Similar to other business degrees, a master's degree in accounting can be applied to many upper level careers in the fields of finance or accounting. Here we examine some career options that may require or prefer applicants holding a master's degree in accounting.
Career Options for Master of Accounting Degrees
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Accountants and Auditors||$68,150||11%|
|Personal Financial Advisors||$66,580||30%|
|Tax Examiners and Collectors and Revenue Agents||$52,060||-6% (Decline)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Financial analysts help people and businesses make the best investment decisions for their specific needs. They must study various kinds of financial records and business trends in order to explain different investment options to their clients. They may provide information to their clients about particular stocks or bonds in detailed reports, and give recommendations for the best course of action. For businesses, financial analysts may be asked to evaluate the organization's management team, determine the organization's value and check the organization's financial records. They often need to have a master's degree for advanced positions in the field.
Accountants and Auditors
Accountants and auditors, similar to financial analysts, look at financial records, but instead check these records for accuracy and compliance with tax regulations. These professionals examine account books and other financial statements to help organization's make sure they are operating efficiently and complying with current financial laws. Accountants and auditors may also organize financial records, prepare tax returns and make recommendations concerning finances to management. Employers may prefer to hire accountants and auditors with a master's degree and/or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification.
Personal Financial Advisors
Personal financial advisors must understand a wide range of financial topics as they help advise individuals in reaching their personal financial goals. These advisors perform research and educate their clients on different tax, mortgage, insurance, retirement and other investment options. Personal financial advisors also monitor their client's accounts and make recommendations as needed. A master's degree and certification is usually needed for advancement in the field.
Tax Examiners and Collectors and Revenue Agents
Tax examiners and collectors and revenue agents perform similar duties as those of accountants and auditors, except these professionals work at different levels of government to ensure the proper amount of taxes are collected each year. They keep detailed records as they examine tax returns and financial information for accuracy, completeness and compliance with the law. They will inform any taxpayer about necessary refunds or the need for additional payment. These professionals need at least a bachelor's degree, but can typically advance in the field with a master's degree or CPA certification.
These examiners work for banks and financial institutions to ensure that they comply with current laws. They do this by reviewing balance sheets and accounts, as well as monitoring the performance of managers. Financial examiners prepare detailed reports of their findings, and may help update procedures and policies as new laws and regulations are made. These professionals may also be asked to help train other examiners, and usually specialize in risk scoping or consumer compliance. Financial examiners can also advance in their field with a master's degree or CPA certification.
To recap, a master's degree in accounting can help people advance in several different business careers, such as financial examiners or personal financial advisors, or may be required or preferred in some cases, like accountants and auditors. Most of these business careers are expected to have positive job growth in the future and provide salaries of over $50,000 annually.