Students considering attending a college for bookkeeping should first evaluate the types of programs in bookkeeping that are available. Bookkeeping and basic accounting degrees are offered through both 2- and 4-year colleges.
10 Schools with Bookkeeping Programs
These ten colleges and universities in the United States offer relevant education for aspiring bookkeepers:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Herzing University||Madison, WI||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Associate's, Bachelor's||$13,090|
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Diploma||$2,200**|
|Pace University||New York, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Certificate||$1,299**|
|Everett Community College||Everett, WA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's|| $3,643 in-state,
|North Seattle College||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's|| $4,458 in-state,
|Pima Community College||Tucson, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's|| $1,974 in-state,
|Des Moines Area Community College||Ankeny, IA||2-year, Public||Diploma, Associate's|| $3,913 in-state,
|Central New Mexico Community College||Albuquerque, NM||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's|| $1,448 in-state,
|Colorado Mountain College||Glenwood Springs, CO||4-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's|| $1,446 in-district,
|Shoreline Community College||Shoreline, WA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's|| $3,730 in-state,
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School website (2016-2017)
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Accounting with Computers, General
- Financial Accounting
- Managerial Accounting
- Taxation, General
School Selection Criteria
Some considerations for choosing bookkeeping education include the following:
- When choosing between a certificate or degree program in bookkeeping, students should take into account the length of the program. Certificate programs usually last for one year or less, associate's degree programs typically take two years, and a bachelor's degree program usually takes four years.
- For students with time constraints, such as a full-time job, it can be helpful to find a program that includes night-and-weekend or online classes.
- Aspiring bookkeepers may want to find out if the program prepares students for the exam they must pass in order to earn the Certified Bookkeeper designation from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.
- Students who are choosing between certificate programs may want to check whether the credits they earn might be transferred to an associate's degree in the future. Similarly, students who are looking at associate's degree programs may try to find out if they can apply their credits to a bachelor's degree program.
Certificate and Diploma Programs
The most common training programs for aspiring bookkeepers are undergraduate certificate and diploma programs. Most of these programs take about a year to complete, although there are shorter programs that can be completed in less time. These programs provide education in the basic concepts of accounting and finance, as well as an introduction to industry-standard computer software, such as QuickBooks. An internship may also be included in the curriculum. Online and part-time study options are available at many schools.
Associate's Degree Programs
There are only a few schools in the country that provide associate's degree programs specifically in bookkeeping. However, many Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Associate of Science (AS) programs in accounting include much of the same coursework as bookkeeping certificate programs, plus additional general education courses, so they provide adequate education for a bookkeeping job. Graduates are also prepared for other entry-level finance-related positions.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
In most cases, bachelor's degree programs provide a higher level of education than is necessary for work as a bookkeeper, but there are a few schools that provide bachelor's degree programs in accounting that include relevant studies in the field. Because these programs last for four years instead of two years, they go beyond the associate-level curriculum with more advanced coursework in financial analysis and investment management.
There are many schools offering bookkeeping education in the form of certificates and undergraduate degrees. Often, programs are available in flexible online or part-time formats.