Accredited Online Business Degrees

Online accounting degree students should love numbers and mathAll degrees don’t pay high dividends. Pay back from your business degree will depend on your major. If you want your education to produce a high return, choose an online accounting degree. Starting salaries typically begin around $45,000. Add on years of experience in management and you could make more than $100,000.

Newly-minted accounting majors receive the most job offers from employers, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Accounting pros, especially certified public accountants (CPAs), will see quite steady demand for their skills over the next decade, according to the BLS. And since acountants are not just important around tax-time, but are critical components of successful organizations, accountants can find work in nearly every sector of business.

THE CAREER PATH

Different paths within accounting cover different topics of finances and business management. There are career options which require very little educational preparation, and some that require many years of experience and extensive education. Here are some of the most popular careers in accounting:

  1. Accounting/Bookkeeping/Auditing Clerks - Clerks are the professionals who record financial transactions, update statements, and produce financial records as well as checking reports for accuracy. Each clerk may handle slightly different tasks on the job—bookkeeping clerks are the individuals who are primarily responsible for maintaining the daily ledger of financial transactions, while accounting clerks typically work for larger organizations, performing more specific tasks depending on their level of experience. Becoming a clerk typically only requires some postsecondary education and/or certifications, and pays nearly $40,000 each year on average.
     
  2. Accountants and Auditors - Accountants and auditors are the professionals that you were probably thinking of when you started to read this page. The demand of accountants can usually be gauged by the status of the economy; as the economy continues to thrive and individuals are earning more income and spending more money, the demand on accountants and auditors is expected to increase by more than 10% in the coming years. Not only is it a reliable line of work, but becoming an accountant or auditor is also both accessible and rewarding for professionals. The average annual salary is nearly $70,000, and the standard requirement is typically a bachelor’s degree along with a certification and/or licensure.
     
  3. Cost Estimators - You may recognize these professionals particularly from their work in the construction industry; they are not limited to that industry alone, but they do tend to specialize in a specific line of projects. They typically collect and analyze data in order to estimate the overall financial and resourceful cost that is required to manufacture a product, construct a building, or provide a service. Along with years of experience within your area of interest, most employers will also require at least a bachelor’s level education. Voluntary certifications may be preferable for applicants to increase their competitiveness. Much like accounting and auditing, there is an anticipated increase in the demand for cost estimators by nearly 10% in the upcoming decade, and their average salary is just over $60,000.
     
  4. Budget Analysts - After many years of experience and education, professionals can aim their career sights to becoming an analyst. Budget analysts are responsible for helping public and private institutions organize their finances by preparing reports and monitoring spending. These types of analyst positions typically require applicants to achieve either a bachelor’s or master’s level education. Various state and local governments may have specific requirements, so if you’re interested into developing your career into an analyst role, it’s important to understand the regulations for your particular area. Higher-level positions in accounting, like analyst professionals, tend to be far more competitive, but they reward accordingly. The demand for budget analysts is supposed to increase by around 3%, and most professionals make almost $75,000 on average each year.
     
  5. Financial Analysts - These professionals may be the type of suit-wearing financial gurus that you associate with the words “Wall Street.” Generally speaking, they provide guidance to both businesses and individuals on smart investment decisions by assessing the performance of stocks, bonds, and other investments. Just like professionals in the budget analysis profession, financial analyst positions require a master’s degree more often than not, and some accept a bachelor’s degree on special occasions. Adequately qualified professionals will obtain a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Financial analysts are one of the highest paid accounting professionals, making more than $80,000 each year on average. If that isn’t enough to spark your interest, they are also among the highest in demand, with an expected increase of 12% in the coming decade.

WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?

If you’re considering a career in accounting, it is likely that you already have an interest in math—which is good! Strong math skills are non-negotiable for any position in this industry. The analytical skills to critically assess numerical data are also a necessity, regardless of which direction you decide to steer your career in. Beyond the fundamental accounting skills, the various careers that you may choose from within the accounting industry are also likely to require a diverse understanding of computer software, organizational management, as well as communication and writing skills.

