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Online Accounting Degree Programs


Article Sources

Methodology

To be included in our rankings for the top colleges for online degrees in accounting by degree level all colleges had to meet the following 4 requirements:

  1. 1. Offer a degree or certificate program in that subject, either in an online or hybrid format
  2. Have at least 1% of students attending some form of distance education
  3. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16
  4. Have reported data for all 19 ranking variables for associate/bachelor's and 11 ranking variables for master’s (listed below)

We then ranked colleges and universities in the United States that fit our criteria, using 2016-17 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified. The final totals were:

  • 98 colleges for online associate degree in accounting
  • 103 colleges for online bachelor’s degree in accounting
  • 62 colleges for online master’s degree in accounting

Please note that the accuracy of data derived from IPEDS depends on colleges regularly reporting to IPEDS. Not all colleges are as regular as they should be in updating their information with IPEDS.

OnlineDegrees.com, therefore, has gone a step further to ensure the rankings you see are accurate and verified. We manually check each college website to provide you the top rankings you can rely on. Because of this double-check, the number of colleges may vary for each degree level

We then scored the final list of colleges by degree level on a 100-point scale using these specific data points:

Associate/Bachelor’s

    1. Associate’s/Bachelor’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
    2. Ratio of undergraduate students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
    3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
    4. Retention rate
    5. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
    6. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students
    7. Student-to-faculty ratio
    8. Variety of Programs, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered via distance education at any level
    9. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
    10. The availability of any tuition plans (4 variables considered)
    11. a. Payment b. Guaranteed c. Prepaid d. Other
    12. Services (2 variables considered)
    13. a. Academic/Career b. Placement for Completers
    14. Credit offerings (4 variables considered)
    15. a. Dual b. Life c. AP d. Military

Master’s

    1. Master’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
    2. Ratio of graduate students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
    3. Average in-state tuition for graduates
    4. Credit offerings (2 variables considered)
      1. a. Life
        b. Military
    5. Services (2 variables considered)
      1. a. Academic/Career
        b. Placement for Completers
    6. The availability of any tuition plans (3 variables considered)
      1. a. Payment
        b. Prepaid
        c. Other
    7. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media

NOTE: The accuracy of data derived from IPEDS depends on colleges regularly reporting to IPEDS. Not all colleges are as regular as they should be in updating this information with IPEDS.OnlineDegrees.com, therefore, has gone a step further to ensure the rankings you see are accurate and verified. We manually check each college website to provide you the top rankings you can rely on. Because of this double-check, the number of colleges may vary for each degree level.

Methodology Sources:

      • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources:

  • Accountants and Auditors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm, accessed August 2018
  • Accountants, 13-2011.01, National Center for O*NET Development, Auditors, 13-2011.02,https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2011.02, accessed August 2018
  • Accounting (AS), Southern New Hampshire University, https://www.snhu.edu/admission/academic-catalogs/coce-catalog#/programs/NyTO7EItl, accessed August 2018
  • Accounting Associate Degree, Penn Foster College,https://www.pennfoster.edu/programs-and-degrees/accounting-and-finance/accounting-associate-degree, accessed August 2018
  • Accounting Specialization: Doctor of Philosophy in Business Management,Capella University,https://www.capella.edu/online-degrees/phd-accounting/courses/, accessed August 2018
  • Accounting Undergraduate Certificate, Capella University, School of Business and Technology,https://www.capella.edu/online-degrees/certificate-undergraduate-accounting/, accessed August 2018
  • Accounting: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Walden University,https://www.waldenu.edu/doctoral/doctor-of-business-administration/curriculum/accounting, accessed August 2018
  • Associate Degree: Accounting, Ashworth College, https://www.ashworthcollege.edu/associate-degrees/accounting/, accessed August 2018
  • Associate of Science in Accounting, Sullivan University, https://sullivan.edu/college-of-accounting-and-finance/associate-of-science-in-accounting/, accessed August 2018
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting, University of Phoenix, https://www.phoenix.edu/programs/degree-programs/business-and-management/bachelors/bsacc.html, accessed August 2018
  • Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/bookkeeping-accounting-and-auditing-clerks.htm, accessed August 2018
  • BS in Accounting, Southern New Hampshire University, https://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/bs-in-accounting, accessed August 2018
  • Financial Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm
  • Financial Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm accessed August 2018
  • Management Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm
  • Master of Professional Accounting, Penn State World Campus, https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/penn-state-online-masters-in-professional-accounting-degree/overview, accessed August 2018
  • Online Master of Accountancy, The University of Scranton, https://elearning.scranton.edu/macc/master-of-accountancy, accessed August 2018
  • Online Masters of Accountancy, The University of Oklahoma, http://www.ou.edu/price/accounting/online-macc, accessed August 2018
  • Online Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting, Penn Foster College, https://www.pennfoster.edu/programs-and-degrees/accounting-and-finance/accounting-undergraduate-certificate, accessed September 2018
  • The Bean Counter Who Put Al Capone in the Slammer, Daily Beast, August 2017,https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-bean-counter-who-put-al-capone-in-the-slammer Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting, National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2017, Job Outlook: The Degrees and Majors Most in Demand http://www.naceweb.org/job-market/trends-and-predictions/job-outlook-the-degrees-and-majors-most-in-demand/, accessed August 2018
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Accountants are the financial minds responsible for maintaining the financial health of businesses around the globe. Healthy finances are the heart of any organization and in order to keep that heart beating, it's imperative to have educated workers with the financial acumen to help a company thrive.

