There are many options available to earn your accounting degree online.
No matter how brilliant an idea a person has for a business, it will need a great accountant to ensure its success. From profit and loss statements to creating projections for future growth, accounting skills are necessary at every step in the life of a commercial enterprise.
There are many duties an accountant can take on. You might choose tax accounting or corporate accounting that involves preparing materials for investors. Corporate accountants also perform audits, work on strategies for growth and development and manages the investment or other assets of the firm.
In order to become an accountant you will need a degree. You will need to gain experience in the academic world so that you will enter your first job well-prepared for the realities of day-to-day business. There are many options available to earn your accounting degree online. Since, as an accountant almost 90 percent of your working life will take place on a computer screen, an online accounting degree program is perfect for most people.
Online Associate of Arts
An associate’s degree is a perfect way to get started as an accountant. Students can generally complete an AA degree in two years. If it takes a bit longer, you can likely start working in an entry-level role in an accounting department as you learn and enhance your skills. If you are planning on pursuing a bachelor’s later on, getting started in this way will enhance your later studies.
When you seek out an online associate’s degree for accounting, look into bachelor’s programs as well. Some will award you the associate’s degree. At that point you can assess whether you want or need to go on for further studies. You might be in a great job and find that you are learning a lot there, so you could decide to take a breather from school. However, you will always have the option to use your credits toward completing a bachelor’s degree when you choose.
When you research online programs, make sure that the one you choose offers the associates option, as not all educational institutions do. Even if you don’t anticipate stopping at the AA level, having that option can serve as a good fallback measure. After all, we can never quite predict what the future will hold. If you can be assured a degree at the associates level, you will have a viable option you can exercise if you so desire.
Online Bachelor of Science
A bachelor’s degree is almost a requirement for any job these days. In the past, students had to attend a brick-and-mortar institution full time for approximately four years to attain this degree. Now, you can study at your own pace through an online degree program. In fact, studying accounting online makes a lot of sense, since your job will likely be comprised of many hours in front of a computer studying spreadsheets.
When you study accounting online, you can likely start working for an accounting firm or for a corporation in their accounting department. This way, you can expand on your academic studies in a real-world environment. Taking this route may prolong your time in school, but you will arise with both experience and academic credentials.
Online Master of Science in Accounting
Once you start considering a masters-level education in accounting, you likely have already started a career after earning your Bachelor of Science degree. If you are working in a firm with lots of great people, yet you desire a program in a school two states away, you may be torn and not want to leave your job. Rest assured there is a good chance the school will offer an online option.
The online Master’s Degree in Accounting is the perfect option for a working professional. Your working experience will inform your school work, and vice versa. Plus, you will likely be able to work on projects with other top professionals from other sectors of the accounting world. There is no telling how much you can learn when you are exposed to people from all over the corporate universe.
Ten Online Accounting Degree Programs
Online degree programs are available in a variety of schools. Make sure the program you choose is accredited however. Here are some examples of online accounting degree programs available from accredited schools.
- Phoenix University. Phoenix is one of the older online institutions of higher education. They even have branched out to include in-class education in select cities, if you so desire. Their accounting program is diverse and offers a certificate option that you can add to your resume when you pursue employers prior to graduation.
- Regent University. Regent’s business program will provide a bigger picture where you will be able to concentrate on accounting. Your fellow students may be concentrated on other areas, such as economics, management, human resources or marketing. The program specifically prepares students to take the CPA exam in Virginia. If you live in another state, or wish to move from Virginia, discuss this with your advisor to make the best accommodations for you and your career.
- Post University. In 2013, Post was named as having the best online Bachelor of Science by U.S. News and World Report. They strive to focus on the students, and average only 13 students per class. This will allow you ample access to your instructors. Plus, you may find it easier to interact with your fellow students.
- Saint Leo University. Saint Leo has been offering online education since the 1990’s, the dawn of online education. Their program will explore several aspects of accounting, including: cost accounting, auditing, individual taxes and even business law.
- Argosy University. Argosy offers a Bachelor of Science in business administration that includes a concentration in accounting. With the fundamentals of accounting under your belt, you will be prepared to weather the stormy seas of the business world.
- Purdue University Global. Purdue University Global offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and students can elect one of four emphasis areas: forensic accountancy, managerial accountancy, public accountancy or tax accountancy. Their program will also introduce students to many general areas of business, including business law and marketing.
- Western Governors University. This non-profit online institution was formed by 19 U.S. governors. Its fee structure is unique in that it charges a flat per-term rate. In 2011, WGU won the 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning.
- Regis University. Regis is one of the top schools in the West, and ranks in the top 25 percent for student services and technology. Their accounting program is top notch, but it is not easy to get into. Their students must have a minimum of three years on the job experience prior to admission. Once you’ve completed their program, you will be well-prepared to take the Certified Public Accountants exam.
- Strayer University. Strayer structures its courses so that a student can complete a Bachelor of Science degree in 3.3 years of full-time work. A part-time student can complete the program in five years. Most students graduate within six years. Students can study a broad range of accountancy topics, such as: federal tax law, cost accounting and auditing.
- Baker College. Baker is one of the better values in online education, a feature that many accounting students will find appealing. Baker prepares student for Michigan’s Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. As such, the school is a great option for those living in Michigan, or who seek to move there.
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