Bachelor of Arts (BA): Accounting Degree Overview

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

Essential Information

B.A. degrees in accounting educate students on how to effectively track a company's financial history, and make recommendations so it can remain in good fiscal shape while planning for future growth. Many of these programs are structured to draw from a broad liberal arts education while also focusing on career-specific business and accounting courses. However, the curriculum does not include enough credit hours to meet the requirements for CPA or CMA certification exams, so continuing education coursework is necessary.

  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Program Length: Four years

Bachelor of Arts in Accounting

Bachelor of Arts degree programs in accounting are typically four years in length and require coursework based in theory and practice. General education requirements are also typically included. Many core courses focus on accounting, management, marketing, statistics, business or economics topics. These classes may include:

  • Auditing
  • Business computer skills
  • Cost accounting
  • Statistics
  • Marketing
  • Macroeconomics

Popular Career Options

Accounting is a common language used on Wall Street, in banks, in corporate offices, and in the nonprofit sector. Possible career titles for those holding a bachelor's degree could include:

  • Financial analysts
  • Bankers
  • Tax adviser
  • Financial planner
  • Accountant

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 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.

Continuing Education Information

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. 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

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.

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