Certificate in Accounting

Certificates are available in accounting at the continuing education and post-graduate levels; colleges and universities also offer exam preparation certificates and courses for those seeking CPA or other certifications. Read more about these accounting certificates and specialty exam programs and find out what the prerequisites are to enroll. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Type of Certificate in Accounting Can I Pursue?

Continuing education certificates may be an option if you're getting started in accounting or looking to improve your skills in a specialty area but aren't ready to complete a full degree program. Professional organizations offer certificates in specialized areas that can help you head in a new direction in accounting or boost your current area of expertise. Graduate certificate programs are also available.

For working professionals or those without access to a campus, there are distance learning and hybrid opportunities to learn more about accounting. Continuing education and general accounting certificate programs are offered online at select schools.

Programs Available Continuing education certificates; graduate certificates
Online Options Yes, but limited
Certification Exam Prep Programs Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field often required
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 Specialty Programs Are Available to Me?

Some colleges and universities have examination preparation programs for professional certifications in accounting, such as the Institute of Management Accountants' (IMA) Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation. Test preparation programs are also available for the Institute of Internal Auditors' Certified Internal Auditor certification and the CFA Institute's Chartered Financial Analyst certification. Many of these specialty programs are offered online, as well as on-campus.

One of the most common designations in accounting is the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. Many certificate programs are offered to aid you in completing the educational requirements that are mandatory for the CPA exam. Additionally, some general accounting certificate programs allow specialization in areas like accounting for controllers.

What Are the Prerequisites for Enrollment?

Many certificate programs, including graduate ones, require that you first earn a bachelor's degree in accounting, business or an applicable subject before you enroll. In addition to a degree, some schools may ask for the completion of a certain number of accounting courses. The continuing education certificates may not have a formal degree as a prerequisite, but instead act as a standalone certificate program.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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