Accounting Training Programs
You'll need at least a bachelor's degree to become an accountant, though you can start your education with an associate's degree program, if you so choose. Read more about what you'd study in these undergraduate accounting programs and check how they prepare you for certified public accountant (CPA) certification. Learn about graduate degree programs in accounting, as well.
What Degree Programs Are Available in Accounting?
If you want to study accounting at the undergraduate level, you can enroll in an associate's or bachelor's degree program. Associate's degree programs typically take 2-3 years to complete, while bachelor's degree programs take 3-4 years. Both are available in distance-learning formats. At the baccalaureate level, you could pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that most employers require a bachelor's degree for accountant positions (www.bls.gov).
|Degree Availability||Associate's and bachelor's degree programs are available online|
|Common Courses||Accounting principles, microeconomics, taxation|
|Post-Graduation Options||Pursue a master's or certification as a CPA|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||10% growth (for accountants and auditors)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$70,500 (for accountants and auditors)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Will I Learn?
Both associate's and bachelor's degree programs in accounting require you to take general education courses in addition to courses in accounting and finance. If you enroll in a BBA program, you may take more business courses than you would in other types of programs. Business courses could include quantitative analysis, business law, organizational behavior, marketing and management. In any type of undergraduate degree program, your accounting-related courses could include:
- Accounting principles
- Managerial accounting
- Applied statistics
- Accounting systems
Some programs prepare you to test for professional certifications, such as the certified public accountant (CPA) certification.
Can I Continue My Education?
If you'd like to further your education in accounting after earning a bachelor's degree, you could pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting or Master of Science in Accounting. Either type of program can qualify you to take the Uniform CPA Exam. A master's degree can make you eligible for upper-level management or executive positions.
If you want to become a CPA, most states require that you complete 150 hours of education, which is more than what most bachelor's degree programs require. As a CPA, you'll typically need to participate in continuing education to be able to renew your license.