As with most of the population, accounting does not seem to be an enticing subject to delve into. Crunching numbers is not everyone’s cup of tea. Counting other people’s money seems a little bit discouraging when you should be counting yours. But there are some who find accounting interesting enough that they devote years of their lives studying it.
Accountants are what we call them. Before they have become one of the greatest professionals in the world that businesses need, they earned their degrees first through taking lengthy accounting programs.
There are three types of accounting programs that aspiring accountants choose to take: associate’s degree accounting programs, bachelor’s degree accounting programs, and master’s degree accounting programs. Whatever students choose to take depends on their goals in life.
Accounting Programs: Associate’s Degree
This degree appeals to most students who want to learn accounting at a lesser cost. It is the shortest accounting degree program for it only takes two years to complete. Unlike other accounting programs, one can get an associate’s degree at a technical or community college. This usually requires a high school diploma or GED.
Not all businesses employ associate’s degree graduates, but there are many entry-level accounting jobs available for them. In case you want to pursue a higher career goal in accounting, you can always opt for a bachelor’s degree after completing your associate’s degree. And later take a master’s degree if four years are not enough.
An associate’s degree accounting program’s coursework will be more into technical hands-on training courses and theoretical accounting courses. This will help you easily learn how accounting works when you graduate and put your training into immediate use. Bookkeeping, tax laws, payroll processing, and accounting software classes are likely to be included in the technical courses.
Accounting Programs: Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree in accounting simply is the most common option for those who want to work in the accounting field. Most businesses require this accounting program since graduates from this degree are more qualified and equipped with accounting work than associate’s degree graduates. This usually takes four years to complete in a traditional college or university.
You need a high school diploma or GED to be able to enter into the accounting program. Some people taking a bachelor’s degree come from an associate’s degree program in accounting to further pursue their studies. These two-year graduates typically have an advanced standing in accounting when they enter the bachelor’s degree program. They will also be able to complete a bachelor’s degree in two or three years.
Most bachelor’s degree programs in accounting require students to take advanced classes in math and statistics during the first years in college. Some high schools offer economics, finance, and accounting classes to prepare students for college. The coursework of a four-year accounting program usually include math, statistics, tax laws, economics, finance, business, management, and marketing.
Accounting Programs: Master’s Degree
This degree usually takes two to three years to complete. Before enrolling in a master’s degree accounting program, you have to obtain a bachelor’s degree first or a combination of both. While a background or bachelor’s degree in accounting isn’t really necessary to proceed to a master’s degree in accounting, it is good that you have a good understanding of the subject itself.
Some people who assume master’s degree accounting programs came from studying other disciplines like business, finance, humanities, sciences, and more. But you can’t proceed without completing a prerequisite coursework like classes in math, statistics, business, economics, and finance. If you have not taken these classes in college, you can always enrol at a community college to take these prerequisite classes and go on with a master’s degree.
Having a master’s degree in accounting renders you advanced career opportunities in the field. This could include senior or managerial position in a company. Being someone who has a specific set of skills in accounting will make you more marketable in the business arena.
If you want to teach at a university, you may need a doctoral degree or PhD in accounting. This requires you another four years of studying advanced accounting, performing research, and making a dissertation.