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The Top Accounting Degrees In Ohio

From large universities to community colleges, associate degrees to master’s degrees, there is no shortage of accounting degree programs in Ohio. With all the choices, how do you know which programs are the best? And even more importantly, how do you know which program is best for you? We’ve compiled the top accounting degrees across Ohio to make it easier for you to choose.

This is the state of accounting in Ohio, including top accounting degrees in Ohio’s major metro areas: Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton.

What are the Top Accounting Schools In Ohio?

According to completion data from 2017, there are 75 institutions within Ohio that offer accounting degrees. Of those schools, 66 offer non-distance programs, while only 12 offer distance programs. Only two Ohio-based schools offer students the choice of both distance and non-distance programs in accounting—Franklin University and University of Toledo.
Why Choose Accounting in Ohio
Accounting for over 245,000 jobs, financial services is a dominant industry across the state of Ohio and the 6th largest financial services industry in the country. Only four states have more Fortune 500 and 1000 companies headquartered in them than Ohio. 
This makes Ohio a hotbed for finance and accounting jobs. Job growth for accounting careers continues to steadily grow in Ohio, experiencing a 12% growth spurt in the past 10 years and average monthly hires of 2,456 professionals.

The Job Economy For Accounting Degree Earners in Ohio

Ohio is a hotbed for finance and accounting jobs. Job growth for accounting careers continues to steadily grow in Ohio, experiencing a 12% growth spurt in the past 10 years and average monthly hires of 2,456 professionals. 
Among accounting professionals, there are five primary types of occupations that dominate the industry. Across the entire state of Ohio, budget analysts earn the highest median salary at $72,405, followed by financial examiners, credit analysts, accountants and auditors, and tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents. 

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From big name accounting firms to financial institutions and insurance companies, top organizations are hiring across the state of Ohio. These are the companies leading the hiring of accounting professionals, posting the largest number of job openings over the past year:

  • Robert Half International
  • Intuit
  • H&R Block
  • Anthem
  • Ernst & Young
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Deloitte
  • Huntington 
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Cardinal Health

Between steady growth, competitive median salaries, and prominent employers across Ohio, there’s no better time to start or advance your accounting career. But today’s job market is increasingly competitive, so to get ahead, you’ll need to stand out. Getting an accounting degree from a leading Ohio institution is a great place to start.

Accounting Degree Completions in Ohio
This distribution of accounting degrees completions in Ohio is an important metric for how to stay competitive in the field. The majority of degree completions indicates the average level of education for recent graduates, while higher levels of education may set you apart from other candidates. Here’s the breakdown of accounting degree completions in Ohio:

  • Associate’s Degree: 10.4% of completions
  • Bachelor’s Degree: 72.2% of completions
  • Master’s Degree: 13.8% of completions

Top 5 Accounting Programs in Ohio (By % of Degree Completions)

The number of accounting degrees completed at a university speaks to two important factors—program popularity and student success. These five programs are attracting and graduating the most students in the state of Ohio: 

  1. The Ohio State University – Main Campus (13.3% of completions)
  2. University of Cincinnati – Main Campus (7.8% of completions)
  3. Miami University – Oxford (6.9% of completions)
  4. Franklin University (6.1% of completions)
  5. Kent State University at Kent (4.2% of completions)

Out of these accounting programs, Franklin University and University of Cincinnati led year-over-year growth, with 3.6% growth in degree completions.


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Top Accounting Degrees in Columbus

By far, the standard degree for accounting in Columbus is a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. But for working professionals looking to move up, or those who need credit hours to sit for the CPA, a master’s degree in accounting is highly beneficial. A master’s degree will not only take your accounting skills to the next level, and allow you to focus on specialties like forensic accounting, it will also help you gain management and leadership skills required for senior-level positions.   
Why Accounting in Columbus
As Ohio’s capital, Columbus is ripe with opportunities for accounting professionals in every sector—from government and nonprofits to startups and major corporations. Accounting as a profession continues to grow in Columbus, with 19.9% job growth over the past ten years, beating the national average by 4.7%. Columbus also sees 547 new hires on average each month, topping the number of new hires across Ohio.
Companies with the most job postings in Columbus—like JPMorgan Chase, Huntington Bank, H&R Block, Cardinal Health, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)—are raising the bar for accounting professionals. As a result, professionals should look to advance their education to stay ahead of these trends.
Accounting Degree Completions in Columbus
As shown below, the high number of bachelor’s degrees indicates this level of education is the standard for Columbus accounting professionals, while a master’s degree can provide a credential that will set you apart.

  • Associate’s Degree: 3.8% of completions
  • Bachelor’s Degree: 81.5% of completions
  • Master’s Degree: 14.0% of completions

Top 3 Accounting Schools in Columbus (By % of Degree Completions)
In Columbus, eight total institutions offer accounting degrees. The top programs, as determined by percentage of degree completions, are:

  • The Ohio State University
  • Franklin University
  • Ohio Dominican University

Within Columbus, Franklin University and Ohio Dominican offer online accounting degrees. Franklin holds nearly 90% of the market share.

Top Accounting Schools in Cincinnati

Cincinnati’s two major universities are experiencing some growth when it comes to students earning accounting degrees at their institution. However, neither of these programs offer an online option, which can be limiting for working professionals. How should you go about evaluating your options for getting your accounting degree in Cincinnati? If you’re looking to advance in Cincinnati here’s what you need to know.
Why Accounting in Cincinnati
Cincinnati is a solid market for accounting professionals. Job growth is steady at 8.1% over the past 10 years and average monthly hires are competitive with other Ohio markets at 504. Both budget analysts and credit analysts top $70,000 per year in median salary in Cincinnati.
Top hiring companies in Cincinnati include Intuit, Anthem, H&R Block, Ernst & Young or General Electric—which post the most jobs of any employers in Cincinnati.
Accounting Degree Completions in Cincinnati
As identified below, Cincinnati has a high amount of bachelor degrees, meaning a master’s may be required to stand out in the field.

