Students enrolled in accounting and information systems programs learn to design, implement and maintain computerized audit programs and documentation systems. A master's degree takes up to two years to complete and is for students who are interested in moving into information systems auditing, information systems consulting, or computer risk management services. Following graduation, degree holders typically need to gain Certified Public Account licensure and/or obtain professional certification, depending on their previous professional experience. To qualify for admission, students should hold a bachelor's degree; professional accounting experience may be helpful. Some programs may be available online.
Masters in Accounting Information Systems
The majority of courses included within a master's degree program in accounting and information systems cover advanced information technology, although advanced seminars in accounting principles are also prevalent. Many curricula also contain object-oriented design and accounting software engineering courses. Course topics generally include:
- Accounting information systems
- Accounting databases
- Auditing systems
- Corporate finance
- Advanced accounting thought
Popular Career Options
There are several career choices that require a knowledge of both accounting and information technology systems. Some of these include:
- Information systems auditor
- Information systems consultant
- Computer assurance consultant
- Information systems risk management consultant
- Risk services director
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
For accountants and auditors in general, job growth of 11% was expected from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Accountants and auditors earned a median salary of $67,190 as of May 2015, per the BLS. Those who worked in the technical consulting industry earned an average of $79,780 at that time.
Continuing Education Information
Information systems auditors can gain certification from the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). Designation is awarded to professionals who pass an examination and have at least five years of experience in the field. However, ISACA can waive two of the required years if professionals have an advanced degree, such as a Master of Accounting and Information Systems.
Students enrolled in a master's degree program in accounting and information systems learn about advanced elements of accounting, while also studying the foundations of technical information systems. The graduate degree opens up many high-paying career options that combine accounting and information technology.