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Bachelor of Arts (BA): Accounting Degree Overview

Explore the curriculum and requirements of a bachelor's degree program in accounting. Discover the employment and continuing education options for graduates to see if this field is a good fit for you.

Essential Information

Students who enroll in a B.A. in 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). Many programs are structured to draw from a broad liberal arts education while also focusing on career-specific business and accounting courses.

Undergraduate accounting options are also 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.

Course Topics

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
  • Finite mathematics
  • Macroeconomics

Popular Career Options

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. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of accountants and auditors should grow 16% between 2010 and 2020. The median annual salary of accountants and auditors was $63,550 in May 2012, with the highest paid accountants earning $111,510 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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