Two types of four-year degree programs exist for accounting majors: Bachelor of Accounting or Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. Within these programs, students learn to analyze financial information, audit information, maintain records and scrutinize budgets. Students also receive technical training in spreadsheets and databases. Graduates may find employment as corporate, government or public accountants. Certification requirements could apply to some positions. Applicants are generally required to have a high school diploma to be admitted into an undergraduate accounting program.
Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting
An accounting degree program's general education courses, such as speech, logic, macroeconomics and communication, provide students with a solid foundation in liberal arts. Core coursework delves into marketing, business law, financial management and statistics, while additional topics of instruction might introduce students to fraud investigations and accounting ethics. Sample courses that students may encounter include:
- Financial accounting
- Management principles
- Cost management
- Income taxation
- Accounting theory
- Accounting systems and controls
Popular Career Options
A bachelor's degree in accounting can prepare students for employment in non-profit organizations or government agencies, such as the FBI or IRS. Graduates may become self-employed accountants or work in an accounting firm or corporate finance department. Accounting graduates are qualified to work as:
- Public accountants
- Forensic accountants
- Tax examiners
- Internal auditors
- Government accountants
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected an 11% increase in employment of accountants and auditors from 2014 to 2024, which represents faster-than-average employment growth compared to all occupations. As of May 2015, these financial professionals earned a yearly median salary of $67,190, as reported by the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Students seeking further training in auditing and taxation may consider a Master of Accounting. A Master of Accounting program is an intensive program designed to enhance a students' knowledge of accounting information systems, financial reporting, cost accounting and tax reporting. Graduates may be prepared to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. According to the BLS, accountants working with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are required to be CPAs. In order to become a CPA, students must complete the 4-part CPA exam offered through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
A bachelor's degree program in accounting prepares students to work as public accountants, forensic accountants, or tax examiners. Graduates are ready to further their education or to take the CPA certification exam.