2020 Accounting Degree Guide
Do you find it fun and easy to keep track of your favorite sports team's records in order to forecast how their season is going to play out? Accountants do just that, except in the business setting. They gather information, examine records, decode, and communicate information to individuals or organizations in order to improve their financial risk and performance. A program in Accounting will prepare students to perform related business functions and practice the profession of accounting.
There are many different concentrations within this major; they include Auditing, Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Business/Management, and Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping. While studying this major you will be taking courses in Business Law, Cost accounting, Tax accounting, Accounting information systems, and Auditing. This major is commonly offered as a Bachelor's degree.
Accounting Degrees Popular in the U.S.
In 2017-2018, accounting was the 6th most popular major nationwide with 107,851 degrees awarded. This represents small change only -0.6% from the prior year's total of 108,487 accounting degrees awarded.
There are 1,282 schools offering degrees in accounting in the United States. Our 2020 Best Colleges for Accounting ranking analyzes 621 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for accounting students. Explore this or one of our many other custom accounting rankings further below.
What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Accounting
Attention to detail will be a helpful skill as you work with numbers and variables that can be misinterpreted and thrown off by one mistake. Strong mathematical skills and an analytical mind will help you in both your college classes and your career.
If you have the chance, it is helpful to take courses in Business, Computer applications, Calculus, Statistics, and Microeconomics while still in high school. This program is not only offered as a Bachelor's Degree, but students can continue onto higher education and receive a Master's or Doctorate in this major.
Prior Education for an Accounting Program
accounting degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Once you obtain your degree, additional accounting certifications required to pursue a career in this field.
Accounting Degree Types
Accounting degree levels vary. You can get anything from a award taking less than 1 year in accounting to the highest accounting degree, a research/scholarship based doctorate. The time it takes to complete a accounting degree varies depending on the program.
|Degree||Credit Requirements||Typical Program Length|
|Associate Degree||60-70 credits||2 years|
|Bachelor’s Degree||120 credits||4 years|
|Master’s Degree||50-70 credits||1-3 years|
|Doctorate||Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation||At least 4 years|
A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to accounting, with approximately 41.9% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for accounting workers below.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma||14.4%|
|Some College Courses||9.6%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||8.4%|
This of course varies depending on which accounting career you choose.
While accounting is a general topic, specialization is important. Many accountants specialize in auditing, taxes, or consulting. Depending on your focus you can become a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, or a Certified Internal Auditor. In order to become a Certified Accountant, you must take a national exam to obtain a license. Graduate can also become Budget Analysts and Financial Analysts. These Analysts create, study, and oversee the budgets and finances for organizations. The demands for these Analysts are increasing rapidly.
Growth Projected for Accounting Careers
Want a job when you graduate with your accounting degree? Accounting careers are expected to grow 6.4% between 2016 and 2026.
The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to accounting.
|Occupation Name||Projected Jobs||Expected Growth|
|Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks||1,705,300||-1.5%|
|Accountants and Auditors||1,537,600||10.0%|
|Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks||164,700||-1.0%|
How Much Money Do Accounting Grads Make?
Accounting graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $44,476 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $6,600 to as high as $83,100. As you might expect, salaries for accounting graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.
High Paying Careers for Accounting Majors
Salaries for accounting graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers accounting grads often go into.
|Occupation Name||Median Average Salary|
Getting Your Accounting Degree
With over 5,013 different accounting degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased accounting school rankings to help you with this.
Top Ranking Lists for Accounting
Majors Related to Accounting
Accounting is one of 21 different types of Business, Management & Marketing programs to choose from.
Most Popular Related Majors
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Business Administration & Management||399,810|
|Finance & Financial Management||56,960|
|Human Resource Management||26,853|
Featured Accounting / Finance Schools
|Request Info||Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Purdue University Building on Purdue’s mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that’s tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from the prestigious Purdue University system—completely online. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Grand Canyon University (GCU) With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Northcentral University Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Colorado Technical University (CTU) CTU could help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional community, faculty who are real-world professionals, and innovative technology. Learn More >|