Accounting and auditing occupations may be well suited for individuals who are organized and like working with data, applying problem-solving skills, leading projects and making decisions. As most of the coursework for accounting degrees is theoretical, accounting can lend itself well to online learning, a mode of education that is particularly suited for professionals, stay-at-home parents, or anyone who prefers the flexibility that comes with an online degree program.

Graduating from one of the many available online accounting degree programs can provide a point of entry into this growing field which is expected to grow at a pace that is faster than average compared to other occupations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants fall into four main categories:

Public accountants: These professionals perform a wide range of functions, from helping companies and individuals with taxes to auditing company records to advising companies on financial decisions. Many public accountants hold the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential.

Management accountants: Typically employed by corporations, these accountants focus on strategic planning, budgeting and analyzing, and disseminating company financial information.

Government accountants: These accountants work at all levels of government to help keep financial records for public agencies and ensure compliance with financial regulations. IRS agents also fall into this category.

Internal auditors: Employees of businesses and corporations, these accountants check an organization's financial records to look out for fraud and inefficiency. They also make sure bookkeeping is accurate and conforms to company policies and government regulations.

Interesting Fact: Frank J Wilson, who spearheaded the investigation that led to the conviction of the infamous Al Capone, was an accountant who worked for the Treasury Department's Bureau of Internal Revenue (now known as the Internal Revenue Service or IRS).

Choose a degree that can help you meet your career goals

While entry-level positions can be available with an associate degree in accounting, the BLS states that most accounting positions require at least a bachelor's degree, and many accountants choose to get additional training to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

A two-year associate degree in accounting could prepare students for entry-level jobs in a corporate accounting department in positions such as accounts payable, payroll or bookkeeping.

Some bookkeeping positions may require a minimal amount of post-secondary education.

Take a look at the education level most accountants have:

Accountants
Education Level Required & Percentage of Respondents
Some college
39%
Associate
14%
Bachelor's
42%
Source: 2018 Occupational Information Network (O*NET), U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

What can I expect to learn in an online certificate program?

An online certificate program introduces students to the basic concepts of accounting. This level of education may be well-suited for individuals who are looking to build their accounting skills and want to learn to assemble and evaluate business and financial records.

Typical duration: Up to one and half years of part-time study

General prerequisites: High school diploma or GED

Typical coursework: Students may learn topics describing accounting terminology, financial statements and costing methodologies. Coursework may include:

  • Fundamentals of accounting
  • Computer applications in accounting Managerial accounting principles
  • Financial accounting principles
  • Cost accounting

What can I do after earning a certificate?

A certificate in accounting may make you eligible for promotion if you are working in a small business or enterprise or entry-level positions such as:

  • Accounts receivables clerk
  • Accounts payable clerk
  • Payroll clerk
  • Financial clerk
  • Bookkeeping clerk
  • Auditing clerk

What can I expect to learn in an online associate accounting degree program?

An online associate accounting degree program is customarily designed to prepare students for the realities of working as an accountant in a variety of organizations.

Typical duration: Two years of full-time study

General prerequisites: High school diploma or GED

Typical coursework: Class curriculum at this level usually covers essential accounting principles that can equip students to track an organization's financial transactions as well as prepare and interpret financial documents. Also likely to be included in this program are core business topics, general education courses as well as subjects like taxation, economics, business law, mathematics, and financial management. Examples include:

  • Computerized accounting
  • Payroll accounting
  • Introduction to business law and ethics
  • Business statistics
  • Economics
  • Personal finance
  • Federal taxation

In addition to meeting the program credit requirements, you may also be required to pass an examination to complete your online accounting degree.

