What You Should Know About This Degree
Getting a CPA license is a primary career goal for many accountants, as it opens up a wider range of job options. CPA license requirements vary by state; when considering master’s in accounting programs, you should also review your state’s requirements and check with your program of interest to ensure that they fulfill those requirements. In order to maintain your CPA license, you must earn continuing education credits, which requires an additional commitment of time and money.
Other accounting-related jobs, like financial advisor, have their own set of licenses that need to be obtained for employment. The same principle applies; find out from your program of interest if their curriculum fulfills licensure requirements.
The coursework for all of the programs included on our list can be fully completed online. However, some programs have in-person requirements like residencies or internships. You may be able to fulfill some of these requirements at your current job, but you should verify with the program exactly what their in-person requirements are to verify that they will fit into your schedule and budget.
You should also consider whether a degree in accounting, or a related field like finance, is more suited to your ultimate career goals, as there are key differences between the fields.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Master’s in Accounting programs:
- Am I eligible for this degree? Some master’s in accounting programs require students to have an undergraduate degree in accounting, or at least some accounting-related coursework. Others seek candidates with professional experience in the field. Carefully review each program’s eligibility requirements as well as any opportunities they offer to complete prerequisite coursework you may need for enrollment.
- Does this program have the specialization I want? There are several areas of focus within accounting, such as forensic accounting, business valuation, and taxation. You may seek out a specialization to better prepare yourself for a certain accounting job. If this is the case, find out if the program you’re interested in has the specialization you want.
Researching application processes and deadlines is an important next step. You can typically find this information on the program’s website, or you can contact the school directly.
You should also learn about financing options, including scholarships, assistantships, and financial aid. If you are currently employed, check with your employer to see if tuition remission/reimbursement benefits are available.