An accounting degree can be an important component of a successful career in accounting. Most job requirements for accounting and auditor positions include a bachelor’s degree, and having an advanced degree and a certification could significantly improve a candidate’s job prospects. Yet, for many people, lack of time or scheduling conflicts could stop them from pursuing higher education.
Thankfully, in the current age of information, a convenient and cost-efficient solution is available. A master’s in accounting online program from an accredited university offers people wanting to elevate their career path a way to break free from traditional time and distance constraints.
A Look at an Online Master’s Program
A reputable online master’s in accounting program provides students with the same opportunity to develop advanced accounting skills and knowledge as that found in a traditional in-person program. The key difference in the two options is that an online program can be accessed and completed from any desktop, laptop, or mobile device with internet connectivity. Students finally can choose their own learning environment.
Although an online master’s program does not involve a classroom setting, this does not mean that students are isolated or left on their own. Most programs feature staff members who act as curriculum guides throughout the educational process, from enrollment to graduation. The programs also offer plenty of avenues — chat rooms, message boards, videoconferencing — that enable students to interact, network, and share ideas with one another.
The Benefits of Earning an Accounting Degree Online
Earning an accounting degree online rather than reporting to class in person has many benefits. Some of the biggest advantages of online learning include:
- Convenience and flexibility: Pursuing an advanced degree has never been more convenient than with online learning. The flexible class schedule allows students to continue working while earning their degrees. This can help them apply the skills and knowledge they learn from the curriculum in the real world, even before they finish their degrees. Full-time employment can also make it easier to pay for tuition.
- No commuting: Online students do not have to commute to a traditional classroom setting, which means they can earn degrees from universities that might normally be distance prohibitive. Students can also save money on transportation to and from classes.
- A great learning environment: Some students may also feel that online courses create a more conducive environment for their learning, since they get to pursue their degree from the comfort of their home. It should be noted, however, that some programs may occasionally require students to attend professional seminars or workshops on campus.
- Enhanced collaboration and communication skills: Online learning gives students the opportunity to develop critical collaboration and communication skills using a variety of online platforms such as Slack, Zoom, Trello, and more.
Most master’s in accounting online programs prepare students to apply for certification status after they earn their advanced degrees. Obtaining certification is often just as important as earning a degree. An advanced degree coupled with the appropriate accounting certification can open doors to otherwise unattainable opportunities, such as higher-paying managerial or executive positions.
Here are several types of certifications for people with an advanced degree in accounting:
- Certified public accountant (CPA): This certification demonstrates a deep understanding of a variety of accounting topics, such as risk management, compliance, taxes, and auditing. By law, an accountant who files a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required to be a CPA.
- Certified management accountant (CMA): This certification emphasizes a deep understanding of accounting principles related to financial stewardship, such as financial analysis, budgeting, and strategic assessment.
- Certified bank auditor (CBA): This certification highlights the capacity to evaluate a financial institution’s records for compliance and accuracy.
Additional certifications include certified fraud examiner (CFE), certified internal auditor (CIA), and certified information systems auditor (CISA).
4 Accounting Jobs for Graduates
Many job opportunities are available for those with an online master’s in accounting and accounting certification. The first example is an accounting job recent graduates may pursue, while the other three accounting jobs may require a certain level of work experience.
An accountant job is one of the most well-known roles available to accounting graduates. They are responsible for preparing, analyzing, and reconciling individual and corporate financial records to ensure accuracy. The median annual salary of CPAs is around $69,100 as of 2021, according to PayScale.
2. Financial Controller
Financial controllers oversee an organization’s financial vitality through careful analysis of corporate transactions and financial reports. Financial controllers may work with management to devise strategies to achieve maximum efficiency and profitability. The median annual salary of financial controllers is about $85,700 as of 2021, according to PayScale.
3. Accounting Director
Another high-level job that can be pursued with a master’s in accounting online degree is accounting director. Those in this position are typically in supervisor roles, overseeing an accounting staff responsible for handling specific aspects of an organization’s strategies. The median annual salary of accounting directors is around $99,400 as of 2021, according to PayScale.
4. Chief Financial Officer
Eventually, accountants with an advanced degree and years of experience can attain the role of chief financial officer (CFO). This executive position is tasked with overseeing a company’s entire financial operations. CFOs work closely with the finance and accounting departments to ensure operational efficiency and legal compliance. The median annual salary of CFOs is about $137,100 as of 2021, according to PayScale.
Earn Your Accounting Degree Online
Earning a master’s in accounting online can be a convenient and cost-efficient way to advance a career in accounting. Additionally, it should help prepare students to take the CPA exam. With courses covering topics including accounting theory, advanced managerial decision-making, and forensic accounting and fraud examination, Ohio University’s Online Master of Accountancy program could expand your knowledge and skill set to help you pursue your professional goals.
Take the next step toward advancing your accounting career today.