Project accountants are occasionally referred to as cost accountants and combine the skills of the accountant and the project manager. There are a variety of degree programs that can fulfill the educational needs of students who are aspiring to be project accountants.
Top 10 Accounting Schools
The following is a list of 10 schools that offer accounting programs. Tuition is based upon the 2015-2016 school year:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition*|
|University of Texas - Austin||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| Undergraduate: $10,610 in-state
Graduate: $11,742 in-state
|University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign||Champaign, IL||4-year, Public||Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| Undergraduate: $15,094 in-state
Graduate: $15,068 in-state
|Brigham Young University - Provo||Provo, UT||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's|| Undergraduate; $5,620
|University of Notre Dame||Notre Dame, IN||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's|| Undergraduate: $53,391
|University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| Undergraduate: $55,584
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| Undergraduate: $56,225
|Indiana University - Bloomington||Bloomington, IN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| Undergraduate: $10,681, in-state
Graduate: $9,225, in-state
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's|| Undergraduate: $15,262, in-state
Graduate: $23,128, in-state
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| Undergraduate: $51,828
|University of Florida||Gainesville, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| Undergraduate: $6,381, in-state
Graduate: $10,770, in-state
School Selection Criteria
Usually assigned to manage the accounting needs of a specific long-term project, project accountants are responsible for the financial analysis, budgeting, asset management, financial reporting and performance evaluation of the project. To select the program that will best equip them for future careers, may want to keep these considerations in mind:
- Students should consider programs that include coursework on the current trends in information technology in accounting. Combined with economics, finance and accounting, this will better their chances at future employment.
- Programs that offer internship and networking opportunities will provide students an advantage in gaining employment before graduation.
- Students should consider schools that prepare them specifically for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation, as it's typically a condition of employment for project accountants.
- While a bachelor's degree is enough for employment as a project accountants, those wishing to advance into management positions should consider pursuing a master's or doctorate degree in business administration or accounting.
Bachelor's Degree in Accounting
A bachelor's degree in accounting provides its graduates the basic foundation of accounting and finance in a 4-year baccalaureate program. Programs like these heavily emphasize mathematics, economics and business administration.
Bachelor's Degree in Business
A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with an emphasis in either accounting or project management could fit the bill for a hopeful project accountant. These degree programs, also four years in length, require upperclassmen to choose elective courses to satisfy the requirement for their emphasis in study and qualifies graduates to sit for the CPA exam.
Master's Degree in Accounting
The Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree is a 2-year program designed for students who have an undergraduate degree in accounting, finance or a closely related field. Most schools that offer MAcc programs target students who expect to earn the CPA designation and enter the field of public accounting.
Master of Business Administration
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a 2-year programs that's available with both accounting and project management emphases. An accounting or finance degree is not required for entrance into an MBA program, though an MBA candidate who wishes to specialize will need numerous prerequisites in these areas without such an undergraduate degree.
There are a number of schools across the nation that offer business and accounting degrees. Tuition costs vary, and students also would do well to consider programs that offer valuable internship opportunities as well as a chance to work towards their CPA designation.