If you’ve always been a math person, if you like solving problems, and if you like crunching numbers, accounting may be a field for you to consider. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants prepare and examine financial records, making sure they are accurate, and they maintain the finances of businesses and organizations to make sure they are run cost-effectively.
According to the BLS, accountants will typically need at least a bachelor’s degree before pursuing additional credentials, such as becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA.) CPAs are licensed by their state and often require coursework in addition to a bachelor’s degree, which many accountants choose to fulfill through a master’s degree. Accountants can also become a Certified Management Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, or Certified Financial Services Auditor.
On average, accountants earned $61,690 in 2010. Job possibilities for accountants and auditors are expected to increase 16% by 2020.
Many schools offer online routes for students seeking to earn an accounting degree. Bachelor of Arts degrees in accounting may focus more on the social aspects of business and accounting, such as global accounting and finance, whereas Bachelor of Science degrees in accounting may focus more on financial analysis, though both degrees will offer necessary skills. Some schools offer specialized accounting bachelor’s degrees, allowing students to focus on, for example, forensic accounting or accounting technology.
- Liberty University Online, Bachelor of Science in Accounting: The 120-credit hour program from private, Christian, not-for-profit Liberty University based in Virginia, requires students to complete basic coursework in math, communications, history, and theology as well as core business courses such as business law, finance, marketing, and human resources management. Students will take courses in cost accounting, accounting information systems, auditing, taxation, and governmental and not-for-profit accounting. Liberty’s students have access to a variety of resources, such as a library, career center, and extensive alumni network. Liberty is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Florida Tech University Online, Bachelor of Arts in Accounting: Students enrolled in public Florida Institute of Technology’s online accounting degree program will take 121 credits of core and business courses, such as business computer skills, global business perspectives, micro and macroeconomics, strategic management, organizational behavior, and law. In the accounting curriculum, coursework will cover topics including accounting information systems, cost accounting, auditing, individual federal income taxes, and electives including corporate federal income taxes, e-commerce, healthcare management, and business ethics. All students are also required to take a course designed to prepare students for online learning. Florida Tech is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Post University, Bachelor of Science in Accounting: Connecticut-based private, for-profit Post University offers students a 120-credit hour program that requires core courses in English, communications, liberal arts, math, and science in addition to core business courses in managerial communications, management, marketing, finance, macroeconomics, and financial accounting. As accounting majors, students will take courses in managerial accounting, spreadsheet and general ledger applications, cost accounting, federal income taxes, accounting information systems, and auditing. Electives cover topics including financial statement analysis, fraud prevention and examination, forensic accounting, corporate taxation, business law, business ethics, microeconomics, and corporate finance. Students will also take two courses in college success and professional success designed to prepare them to apply what they’ve learned once they graduate. Post is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and its business school is a candidate for accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP.)
- Southern New Hampshire University, Bachelor of Science in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination: One of five online accounting bachelor’s degree programs offered by private, not-for-profit Southern New Hampshire, the BS in forensic accounting and fraud examination is designed for students who hope to analyze and investigate financial information. In addition to the business core coursework that includes courses in financial and managerial accounting, business law, finance, marketing, business systems analysis and design, human resources, and strategic management, students will also take specialized forensic accounting courses. Forensic accounting courses cover topics including auditing, detection and prevention of fraudulent financial statements, interview techniques and legal aspects of fraud, and investigating with the computer. Southern New Hampshire is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and its business programs are accredited through the ACBSP.
- Northeastern University, Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting Management: Designed to give students a comprehensive overview of both the finance and accounting fields, the online bachelor’s in finance and accounting management from Boston-based private, not-for-profit Northeastern requires 163 quarter-hours of coursework for degree completion. In addition to the general core curriculum, students will complete core business courses in financial accounting, managerial accounting, financial reporting and analysis, business law, financial management, strategic cost analysis, investment principles, and credit analysis and working capital management. Students will also complete advanced coursework in international business and management, business strategy, taxation, accounting information systems, financial strategy, investment management, and international finance. Northeastern University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and its business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB.)
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