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Is a Master's Degree in Accounting the Right Choice For Me?
Whether you finished earning your undergraduate degree in accounting last week, last year or last decade, it’s a good time to think about getting your master’s in accounting.
Because a transformational graduate program can help advance your career – no matter what stage you’re in.
Graduate-level studies through an accounting master’s degree program can help:
- Expand your understanding of accounting;
- Reinforce your core financial and managerial accounting knowledge;
- Advance your qualifications for key leadership roles;
- Expose you to emerging, advanced-skill concepts;
- Prepare you to see big-picture accounting systems and processes; and
- Equip you with strategic-level skills to meet the demands of an ever-changing economy.
But is going back to school and becoming a student again really worth the work, time and expense involved? Will it bump your salary enough? Can it brighten your career outlook? Might it make you more hireable? Does it make you ranked among the top candidates for your dream job?
While nobody can promise these outcomes for sure, there is plenty of supporting evidence that earning an online master’s in accounting (MSA) can prepare graduates for success.
Advance Your Professional Career
No doubt, the No. 1 reason to enroll in an online MSA program is to obtain a higher-level position and earn a better salary.
A graduate degree program that can add value and grow your professional capabilities can help you do just that, by giving you the in-demand skills employers are looking for, including:
- Management control systems
- Advanced auditing and data mining
- Financial accounting and reporting
- Enterprise resource planning
- Forensic accounting
- Enterprise risk management
In general, people in the accounting profession have a wide range of job opportunities available.
Earn an MSA and the opportunities grow even bigger and better:
- Accounting Consultant
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
- External Auditor
- Government Accountant
- Internal Auditor
- Not-for-Profit Accountant
- Staff Accountant
- Tax Accountant
- Tax Director
- Tax Partner
Here are the facts and figures to prove it:
- Nearly 90 percent of all new hires at CPA firms hold a master’s in accounting degree.
- Almost 23 percent of new hires in CPA firms are assigned to the tax department.
- There’s an expected 16-18 percent job growth rate for accountants and auditors through the year 2020, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Spanish- and Asian-speaking accounting professionals are in high demand, so says the Journal of Accountacy.
- The Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts that the median annual wage for accountants and auditors will to up by 13 percent between now and the year 2022.
In addition to bigger salaries and an opportunity for career progression, when you decide to pursue your master’s in accounting, you’ll reinforce your core financial and managerial accounting knowledge.
And that is a valuable commodity in the profession.
What matters most when choosing a master’s program? Compare features, benefits and cost to find the right school for you.
Improve Your Skills
Advanced, graduate-level studies also can help you develop sought-after strategic-level skills and expertise, including:
- Analyzing, developing and implementing Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) plans
- Using data mining techniques more effectively
- Communicating accounting research and findings more clearly
- Diagnosing, designing and implementing Enterprise-wide Resource Planning (ERP) systems
- Leveraging forensic accounting tools and techniques
- Preparing for professional certifications, such as the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) designation, Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
Expand Your Horizons
One of the biggest reasons for getting an MSA is to open yourself up to other accounting- and finance-related roles; perhaps work that is less cyclical and predictable and more strategic and big-picture.
From financial planning, to financial services, to risk management, to treasury services, to management accounting, an MSA can help you make your mark.
Is a Master’s Degree Worth It?
If you’re still wanting to know if a masters in accounting is right for you, consider your interests.
A quality MSA program can take you on a deep-dive into these exciting growth areas and more.
With a tax track, for example, you can develop strong foundational knowledge in such growing tax areas as:
- Pass-through entities
- Advanced individual income tax
- Gift and estate taxes
- Tax planning
- Tax compliance
- Tax controversy
- Financial accounting for taxes
- State and local (SALT)
- Public accounting
- Private industry
Most importantly, a graduate accounting degree can help you stay at the forefront of the accounting industry.
So, in answer to the question: “Is it worth it? Should I get my master’s in accounting?”
Here’s a very non accounting-like reply: “Maybe.”
The truth is, only you can decide if investing time and energy into a graduate program in accounting, accounting and auditing, or a master’s in finance is right for you.
Yes, there’s likely a bigger paycheck at the end of the journey along.
Yes, new job titles, opportunities and perks could come your way.
Yes, you will have achieved something that prepares you for one of the estimated 1.6 million jobs that will be available in the field by 2020.
Don’t be fooled. It takes work to juggle career, family and studies all at the same time.
A master’s degree in accounting may very well be right for you if you:
- Possess aptitude and appreciation for the accounting field;
- Want to grow and challenge yourself academically and professionally; and
- Have a strong desire to move into a strategic leadership position.
Interested? Attend one of our open house sessions or see what others have to say!
We're happy to talk with you about any questions you have. Get in touch with us now for a no-pressure conversation about whether or not the Franklin University graduate accounting program is right for you.