An online associate in accounting program is ideal for students who enjoy developing financial budgets, solving problems, managing finances and performing and analyzing research. Topics covered in an associate program include auditing, accounting and review services, taxes, management services, income tax planning, restructuring business entities and business budgeting. Students who love math, organization, management and problem solving may be interested in an accounting degree.
Why an Associate Degree?
A career in accounting begins with either an associate or bachelor’s degree. Many students choose to earn an associate en route to a bachelor’s in accounting. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the majority of accounting positions today require at least a four-year degree, with many requiring a master’s. Additionally, all accounting certification exams, such as the Certified Public Accountant exam, require students to have both a bachelor’s degree and work experience before testing for certification.
Inside an Accounting Associate Degree Program
It typically takes two years of full-time online coursework to complete an associate degree in accounting. Students usually start out taking general courses, in areas like collegiate mathematics and composition, in order to fulfill core requirements. Programs then begin to include basic courses in accounting. Most accounting classes will cover things like financial reporting, auditing, taxes, and management accounting. Assignments and exams in accounting associate degree programs will prepare students to become experts at problem-solving and accounting math. They will also learn all the rules and regulations involved in an accounting career.
In an online associate program, class lectures are presented by way of video lectures, podcasts, PowerPoint presentations and online textbooks. Assignments, quizzes, class projects, tests and final exams are usually submitted to professors online. Online students still typically have mentors and are able to contact their professors directly with questions and concerns.
What’s Next for Accounting Associate Degree Holders?
An associate degree may open the door to entry-level jobs, but many students need to pursue a bachelor’s to secure more senior positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of jobs for accountants and auditors is projected to grow by 11% from 2014 to 2024. With an increase in corporate financial scandals and stricter laws and regulations in the financial sector, accounting positions are slated to remain in great demand.
Because those with bachelor’s and master’s in accounting often see better job prospects, all associate students should seriously consider advancing on to either or both. With a higher degree level, accountants are able to move up in the workplace much faster. Many online schools offer programs that allow students to obtain both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in as little as five years. For students interested in teaching accounting, a Ph.D. in the field is likely the best choice.