Possible electives: Auditing; fraud examination; taxation

What can I do after earning an online associate accounting degree?

An associate degree may open up entry-level positions in larger businesses and financial institutions than those accepting undergraduate certificates or diplomas in accounting. Some potential careers are:

  • Billing and postal clerk
  • Tax preparer
  • Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerk
  • Payroll and timekeeping clerk
  • Brokerage clerk
  • Statistical assistant
  • Budget analyst

What can I expect to learn in an online bachelor's degree in accounting program?

A bachelor's accounting degree program generally builds on what is taught at the associate level. It may focus on the fundamentals of working in the accounting field, giving students an understanding of auditing principles, how to manage a company's financial records, and how to make decisions based on a company's financial information.

Typical duration: Four years of full-time study

General prerequisites: High school diploma or GED

Typical coursework: You may find subjects like auditing, taxation, financial accounting, and the laws and ethical standards that accountants must adhere to. Courses may include:

  • Financial statement analysis/ business valuation
  • Intermediate accounting
  • Advanced accounting
  • Auditing principles
  • Advanced topics in accounting research
  • Finance for business
  • Statistics for decision making
  • Ethical and legal topics in business
  • Corporate taxation
  • Individual taxation

Possible concentrations: Students may be required to choose an area of accounting to focus on, such as public accounting, forensic accounting, or managerial accounting.

You may also have to complete an internship or a capstone project as a part of your online accounting degree program.

What can I do after earning a bachelor's degree?

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a bachelor's degree in accounting was the fourth most sought after degree by employers after engineering, business and computer sciences. A number of career options may be available in public and private organizations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Potential occupations are:

  • Accountant
  • Auditor
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial controller
  • Risk analyst
  • Treasurer
  • Pricing specialist
  • Assurance specialist

What can I expect to learn in an online master's degree program?

Online accounting master's degree programs are generally designed to give students a deep understanding of accounting theory and practice — something that may make degree holders more attractive candidates to potential employers.

You may find schools that offer online MBA programs with a specialization in accounting. These programs offer busy professionals another convenient option for advancing both their business and accounting skills while still maintaining their current career and gaining job experience.

Typical duration: Two years of full-time study

General prerequisites: Bachelor's degree

Typical coursework: The core curriculum of an online accounting program at this graduate level emphasizes accounting theories and principles, as well as fundamental accounting practices — such as conducting audits, creating and analyzing financial statements, detecting fraud, financial reporting, and using market data to make financial decisions for an organization. Students can learn about subjects such as cost accounting, economics, financial analysis and reporting, and business ethics. Examples of other course topics include:

  • Auditing theory and practice
  • Accounting information and decision systems
  • Professional responsibilities and ethics in accounting
  • Governmental and nonprofit accounting
  • Production/operations management
  • Financial markets and securities
  • Advanced auditing

You may also be required to complete a capstone project as a part of your online accounting master's degree program.

Possible electives: International accounting; occupational fraud and abuse; accounting communication

What can I do after earning a master's degree?

There are a number of potential career options for those who earn a master's degree in accounting online Including leadership positions in corporate and financial institutions. Some possible occupations are:

  • Auditor
  • Financial manager
  • Chief financial officer
  • Staff accountant
  • Financial consultant
  • Financial reporting manager
  • Credit analyst
  • Internal auditor
  • Risk analyst

What can I expect to learn in an online doctoral degree program?

For those who wish to gain even deeper expertise on the subject, master's degree holders may choose one of two doctoral programs in accounting:

  • A Ph.D. in accounting which can prepare students for academic careers as either college professors or researchers
  • A Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) with a specialization in accounting which is geared toward preparing students for leadership roles in organizations. Students in this program can expect to take courses that use accounting theory as the foundation for building practical skills needed in the business world.

Online doctoral degrees in accounting can prepare students to become leaders in the accounting field. Doctoral students learn about accounting theories, empirical research in the field, and the methodologies used to conduct academic studies.

Typical duration: Four to six years of full-time study

General prerequisites: Bachelor's degree, GMAT or GRE may be required depending on the program

Typical coursework: Some examples of coursework at the doctorate level are:

  • Becoming an academic writer
  • Strategic management and practice
  • Foundations of research, scholarly literature, and theory in management
  • Accounting-based performance evaluation systems
  • Business strategy and innovation for competitive advantage

Students are also normally required to complete a dissertation that includes original research in accounting, or a comprehensive examination that tests on the concepts taught throughout the program.

What can I do after earning a doctoral degree?

