Associate Vs. Bachelor Degree in Accounting
The differences between an associate degree and a bachelor's degree in accounting include program duration, the rigorousness of coursework and career opportunities available to graduates. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between these two accounting program options.
Differences Between Accounting Associate and Bachelor's Degree Programs
While accounting associate and bachelor's degree programs include some of the same coursework, the latter program option takes twice as many credit hours to complete. However, students who earn bachelor's degrees are prepared for more lucrative employment opportunities. Additional differences between these programs are detailed below.
Associate Degree in Accounting: An Overview
Earning an associate degree in accounting takes two years of full-time study, and students spend their time in courses covering management, organization, marketing, computer applications, writing, public speaking and science. The accounting portion of the program teaches students about financial accounting, managerial accounting and cost accounting. To work in the accounting field, students must know how to use various computer applications and software programs, including Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks.
After graduating with an associate degree in accounting, graduates can get jobs as public accounting assistants at corporations, nonprofits and government agencies. Graduates are also able to begin careers as bookkeepers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earned a median salary of $35,170 in 2012. Employment opportunities in this field were expected to increase 11% over the 2012-2022 decade.
Bachelor's Degree in Accounting: An Overview
A bachelor's degree program in accounting includes at least 120 credits and takes students four years to complete. Students in this program take 60 credits or more of business and accounting-related coursework and 60 credits of general education classes and electives. Because Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure often requires 150 credits of completed coursework, some bachelor's programs include 30 or more additional credits. Core business and accounting courses address such topics as business law, financial accounting, managerial accounting, marketing, finance, management and fraud examination.
After earning a bachelor's degree in accounting, students can seek entry-level employment with accounting departments in corporations or government agencies. Opportunities are also available to become a CPA, Certified Management Accountant or Certified Internal Auditor. These three credentials require the successful completion of examinations after meeting eligibility requirements. For example, prospective CPAs must complete an additional 30 hours of coursework beyond a bachelor's degree program before sitting for the four-part Uniform CPA Examination.
The BLS reported that accountants and auditors could see a 13% employment increase between 2012 and 2022. In 2012, these professionals earned a median salary of $63,550.
Related to Associate Vs. Bachelor Degree in Accounting
- Recently Updated
Vertical analysis accounting courses can be found within associate and bachelor's degree programs in accounting and business...
Learn about the institutions that grant doctoral degrees for accounting. Find out about the business schools, rankings,...
Graduate students seeking a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) typically find careers in academia after graduation. The number of...
Find out which top schools offer programs in managerial accounting, through which students learn how businesses make decisions...
- Professional Tax Preparer: Educational Requirements
- Top Degrees in Business Finance and Accounting - Las Vegas, NV
- Top School for an MBA in Accounting - Kansas City, MO
- Career Info for a Multimedia & Digital Communications Degree
- Saving Young Lives: Study.com Speaks with the Founder of Homeboy Industries
- How Do I Earn Credit Through Study.com?
- Scholar-Athlete Jacob Jefferies Talks to Study.com
- Construction Accounting Careers with Education Requirements
- List of Free Computerized Accounting Courses and Training Programs
- Financial Consultant: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Clinical Trial Investigator: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Berkeley's Roll 'n Shoot Organizer Berton Mahardja Talks to Study.com