Regardless of the industry, or whether it is a private, public or government organization, accountants are an integral part of keeping it afloat. Some companies hire their own accountant, while others enter into a contract with an independent accountant or accounting firm. Regardless of the arrangement, accountants carry the important responsibility of ensuring that a business's bills are paid, their employees receive compensation for their work, the accounts receivables are accurate and the business is able to continue functioning each day.
Enrolling in an associate's degree program in accounting is the fastest way to begin your career. In this program, students take classes that teach taxation principles, basic accounting, payroll accounting, cost accounting and financial statement analysis.
Students wishing to pursue a bachelor's degree in accounting will take a wide range of courses, all with the purpose of preparing them either for a mid-level accounting job upon graduation, or the knowledge they will need to enroll into a master's degree program to advance their career. Classes that are offered include business communication, computer proficiency courses, business law, principles of accounting and economic courses.
Students who choose to enroll in a master's degree program to further their accounting career have two different options. Pursuing an MBA with a focus in accounting provides the student with a broad curriculum that prepares them for a job that is oriented around management. Courses that are offered emphasize how business and general management correspond with one another, as well as in-depth accounting applications and theories. Students may also choose to pursue a Master of Accounting. This path prepares a student for the CPA exam and CMA exam. Students are offered courses that deal with research, business valuation, consulting and more.
After graduate you will qualify for a wide range of careers. Those with an associate's degree will be prepared for entry level jobs as a bookkeeper or payroll clerk. A professional with a bachelor's degree will qualify for all entry-level accounting jobs and many mid-level jobs, such as that of a junior accountant. With a master's degree, a professional will qualify for management or administrative positions.
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