If you're thinking about getting your degree accounting degree online, you're probably wondering what your career outlook might be on the other side of your diploma.
The good news is that job prospects are solid for people who graduate with accredited online accounting degrees. With the recent explosion of online school options, including some from highly respected brick-and-mortar schools, online degrees have lost much of the stigma they had several years ago. Key: Make sure your degree is from a properly accredited school in order to make the most of your career opportunities.
What you need to know about accreditation
If you want to earn a degree that will be recognized by people in your industry, as well as other colleges (in case you want to transfer or go on to earn an advanced degree), it's important to ensure that your school is accredited by a regional accrediting institution.
It's important to note that online-only schools may say they are accredited, but it may not be a regional accreditation. A national accreditation often does not hold the same credibility. That means some employers may not view your degree as legitimate.
Regional accreditation shows that a school meets the educational standards set and enforced by a review board of university-level educators and administrators. Online schools are subject to the same accreditation requirements as brick-and-mortar schools.
Once you have your degree in-hand, the career marketplace awaits. So what can you expect?
Here are some fast facts:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a job in accounting is $68,150.
Accountants who get into management, or specialize in a niche area, may make far above the average.
Jobs in the accounting sector are expected to grow by 11% by 2024. The BLS ranks that as much faster than the average growth for all job fields.
Are you cut out for a job in accounting? Let's take a closer look at what's involved in this field.
What you'll study
Accountants are people who prepare financial records for businesses and individuals. They also examine financial records for accuracy and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time.
When majoring in accounting, you can expect to study basic accounting concepts, auditing, math, taxation, and economics. A good understanding of basic business concepts is also necessary. Accounting students also need to learn transferable skills that can be helpful in a number of industries, including applying creative solutions to complex problems, working in teams, and being extremely detail oriented.
Jobs for accountants
In addition to becoming an accountant (of which there are various types), people with accounting degrees may become:
tax managers, or
If you're really interested in taking your degree as far as possible, consider shooting for one of several high-paying accounting positions.
What they do: Parse out money trails, establish timelines related to finances, and find evidence of wrongdoing. Forensic accountants may be called upon to testify in court in cases of fraud, embezzlement, or other illegal activity.
Trish Sammer is Nitro's managing editor. Her work has appeared in Woman’s Day, Redbook, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Forbes. She has also written for various corporate clients, including the tech giant SAP, The Franklin Institute, and PSE&G. When Trish isn’t busy acting as a writing ninja for other people, you can find her … well, writing about other stuff, like divorce and blended family life. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, their combined brood, and the world’s laziest dog. Read more by Trish Sammer