  • Associate’s Degree: 6.2% of completions
  • Bachelor’s Degree: 77.7% of completions
  • Master’s Degree: 15.6% of completions

Top 3 Accounting Schools in Cincinnati (By % of Degree Completions)
In Cincinnati, eight total institutions offer accounting degrees. The top programs, as determined by percentage of degree completions, are:

  • University of Cincinnati – Main Campus (3.6% growth YoY)
  • Miami University – Oxford (-9.7% growth YoY)
  • Xavier University (3.6% growth YoY)

If you’re a working professional who wants to earn an accounting degree, it may be hard to find the flexibility you need at Cincinnati universities. A reputable online accounting degree can be a great alternative to local programs.

The Top Accounting Schools in Dayton

Where’s the best place to pursue an accounting degree if you live in Dayton? Five of the eight institutions located in Dayton are experiencing declining completions, so it may seem difficult to find a growing program that will set you up for success. But local programs aren’t your only option for getting an accounting degree. If you’re an accounting professional looking to advance in Dayton, here’s what you need to know.
Why Accounting in Dayton

While the number of jobs in Dayton has slightly declined in the past 10 years, 122 hires are made each month and salaries remain strong for the smallest of the four markets in Ohio. With the lack of job growth, the employment market for accounting professionals in Dayton is very competitive. 

Companies like Intuit, Credence Management Solutions, Anthem, H&R Block and Deloitte make up the majority of new job postings in Dayton. 

Accounting Degree Completions in Dayton

Getting an advanced accounting degree can be what tips the scale when trying to advance your career in Dayton, especially because of the lack of master’s degrees being completed:

  • Associate’s Degree: 10.9% of completions
  • Bachelor’s Degree: 76.4% of completions
  • Master’s Degree: 4.0% of completions

Top 3 Accounting Schools in Dayton (By % of Degree Completions) 

A total of eight institutions offer accounting degrees in Dayton. The top programs, as determined by percentage of degree completions, are:

Wright State University – Main Campus (-10.4% growth YoY)
University of Dayton (-13.3% growth YoY)
Edison State Community College (26.1% growth YoY)

With accounting degree completions down at two major universities in the Dayton area and growth only occurring at the community college level, an online accounting degree can be a great way to get your bachelor’s or master’s degree from a growing institution.

The Top Accounting Schools in Cleveland

Cleveland has no shortage of opportunities for accounting professionals. The number of opportunities also breeds increased competition—which may be the reason Cleveland also has the highest completions for master’s degrees in accounting. If you’re looking to take your career to the next level, a master's degree might be your next step.Here’s what you need to know before choosing a program. 

Why Accounting in Cleveland

Accounting jobs continue to steadily grow in Cleveland, with 8.3% job growth in the last 10 years. Each month, Cleveland averages 501 new hires across accounting professions. 

When it comes to occupations and salaries, credit analysts in Cleveland top Ohio’s median salaries for accounting professionals at $83,107 per year. Leading companies like Intuit, H&R Block, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and Key Bank top the list of companies posting jobs for accounting professionals in Cleveland.

Accounting Degree Completions in Cleveland

As shown below, Cleveland leads Ohio in master’s degree completions in accounting, indicating this level of education is starting to become the new standard for advancement in the area:

  • Associate Degree: 23.8% of completions
  • Bachelor’s Degree: 42.6% of completions
  • Master’s Degree: 27.6% of completions

Top 3 Accounting Schools in Cleveland (By % of Degree Completions) 

A total of 13 institutions offer accounting degrees in Cleveland. The top programs, as determined by percentage of degree completions, are:

  • Cleveland State University (-22.2% growth YoY)
  • Case Western Reserve University (21.8% growth YoY)
  • Lorain County Community College (47.4% growth YoY)

If you’re looking for a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and can afford to take time off from your career to attend a full-time in-person program, Case Western Reserve is growing. But if you’re a working professional who want to further their career without taking time off, an online accounting degree can be your ticket to advancement.

The Best Online Accounting School in Ohio

Franklin University is one of the few universities in Ohio that offers both in-person and online accounting degrees and leads the pack of online accounting programs. In 2017 alone, 39.2% of distance accounting degrees were conferred by Franklin University. 
Why does Franklin invest heavily in their online accounting degrees?
“Distance programs provide exceptional flexibility,” says Dr. Beth Vermeer, Program Chair of Franklin University’s Master of Science in Accounting program. “Which is especially valuable for working adults or people looking to change careers. Today’s technology allows us to facilitate group projects, discussions, and interactive learning in a way that’s similar to the classroom experience, so students don’t miss out on collaborative learning opportunities if they choose to study online.”
Dr. Vermeer adds, “At Franklin University, our courses taught on campus are the same courses as our distance courses. The rigor of the curriculum is the same whether you pursue your degree online or in-person.”  
Choosing an online accounting degree is a great way to advance your career, on your schedule, without taking time away from your job. You’ll also be able to apply what you learn from day one, taking insights from your courses and applying them to your day-to-day job.

The Best Accounting Degree in Ohio is One That Helps You Accomplish Your Goals

The combination of job opportunities and high-quality accounting degree programs make Ohio an ideal place to advance your finance and accounting career. If taking that next step means getting an accounting degree, make sure to weigh your options and find the right program for you.

Franklin University offers bachelor’s degrees in accounting and forensic accounting, as well as one of the few online master’s programs in accounting in Ohio. If you’re looking for flexibility, faculty with extensive professional experience, and skills you can translate into your job right now, one of Franklin’s online accounting degrees may be right for you.

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