bookkeeper
Bachelors In

Accounting Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.
on January 25, 2021

Why We Love It

  • $75,280
    Potential Avg. Salary*
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook

* Salary & growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm for 13-2011 Accountants and auditors 11/2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

With a bachelor of science in accounting, you’ll be qualified to take the certified public accountant (CPA) exam. As a CPA, you can help individuals file their taxes, or you can work as an accountant for an employer. Given the broad breadth of the financial courses you’ll be required to take for this degree, you’ll also have the background needed for a career in the business and financial industries.

What is a Degree in Accounting?

A bachelor of science in accounting is a flexible degree that enables you not only to work as an accountant, but also provides the education needed to work in a number of business and financial careers. With an accounting degree, you can take the certified public accountant (CPA) exam to qualify to work as an independent accountant, or you can earn a job as an accountant for one of the big four accounting firms: Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG.

After earning experience in an accounting or finance role, you may be able to climb the ladder at work to one day work as an auditor, business intelligence analyst, or even chief financial officer (CFO). Accountants are required to have an adept ability to analyze data, observe and predict financial trends, and recognize when things are abnormal or out of compliance, making them a natural fit for strategic leadership positions later in their careers.

Recommended Schools

What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Accounting?

  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Applied Business Statistics
  • Business Finance
  • Individual Income Tax
  • Analysis of Financial Statements
  • International Accounting
  • Auditing

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Accounting?

Businesses of all types require accountants to manage finances and records, and ensure adherence to tax regulations. Additionally, as business turn to data-driven insights for making business decisions, the future for accountants and other mathematicians looks promising. The thorough education you’ll receive in mathematics, finances, and business law will enable you to qualify for many different careers in the business and finance industries.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Accounting will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.

Online Accounting Degree

Completely online accounting degree programs are available at many universities and are popular for full-time students and working adults. Earning a bachelor degree in accounting requires completing 120 – 150 credit hours. Master’s degree programs require completing 35 – 40 credit hours which takes around 1 – 2 years on average.


What Can You Do With an Accounting Degree?

What does an accounting student learn?

Accounting students study courses related to the financial aspects of companies, organizations and other entities. They also study the different models used for accounting and various accounting systems. Additionally, studying accounting requires knowledge about related laws and regulations. The following courses are commonly taught as part of accounting degree programs:

  1. Accounting systems: an accounting system is a set of tools, records and procedures to keep the records for a company or institute. Currently, almost all organizations use computerized accounting systems instead of manual systems.
  2. Fundamentals of financial accounting: this focuses on the accounting related to profit, loss and transactions.
  3. Fundamentals of managerial accounting: managerial accounting is more related to keeping the in-house records of the institute including expenses, payroll and controlling the performance in the organization.
  4. Intermediate financial accounting and reporting
  5. Advanced financial accounting and reporting
  6. Cost/managerial accounting
  7. Auditing, attestation and assurance: this department is one of the most important accounting departments. Organizations perform periodical internal and external auditing to ensure the accuracy of the financial data.
  8. Income tax for individuals and corporations: taxes are the main financial source for countries.
  9. Financial statement analysis: financial statement shows the balance sheet for the year. Analysis of the financial statement is essential for the evaluation of companies which determines the stock prices.
  10. Accounting theory and research: this course focus on the principles for the development of accounting theories.

Now I have the accounting degree…where can I work after graduating?

Money is the fuel essential for running of all organizations and institutes. Accordingly, accounting is part of almost all of the modern organizations. Accordingly, there is high demand for accountants around the world. Talented accountants can gain much money by working as financial analysts, auditing for large companies or trading in stock markets. If you have a degree in accounting, the following list shows some of the options you should consider for your future career:

  1. Chartered and certified accountant
  2. Chartered management accountant
  3. Chartered public finance accountant
  4. Company secretary
  5. External auditing: the role of external editors is to perform external trustworthy check of a company balances, accounts, statements and reports providing more credibility to the company or exposing mistakes or falsified data.
  6. Forensic accountant: investigating financial crimes by tracking transactions and evaluating doubts. Forensic accountants can detect forgery and money laundering.
  7. Stockbroker: this is the highest risk highest benefit career of accounting but having solid knowledge and experience can significantly limit the risks and increase the benefit. There are several people who made billions from trading in stock markets.
  8. Actuary: analysis of financial risk for investors
  9. Arbitrators: they work to resolve legal disputes before going to courts
  10. Business development manager: they help companies develop their future work and investments.
  11. Data analyst
  12. Economists: they make predictions and analysis for economies and play an important role in making important financial decisions for large entities and countries.
  13. Other jobs available include mortgage and tax adviser, retail banker and purchasing manager.

Should I choose an accounting degree?

  1. If you have passion to work with large amount of numbers, pay close attention to details, well-organized and have time-management skills, then you are a good candidate to study accounting. The following are the skills that you develop by working as an accountant:
  2. Ability to manage deadlines and organizational skills: many of the accounting tasks are controlled by strict deadlines including tax declarations, yearly statements and auditing.
  3. Team working ability: accounting companies consist of teams that must work in harmony to ensure accuracy and credibility of data.
  4. Data analysis, presentation and problem solving skills.
  5. Computer and IT skills: all of the data processing and presentation is performed on sophisticated computer programs.
  6. Close attention to details: mistakes with few numbers may cause disasters to companies and organizations.

Recommended Schools


Best Jobs for Accounting Degrees

The advantage of a bachelor’s degree in accounting is its flexibility. While you can work as an accountant, you’ll also qualify for a number of other careers in the business and financial industries. Individuals with accounting degrees qualify for a number of careers that require mathematical analysis—from individual tax preparers to data analysts who research and report market trends.


How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Accounting degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

Create Your Free SmartPlan

There are many ways to make college affordable and accessible.

That’s why we created a helpful tool called SmartPlan.

It’s free, and helps you find potential ways to save and tons of information about each school you’re considering

Think of it as your “college blueprint”, to help you instantly craft a path to your degree:

  • Which Colleges Match Your Needs
  • Ways You Could Save Time & Money
  • Free Courses You Could Take for Credit
  • Valuable Data and Insights on Each College
  • Detailed Steps You Should Take!

See what’s possible for you and generate a free plan within just a few minutes

Create My SmartPlan

Get a Certification in Bookkeeping First

When you graduate with a bachelor of science in accounting, most employers will want you to have a CPA license as well some professional experience. By earning a certification in bookkeeping first, you can begin working as a bookkeeper and earning experience in the field, and the credits you earn may even transfer to your accounting program.


You Might also be Interested in

Many visitors who look for a degree in Accounting are also interested in the following degrees.

About the Author
Grant founded OnlineDegree.com with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

Start Towards Your Accounting Degree, Free.

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify schools you like, and potential ways to save on your degree or certification program with courses, offers, and much more!

Get Started