Individuals with doctoral degrees in accounting can be eligible for senior management positions or positions in academia. Additionally, they may choose to use the business acumen they gain in the program to start their own companies. Potential job titles include:

  • Adjunct or part-time faculty
  • Business researcher
  • Chief financial officer
  • Dean or associate dean of business
  • Forensic accountant
  • Full-time faculty
  • Senior auditor
  • Senior accountant
  • Vice president of finance

We’ve used factors that students that are especially useful for students interested in online Accounting. To present you with the best opportunities, our methodology has taken into consideration factors like number of online programs offered in Accounting, tuition, ratio of students participating in distance education programs compared to the total enrollment, student-faculty ratio, services such as academic and placement, and more.

NOTE: The accuracy of data derived from IPEDS depends on colleges regularly reporting to IPEDS. Not all colleges are as regular as they should be in updating this information with IPEDS.OnlineDegrees.com, therefore, has gone a step further to ensure the rankings you see are accurate and verified. We manually check each college website to provide you the top rankings you can rely on. Because of this double-check, the number of colleges may vary for each degree level.

Associate
Bachelor's
Master's
1
Peirce College
Philadelphia, PA
Average in-state tuition
$14,400
No. of online programs
17
% of students in distance education
88%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,526
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
21%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
2
Eagle Gate College-Murray
Murray, UT
Average in-state tuition
$14,222
No. of online programs
12
% of students in distance education
87%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,614
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
65%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL
Average in-state tuition
$8,328
No. of online programs
31
% of students in distance education
55%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,893
Admissions Rate
92%
Graduation Rate
53%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Brenau University
Gainesville, GA
Average in-state tuition
$28,110
No. of online programs
36
% of students in distance education
86%
Avg. amount of Aid
$11,558
Admissions Rate
66%
Graduation Rate
49%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
University of Mary
Bismarck, ND
Average in-state tuition
$16,470
No. of online programs
77
% of students in distance education
66%
Avg. amount of Aid
$9,049
Admissions Rate
76%
Graduation Rate
54%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
University of Maine at Augusta
Augusta, ME
Average in-state tuition
$6,840
No. of online programs
29
% of students in distance education
73%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,028
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
17%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus
Portales, NM
Average in-state tuition
$3,661
No. of online programs
22
% of students in distance education
70%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,019
Admissions Rate
60%
Graduation Rate
33%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Brescia University
Owensboro, KY
Average in-state tuition
$20,950
No. of online programs
12
% of students in distance education
44%
Avg. amount of Aid
$11,165
Admissions Rate
42%
Graduation Rate
39%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Bay Path University
Longmeadow, MA
Average in-state tuition
$33,557
No. of online programs
28
% of students in distance education
56%
Avg. amount of Aid
$9,931
Admissions Rate
63%
Graduation Rate
57%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Davenport University
Grand Rapids, MI
Average in-state tuition
$16,728
No. of online programs
56
% of students in distance education
71%
Avg. amount of Aid
$14,460
Admissions Rate
82%
Graduation Rate
44%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
1
Liberty University
Lynchburg, VA
Average in-state tuition
$15,734
No. of online programs
127
% of students in distance education
90%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,937
Admissions Rate
30%
Graduation Rate
47%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
Post University
Waterbury, CT
Average in-state tuition
$15,258
No. of online programs
37
% of students in distance education
93%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,440
Admissions Rate
63%
Graduation Rate
25%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Kaplan University-Davenport Campus
Davenport, IA
Average in-state tuition
$13,356
No. of online programs
114
% of students in distance education
100%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,772
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
39%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Shorter University
Rome, GA
Average in-state tuition
$21,300
No. of online programs
12
% of students in distance education
38%
Avg. amount of Aid
$13,789
Admissions Rate
53%
Graduation Rate
40%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Southern Utah University
Cedar City, UT
Average in-state tuition
$5,918
No. of online programs
14
% of students in distance education
53%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,828
Admissions Rate
76%
Graduation Rate
47%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Culver-Stockton College
Canton, MO
Average in-state tuition
$25,615
No. of online programs
4
% of students in distance education
24%
Avg. amount of Aid
$16,873
Admissions Rate
55%
Graduation Rate
48%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Saint Leo University
Saint Leo, FL
Average in-state tuition
$21,600
No. of online programs
62
% of students in distance education
74%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,500
Admissions Rate
58%
Graduation Rate
48%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Standish, ME
Average in-state tuition
$34,610
No. of online programs
23
% of students in distance education
54%
Avg. amount of Aid
$19,342
Admissions Rate
80%
Graduation Rate
59%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Bellevue University
Bellevue, NE
Average in-state tuition
$7,152
No. of online programs
70
% of students in distance education
88%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,557
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
17%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
10
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, FL
Average in-state tuition
$2,522
No. of online programs
18
% of students in distance education
44%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,781
Admissions Rate
60%
Graduation Rate
51%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
1
Craven Community College
New Bern, NC
Average in-state tuition
$1,824
No. of online programs
21
% of students in distance education
72%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,510
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
2
Western Nebraska Community College
Scottsbluff, NE
Average in-state tuition
$2,340
No. of online programs
N/A
% of students in distance education
31%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,146
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
3
Haywood Community College
Clyde, NC
Average in-state tuition
$2,432
No. of online programs
8
% of students in distance education
66%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,219
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
Salisbury, NC
Average in-state tuition
$2,432
No. of online programs
19
% of students in distance education
43%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,516
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Lenoir Community College
Kinston, NC
Average in-state tuition
$2,432
No. of online programs
18
% of students in distance education
70%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,023
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Nicolet Area Technical College
Rhinelander, WI
Average in-state tuition
$4,523
No. of online programs
2
% of students in distance education
46%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,232
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Western Wyoming Community College
Rock Springs, WY
Average in-state tuition
$2,256
No. of online programs
11
% of students in distance education
44%
Avg. amount of Aid
$2,532
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Wayne Community College
Goldsboro, NC
Average in-state tuition
$2,432
No. of online programs
10
% of students in distance education
58%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,359
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Stanly Community College
Albemarle, NC
Average in-state tuition
$2,432
No. of online programs
21
% of students in distance education
81%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,909
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Fayetteville Technical Community College
Fayetteville, NC
Average in-state tuition
$2,432
No. of online programs
28
% of students in distance education
69%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,442
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
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Accreditation

