Top Accounting Degrees and Courses

Accounting and finance figure prominently into the business scheme. Candidates must have an aptitude for numbers, math and statistics, as well as a desire to understand the ebb and flow of business.

Accounting degrees come in undergraduate and graduate versions and are available via traditional or online programs. Besides a straightforward Accounting degree many more Business Administration majors specialize or minor in Accounting. Business and industry require accounting professionals who are as confident and congenial as any other business person, no more hiding behind horn-rimmed glasses in a back room with a calculating machine. Modern accountants must aspire to higher global business ideals.

Degree Types

Accounting majors may tackle the curriculum from a variety of strategies. Candidates that seek undergraduate degrees often go on to pursue graduate degrees that offer ultra-specialization in the business field at large.

Associates Degree

Associate degrees in Accounting often are conferred through professional business colleges as opposed to four-year business schools. A two-year degree offers students a basic introduction to entry-level accounting and finance jobs with the option to parlay their degree into a four-year Bachelors degree. Candidates at this academic level may also choose among traditional programs or online, part-time programs that may fit a busy career-changer’s lifestyle. Look for curriculum to include introductory accounting and business, combined with English, math, and science.

Bachelors Degree

Four-year Accounting students typically earn a Bachelor of Science degree. Depending upon the school, candidates might choose to either specialize or pursue a preparatory program for their Masters degree. Besides some traditional liberal arts courses to balance the scales, core accounting curriculum in an undergraduate program generally includes micro- and macroeconomics, calculus, and probability and statistics. Accounting curriculum includes: auditing, taxation, assurance, managerial accounting, and financial statements and accounting systems. Advanced business courses further prepare students for careers in business finance where decision-making and reasoning are critical: marketing, organizational management, economics, and business finance.

Masters Degree

The straightforward Masters in Accounting comes bundled with a B.S. and CPA prerequisite. Candidates may have chosen a graduate prep program during their undergraduate Accounting program, while others may arrive as career-changers, or business professionals who wish to keep competitive. What is certain is that as business morphs into more global realms, the demands placed upon the business accountant keep pace. Masters degrees are almost a given in business and accountants outside of small tax offices must answer the call.

Coursework at a Masters level generally consists of topics such as: negotiation, business decision-making, information systems, entrepreneurship, business communications and technology, cost analysis, advanced marketing, and tax strategies. Courses are specifically designed to cast a wider net over enterprise level business and to prepare candidates for even more granular specialties:

Doctoral Degrees

Accounting students pursue Ph.D. degrees in order to pursue careers in research and academia. A Masters degree is a prerequisite, as well as high academic motivation and outstanding professional and academic record. If you take all of the essential accounting issues, ie, taxation, accounting analysis, accounting information systems and management issues, it becomes the duty of post-graduate students to continue to research such issues for purposes of field innovations. Doctoral candidates generally must complete dissertation work and teach as part of their academic program.

Role of Professional Accountants

Recent corporate history is punctuated with financial and accounting scandals involving such big name corporations as Enron, Merck and Halliburton. The point drives home the role of business and corporate accountants. Financially and logistically corporate accountants must understand all nuances of business in order to remain competitive in a broadening and increasingly regulated business world.