Bachelor of Arts (BA): Accounting Degree Overview

Students pursuing a B.A. in an accounting program should expect to work with numbers, statistics and computers. These programs can also help prepare students who would like to pursue further education in order to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) or Certified Management Accountants (CMAs).

Essential Information

Accounting provides a company with the information it needs to track its financial history, to stay in good fiscal shape, and to plan future growth. Accounting is a common language used on Wall Street, in banks, in corporate offices, and in the nonprofit sector. Undergraduate accounting options are available as Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Business Administration programs. Students must typically have earned a high school diploma or a GED to enroll. Many programs are structured to draw from a broad liberal arts education while also focusing on career-specific business and accounting courses.

• Program Levels in Accounting: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration

• Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent

• Other Requirements: Business and accounting courses

Program Coursework for Accounting Degrees

Bachelor of Arts degree programs in accounting usually require coursework based in theory and practice, focusing many courses around accounting, management, marketing, statistics, business or economics. These courses may include:

• Auditing

• Business computer skills

• Cost accounting

• Statistics

• Marketing

• Macroeconomics

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of accountants and auditors should grow 13% between 2012 and 2022. The mean annual salary of accountants and auditors was $73,670 in May 2014, with the highest paid accountants earning $115,950 or more per year. Possible career titles for those holding a bachelor's degree could include:

• Financial analysts

• Bankers

• Tax adviser

• Financial planner

• Accountant

Continuing Education

Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in accounting can go on to complete graduate accounting coursework through graduate certificate, master's degree and Ph.D. programs in accounting. Continuing education options can help students become qualified for professional certification examinations to become CMAs or CPAs, which could help them advance in the field and earn more money. Commonly, accounting students can transfer directly from undergraduate to graduate programs where a B.S.-M.S. program can be completed in five years or where graduate certificate curriculum may build towards a master's degree. Through concentration options or elective courses, graduate accounting students may gain specialization in the field in areas like taxation or auditing

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