Looking for an online accounting degree?

Looking for an online accounting degree?

Accounting usually falls into a category of careers that, while no job can ever be guaranteed, is going to be needed across nearly all industries and all economies. If you have a penchant for numbers, for detail, or for organization, a career in accounting might be a good fit. But how long is an online accounting program and what kind of jobs might you pursue? Let’s find out!

Key Skills

Accountants must have a solid grasp on working with numbers and complex math. To be successful, you need to be accurate and reliable—and you should have a strong sense of integrity. Accountants can find work in many different industries or specialties, so it helps to be flexible and capable of embracing change as technologies and tools change. Accountants should be prepared to adhere to regulations and to go through intense audit processes, whether their work is being audited or they are performing an audit themselves.

Program Lengths

Accounting programs, like most postsecondary education, generally take between two and four years, depending on the degree level you’re pursuing. An associate degree or a master’s degree both take an average of two years, while a bachelor’s degree can take four years. Some schools offer accelerated programs, and you gain a lot of flexibility when you decide to pursue your degree online. By enrolling in an online accounting program, you can slow or accelerate your work according to your own schedule—rather than sticking to a strict schedule set by the school or your professor.

Benefits of Online

One of the greatest benefits of choosing an online program instead of an on-campus education is the flexibility to control your schedule. While a traditional classroom program will require that you be in class at very specific times, online classes mean that you set your own hours! Complete a reading assignment before taking your kids to school in the morning, knock out a quiz during your lunch break at work, or study for that upcoming exam before you go to bed at night.

Online programs also provide a wide range of resources that are available at your fingertips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Online forums with your peers, discussion boards with your professor or teaching assistants, and course content that you can re-watch or re-read as many times as you need to—you don’t have to panic about getting all those notes down before the chalkboard is erased.

Possible Career Paths

With an accounting degree, you can pursue careers like auditor, analyst, bookkeeper, comptroller, appraiser, or tax preparer. Many people also look for jobs in forensic accounting, accounts payable or accounts receivable, or payroll.

Accountant and auditor positions are projected to grow 10% between 2016 and 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—with a median annual salary of nearly $70,000 in 2017. Financial analyst jobs, with a median annual salary of $84,000, are also expected to stay in demand: BLS projects 11% growth between 2016 and 2026.

Jobs for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks are expected to remain flat for the same time period; the BLS shows a median annual salary of about $39,000.

Ready to find an online accounting program that’s right for you? The Imagine America Foundation has a robust network of online schools that can help you prepare for an accounting career. We also want to support your education at all steps of the journey: apply for our scholarship and award programs today, and check out the rest of our site for resources to help you find student housing, create a budget, and apply for your first job once you graduate.

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