Accreditation is an important criterion to look for while choosing from one of the many online accounting degree programs. This is because the accreditation status of a particular institute or degree program serves to demonstrate that the education you are receiving is relevant and meets the standards required by employers in the industry. It can also be important while looking for financial aid, acquiring professional certifications and licenses or while transferring credits from one degree course to another. A major accrediting body for online accounting degree programs is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) that provides internationally recognized, specialized accreditation for both business and accounting programs.

There are various different professional certifications that accountants can acquire. Many public accountants hold the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential. In fact, all accountants who file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are legally required to be CPAs. The CPA examination is conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). A few more professional certifications and their issuing bodies are:

Licensing requirements vary by state and job roles. Nearly all states require CPA candidates to complete 150 semester hours of college coursework to be licensed - the amount typically needed for a master's degree. CPAs are licensed by their state's Board of Accountancy. Financial analysts are normally licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Job prospects for accountants are expected to rise due to the growing number of businesses and the increasingly complex financial regulations and accounting standards. Have a look at the table below outlining the occupations related to this field along with job openings, average salary, total employment and job outlook for 2016 to 2026.

Career
Employment
(2017)
Average Salary
(2017)
Projected Job Growth
(2016 - 26)
Financial Analysts306,200$100,99010.8%
Accountants and Auditors1,259,930$78,82010%
Credit Analysts74,820$82,3008.4%
Budget Analysts52,810$79,8306.5%
Source: 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Employment Statistics

Accountants and Auditors

Industries with highest concentration of employment
  • Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services
  • Other Investment Pools and Funds
  • Oil and Gas Extraction
  • Insurance and Employee Benefit Funds
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises
States with highest employment level
  • California
  • Texas
  • New York
  • Florida
  • Pennsylvania
Top-paying metropolitan areas
  • San Rafael, CA Metropolitan Division
  • New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  • Fairbanks, AK
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

Industries with highest concentration of employment
  • Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services
  • Office Administrative Services
  • Land Subdivision
  • Insurance and Employee Benefit Funds
  • Lessors of Nonfinancial Intangible Assets (except Copyrighted Works)
States with highest employment level
  • California
  • Texas
  • New York
  • Florida
  • Ohio
Top-paying metropolitan areas
  • San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Division
  • San Rafael, CA Metropolitan Division
  • Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Division
  • Napa, CA
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division

Tax Examiners and Collectors, Revenue Agents

Industries with highest concentration of employment
  • Federal Executive Branch
  • State Government, excluding schools and hospitals
  • Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals
States with highest employment level
  • California
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Pennsylvania
Top-paying metropolitan areas
  • Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, MA NECTA Division
  • Waterbury, CT
  • New Haven, CT
  • Anchorage, AK
  • San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Division

Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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