Great Degrees for Portable Careers: Accounting

A degree in accounting can open doors to a rewarding career with excellent pay. Job opportunities in both the public and private sectors can be found across all 50 states and overseas in positions such as:

  • Certified public accountant
  • Forensic accountant
  • Bookkeeper
  • Comptroller
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Financial Analyst

A degree in accounting can even provide opportunities to work for yourself by starting your own business or working as a consultant. An accounting degree is available as an associate degree, bachelor’s,  master’s, or doctorate. There are also a wide variety of undergraduate and post-baccalaureate certificates available. Degrees and certificates in accounting may be offered through a school’s business program and may also be referred to as accountancy.

A degree in accounting will qualify one for a wide variety of jobs. Additional certification and licensing opportunities will vary greatly by state. Luckily, many states offer reciprocity for certifications and licensing so being licensed in one state may transfer (with or without restrictions) upon moving. This is, of course, of the utmost importance for military members and spouses seeking a degree and career that is portable across their many moves.

Associate Degree in Accounting

An Associate Degree in Accounting is a great starting point for those interested in jobs such as accounting and tax preparation. There are also a wide variety of certifications available for students in preparation for or in conjunction with earning an associate degree to prepare students for the accounting workforce.

For schools with GI Bill-approved associate degree programs in accounting, please go here.

Jobs With Associate Degree in Accounting

  • Bookkeeper- Compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Median annual salary: $43,000.
  • Financial Clerk- Routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records. Median annual salary: $45,000.
  • Tax Preparer– Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses. Median annual salary: $50,000.

Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

Students can earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and choose a specialty focus such as tax preparation, forensic accounting, or prepare to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

A student seeking to become a CPA will be well prepared to sit for the national exam with their undergraduate education in accounting. Even if one chooses not to sit for the CPA exam, a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting will open doors and opportunities for the student with a significant pay raise from an associate degree.

For schools with GI Bill-approved bachelor’s degree programs in accounting, please go here.

Jobs you can obtain with a Bachelor’s in Accounting include:

  • Tax Examiner and Collector- Determine tax liability and collect taxes from individuals or business firms according to prescribed laws and regulations. Median annual salary: $61,000.
  • Certified Public Accountant–  Prepare and examine financial records. Median annual salary: $72,000.
  • Budget Analyst– Help public and private institutions organize their finances. Median annual salary: $77,000.

Master’s Degree in Accounting

Those earning a Master’s Degree in Accounting are well prepared to be leaders in a variety of accounting careers and related fields including forensic accounting, auditing, taxation, and financial management. When earning a master’s degree one can continue in their current career path with additional earning power, undertake supervisory roles, enter into government or non-profit leadership roles, or transition into teaching.

For schools with GI Bill-approved master’s degree programs in accounting, please go here.

Jobs With Master’s Degree in Accounting

Financial Services Agent- Provide financial services to businesses and individuals. May advise customers about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodities, etc. Median annual salary: $93,000.

  • Actuary– Use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to analyze financial costs of risk and uncertainty for businesses and government entities. Median annual salary: $108,000.
  • Financial Manager- Plan, direct, and coordinate accounting, investing, banking, insurance, securities, and other financial activities of an establishment. Median annual salary: $148,000.

Doctorate in Accounting

Ready to push your knowledge and expertise even further? Students seeking a doctoral degree in accounting become the premier experts in their field. Many students pursuing a PhD in accounting will enter into business leadership roles, post-secondary teaching and/or publishing.

For schools with GI Bill-approved doctorate degrees in accounting, please go here.

Accounting Degree Programs

Ready to earn your degree or a certificate in accounting?

Check out these great programs available at our partner schools:

  • Bethune-Cookman University offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting as a four-year program that provides an excellent foundation in accounting and business. Bethune-Cookman is a premier historically black university that participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
  • Lone Star College has a 3-tier (stackable) program that can culminate in an Associate Degree in Accounting. While some students may choose to enter directly into the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Accounting program, others may choose to work their way through the first two certificate levels (Accounting Certificate Level I and the Advanced Technical Certificate in Professional Accountancy).
  • University of Cincinnati offers a fully online Associate of Applied Business in Accounting Degree. This two-year associate degree program is designed to prepare students for a career as a professional in the field of accounting. The University of Cincinnati participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
  • University of Louisville offers a bachelor’s program and a post-baccalaureate certificate. The fully online Certificate in Accounting is a post-baccalaureate program designed for those with a non-accounting bachelor’s degree who want to qualify to sit for the CPA exam, without completing another undergraduate degree. The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accountancy (BSBAA) is offered as a classroom degree program and as a fully online program. The University of Louisville participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

For more schools with GI Bill-approved Accounting degree programs, please go here.

 *All average annual salaries adapted and calculated from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. For more information click here.

 

About the author

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Born in SoCal yet raised Tampa, Florida - Leah earned her undergraduate BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Leah earned her MA in the MALAS at San Diego State University, while also completing a graduate teaching certificate in English for Secondary Education. An avid traveler, she has visited more than 60 countries. With the birth of her son Spencer in 2012, Leah embarked on her biggest adventure (yet) as parent and Coast Guard wife.