What You Should Know About This Degree
Certificate programs are a convenient way to develop or strengthen your accounting skills, but they may not be the appropriate path for everyone.
Typically, certificate programs are designed for individuals who already have a degree and experience in accounting or a related field. Graduate-level certificate programs build upon existing skills to help students transition to mid-level positions.
Undergraduate-level certificate programs are appropriate for students without a background in accounting, but depending on your career goals, you may also want to research bachelor’s degrees in accounting.
You may be able to apply coursework from your certificate to a degree at a future point. If you are interested in doing this, it’s important that you earn your certificate from a regionally accredited school. Generally, regionally accredited institutions only accept credits from other regionally accredited institutions.
Professional certifications and/or licenses, like the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), are typically required to work in accounting. To become certified or licensed, you must complete a certain number of accounting coursework credit hours, have professional experience, and pass an exam. Factor the additional time and cost of certification/licensure when deciding if accounting is the right career for you.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Accounting Certificate programs:
- How are online courses delivered? Online courses are delivered asynchronously or synchronously. In asynchronous courses, students access lessons and assignments on their own schedules and work independently. In synchronous programs, students attend classes online at set times. Find out which delivery method programs use and choose the one that best suits your schedule and learning style.
- Do you need financial aid? While certificate programs are a flexible and fast way to gain valuable accounting skills, they may not be eligible for any kind of federal financial aid. If you will need this kind of financial support to pay for your tuition, you may want to consider a two or four-year degree which is eligible for federal student aid.
To enroll in a certificate program, there may be an admissions process, or you can simply register for courses and pay your tuition. Look at the program’s eligibility requirements to learn more about its entry process.
Also consider how you will pay for your program. Research scholarship opportunities and financial aid deadlines. If you are currently employed, check with your employer to see if tuition remission/reimbursement benefits are available.