Career Information for a Degree in Managerial Accounting

Managerial accounting degree programs teach students how to make organizational decisions. They cover auditing along with advanced accounting principles and theories. Continue reading for an overview of relevant majors as well as the employment and salary statistics related to some career options for graduates.

To pursue a degree in managerial accounting, one must first complete a bachelor's degree in a field related to accounting, preferably with courses related to managerial accounting or managerial finance. This degree can lead to a career as a budget analyst, financial manager, accountant, or auditor.

Essential Information

Bachelor's degree programs in managerial accounting prepare students for careers in the administration and analysis of financial information. Degree programs may cover cost and property accounting as well as organizational taxation. A 4-year undergraduate degree in accounting, finance and related areas is the minimum requirement for the following positions, but a master's degree is recommended for the best job prospects. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) must be licensed.

Career Titles Budget Analysts Financial Managers Accountants & Auditors
Education Requirements A bachelor's or master's degree in accounting, economics, finance, statistics, business or public administration A bachelor's or master's degree in accounting, economics, finance or business administration A bachelor's or master's degree in accounting with managerial accounting and managerial finance coursework
Projected Job Growth (2014 - 2024)* 3% 7% 11%
Median Annual Salary (May, 2015)* $71,590 $117,990 $67,190

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Individuals who have earned degrees in accounting, business administration, economics and similar disciplines could pursue several careers. They might qualify for positions such as budget analysts, financial managers or certified public accountants.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts review businesses' and organizations' expenditures and projections to increase profits. This can include making adjustments to budgets and recommending courses of action to increase efficiency and minimize losses. They also help organizations develop strategic financial policies and plans. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected employment opportunities in this field to increase 3% during the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). In 2015, there were 56,300 budget analysts in the nation, and they earned a median annual salary of $71,590.

Financial Manager

Financial managers oversee companies' financial reports, which may include cash flow, investments and profits. They may also be called treasurers, credit managers or controllers, depending on the focus of their job tasks. The BLS projected a 7% growth in job opportunities for financial managers in the years 2014-2024. In 2015, there were 531,120 financial managers in the nation who earned a median annual salary of $117,990.

Certified Public Accountant

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) conduct a variety of accounting and auditing duties for clients, companies and the government. Some assemble fiscal data for internal business management needs, while others prepare tax returns or serve as financial consultants. To become a CPA, an individual must pass a licensure exam. According to the BLS, most states require that CPAs have bachelor's degrees and about 30 hours of additional college education, which may be fulfilled through completion of a master's degree program. Employment of accountants and auditors is expected to increase 11% for the years 2014-2024, according to the BLS. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $67,190 in 2015.

Managerial Accounting Degree Overview

Managerial accounting degree program curricula may cover accounting principles, managerial finance and accounting, information systems, organizational behavior and business foundations. They may also include internships.

While a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for obtaining employment, some employers prefer to hire applicants with master's degrees in accounting. These programs may qualify graduates for upper-level positions and typically prepare students for professional certification. Curricula tend to include courses such as advanced accounting, auditing, financial statement analysis, accounting theory and taxation.

Budget analysts, financial managers, accountants and auditors all start their careers with a bachelor's degree related to accounting and often move on to a master's degree that can allow these finance specialists to sit for professional certification. Responsibilities for these careers may include reviewing budgets, overseeing financial reports, analyzing company finances, cash and investments, and ensuring compliance with regulations.


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