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?

Demand is high and wages solid for all types of accounting professionals. If you’re just starting out, try an online certificate in bookkeeping. (Accounting professionals who lack a college degree are often referred to as bookkeepers instead of accountants.) With a certificate—which takes about a year of full-time study—you can snag an entry-level job as a bookkeeper or payroll clerk.

An associate's degree offers many of the same job opportunities that a certificate does, such as bookkeeping, accounts payable and payroll. Although it takes around two years to earn an associate's, you'll have a strong base in accounting principles upon graduation. You can then move up through the ranks as you continue your education online from your laptop. For the best career positions (like we mentioned above) and salary offers, choose a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Top positions usually require that you earn both a bachelor’s degree and a certified public accountant designation. The CPA is a professional license or certification that can be earned post-degree. Before pursuing any accounting degree program online, make sure it meets the requirements in your state for taking the CPA exam. Most states require applicants for CPA licensure to earn a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree and to have completed two years of accounting experience under the supervision of a CPA. If you pass the national CPA exam and meet your state’s requirements, you can then call yourself a CPA accountant.

Already a CPA? Consider a graduate degree. Boost your tax code competency with a master's degree in taxation. An online accounting master’s or an online MBA in accounting can help you move up in management. Either advanced number-crunching degree will increase your chances of salary increases and job security over the lifetime of your career.

COST

Whether you are already a working professional, or whether you are a recent high school graduate exploring all of your career options, there are careers and degree programs in accounting that can suit your lifestyle needs and interests. The average four-year accounting degree generally costs between $30,000 and $50,000 while a master's will cost just over $22,000, on average. That price doesn’t include the cost of additional certifications, books, or educational materials. When you look into your program options, make sure to take those additional costs into consideration to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck.

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List of Accredited Online Degrees

1
Grand Canyon University

Master of Science in Accounting

GCU's accelerated evening or online Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) opens a pathway toward the achievement of a Certified Public Accountant's credentials. Learners in this program are offered comprehensive preparation for the highly ...

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2
Strayer University - Online

Master of Science in Accounting

Your knowledge of financial accounting gives you a unique view into the business world. It can also build a flexible foundation for leadership. A Strayer master’s degree in accounting helps you apply theoretical constructs to domestic and ...

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3
Benedictine University

Master of Science in Accountancy

Benedictine University's online M.S. in Accountancy delivers a CPA-aligned accounting education to students with or without an undergraduate degree in accounting. You can earn your master's in two years, when and where it's most ...

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4
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Master of Science in Accountancy

Leading your organization demands more than strong financial skills. It demands business and managerial acumen. Saint Mary’s online Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) instills the advanced accounting practices as well as soft skills ...

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5
Seton Hall University

Master of Science in Accounting

The online Master of Science in Accounting (M.S.A.C.) from Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business does more than prepare students for licensure as a Certified Public Accountant. In this degree program, designed for individuals ...

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6
University of Scranton

Master of Accountancy

Gain the finance and accounting skills needed for career advancement with The University of Scranton's online Master of Accountancy (MAcc). Housed in the AACSB-accredited Kania School of Management, students experience a rigorous curriculum ...

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7
Utica College

Master of Science in Accounting

Accelerate your finance career in any sector of business. Utica College's online Master of Science in Accounting program is designed for students with an accounting background or specific combination of business and accounting courses, who want ...

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8
Southern New Hampshire University

Master of Science in Accounting / Auditing

The MS in Accounting with an auditing concentration includes courses that meet the International Standards on Auditing and earn the 150-credit-hour requirements to sit for the CPA exam in most states. ...

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9
Liberty University

Master of Science in Accounting / Financial Services

Liberty University’s ACBSP accredited Master of Science in Accounting: Financial Services, 100% online program, equips you with specific instruction and provision to gear your learning towards corporate financing strategies, as well as viewing...

