in accounting is the next step for accounting majors wishing to become CPAs. Currently, 40 states require 150 credit hours for CPA certification (that's an extra year of study beyond the bachelor's).

Larger corporations seek candidates with a master of science in accounting or an MBA with emphasis in accounting. Either degree will help qualify you for executive-level positions and CPA certification exams. The accounting master's degree may not be necessary for such positions, but it provides a competitive edge.

The accounting master's degree makes you particularly attractive for accounting job openings. Accountants with bachelor's degrees have good job placement potential, but in a competitive field, those with higher degrees get more attention.

See also: What can I do with an Accounting degree?

25 Notable Online Accounting Degree Programs:

(25 programs at 15 schools; arranged alphabetically. Consult our College & University Cost Index ($$+) to compare prices.)

Click any name for details Associate Bachelor's Master's Request FREE information
CSU Global $$ Get FREE info!
Colorado Technical U $+ $$ $$+ Get FREE info!
Finger Lakes CC $
Franklin University $$ $$ $$
Herkimer County CC $+
Indiana Wesleyan U $+ $$ $$
New England College $$+ Get FREE info!
Penn State University $$+
Strayer University $$+ $$+
U of Alabama at Birmingham $+ / $$+ $$ / $$$ Get FREE info!
UConn $$+
UMass Amherst $$
U of Minnesota $$
Walden University $$+ Get FREE info!
Western Governors U $+

1. Colorado State University Global
Online BS in Accounting

($$)

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2.-4. Colorado Technical University
Online AS, BS, & MBA in Accounting

($$)

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5. Finger Lakes Community College
Online AAS in Accounting

($)

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6.-8. Franklin University
Online AS, BS or MS in Accounting

($$)

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9. Herkimer County Community College
Online Associate in Business: Accounting

($+)

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10.-12. Indiana Wesleyan University
Online AS, BS, and MS in Accounting

($$)

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13. New England College
Online MS in Accounting

($$+)

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14. Penn State University
Online BS in Business--Accounting

($$+)

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15.-18. Strayer University
Online Bachelor's and Master's in Accounting

($$+)

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19. University of Alabama at Birmingham
Online BS and Master of Accounting

($$)

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20. University of Connecticut
Online MS in Accounting

($$+)

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21. University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Online BBA--Accounting

($$)

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22. University of Minnesota, Crookston
Online BS in Accounting

($$)

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23.-24. Walden University
Online MS in Accounting & Management and MBA--Accounting

($$+/$$$)

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25. Western Governors University
Online BS in Accounting

($+)

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