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10
Colorado Christian University

Master of Science in Accounting

The online Master of Science in Accounting program at Colorado Christian University is designed for students who plan to pursue their Certified Public Accounting (CPA) credential, as it provides the incremental credits to meet the 150 hour educationa...

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11
Saint Leo University

Master of Accounting

Saint Leo's Master of Accounting program provides an in-depth study of advanced accounting principles to prepare you to pass the CPA and CMA exams. When recruiters look for talent, the first factor they consider is education. Saint Leo's ...

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12
Seton Hall University

Master of Science in Professional Accounting

The online M.S. in Professional Accounting (M.S.P.A.) from Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business does more than prepare students for licensure as a Certified Public Accountant. In this degree program, designed for professionals ...

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13
Southern New Hampshire University

Master of Science in Accounting / Management Accounting

Hold the key to your organization's success when you're behind the financial decisions that keep it on track - or, better yet, thrive. When you earn your Master of Science in Accounting with a concentration in Management Accounting, ...

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14
Liberty University

Master of Science in Accounting / Business

Liberty University’s ACBSP accredited Master of Science in Accounting: Business, 100% online program, gives you a unique perspective on all areas of accounting, including the tools, resources and skills needed to be effective in the field of ...

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15
Southern New Hampshire University

Master of Science in Accounting

SNHU’s master’s in accounting online meets the 150-credit-hour requirement to sit for the CPA exam in most states. (Requirements to sit for the CPA exam vary by state. Be sure to contact the Board of Accountancy in your state for ...

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16
Liberty University

Master of Science in Accounting

Liberty University's Master of Science in Accounting is a top-rated program designed with the aspirations of busy working adults in mind.  Students with a dream to further career and education goals can earn a valuable degree in accounting ...

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17
Southern New Hampshire University

Master of Science in Accounting / Taxation

SNHU’s master’s in taxation online will prepare you for a career as a tax specialist. The program meets the 150-credit-hour requirement to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam in most states. In some states, having a ...

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18
Liberty University

Master of Science in Accounting / Taxation

Liberty University’s ACBSP accredited Master of Science in Accounting: Taxation, 100% online program, explores the area of accounting as it relates to the ethics, development, and implementation of taxation in society. Through this program you...

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19
Southern New Hampshire University

Master of Science in Accounting / Forensic Accounting

SNHU’s master’s in forensic accounting online meets the 150-credit-hour requirement to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam in most states. In some states, having an MS in Accounting means supervised work requirements are reduced...

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20
Liberty University

Master of Science in Accounting / Forensic Accounting

Liberty University’s Master of Science in Accounting - Forensic Accounting, 100% online program, explores the area of accounting as it relates to the examination, government involvement, and prevention of accounting fraud. Through this program...

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21
Southern New Hampshire University

Master of Science in Accounting & Finance

Developed with input from corporate partners like Fidelity, the MS in Accounting & Finance online degree program can open up a variety of career opportunities in for-profit, nonprofit and municipal sectors. Your professors, who collectively ...

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22
Liberty University

Master of Science in Accounting / Audit & Financial Reporting

Liberty University’s Master of Science in Accounting - Audit and Financial Reporting, 100% online program, explores the area of accounting as it relates to the ethics, development, and prevention of fraudulent financial reporting. Through this...

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23
Liberty University

Master of Science in Accounting / Leadership

Liberty University’s ACBSP accredited Master of Science in Accounting: Leadership, 100% online program, offers you the ability to apply accounting concepts, theories, and models into a leadership perspective. Specializing in leadership ...

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24
University of Massachusetts-Amherst - Isenberg School of Management - Graduate

Master of Science in Accounting

The Master of Accountancy degree program provides students with a greater understanding of accounting and business than is possible in an undergraduate program. The program prepares students for careers as professional accountants in financial instit...

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25
University of Massachusetts-Lowell - Manning School of Business - Graduate

Master of Science in Accounting

UMass Lowell's Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree, offered by the Robert J. Manning School of Business through the Division of Online and Continuing Education, provides an economically affordable opportunity for students to prepare for...

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