For those seeking to break into the world of accounting or to further an existing accounting career, earning an MBA (master of business administration degree) with an emphasis in accounting is a great way to gain practical experience and prepare for rewarding career.
Accounting MBA Program Overview
With specifically-focused training reaching above-and-beyond traditional business school programs, an accounting MBA exposes students to real-world accounting, business, and leadership practices. These experiences can prepare MBA accounting students for roles as auditors and accountants in both the public and private sector.
Many schools center their accounting MBA programs around leadership. Courses are tailored to fit into students' interests, and holding this advance degree gives job seekers an edge over the competition. According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for accountants and auditors should be favorable in the 2008-2018 decade with 22 percent growth projected. The BLS also reports that many employers prefer to hire someone with a master's in accounting or an accounting MBA.
With positive growth projections providing future opportunities an emphasis in the field on educational attainment, earning an MBA in accounting can be a positive step on your career path.
Required Coursework for a Master's in Accounting
Accounting MBA students should encounter a wide variety of coursework, as there is much more to accounting than crunching numbers and pushing pencils. Many programs in this field are dedicated to teaching students essential information about business philosophies, with courses in finance, accounting law, management, and marketing. In some cases, accounting MBA students complete general businesses classes during their first year of study and then complete more specialized course training during the second portion of their program. Essential areas of study for the master's in accounting include:
- Financial accounting and reporting
- Management accounting and recording
- Specialized accounting
- Emerging accounting topics
Students may also find that courses in organizational behavior, methods, business ethics and law, and leadership are included in their study of accounting. These programs aim to provide students with the skills necessary to take on management and leadership roles in the accounting field.
Finding the Accounting MBA Program for You
If earning a master's in accounting is right for you and you're ready to get started, you can find a range of degree options both on campus and online. Most accounting MBA programs require students complete about 52 hours of graduate-level coursework and usually take approximately two years to finish. Accelerated and executive programs are designed to accommodate working professionals, offering evening and weekend classes, flexible scheduling, and part-time options. Many universities offer accounting MBA degrees entirely online with accommodating scheduling and other support to help professionals further their career. Those seeking an MBA in accounting at a brick-and-mortar campus can also take advantage of flexible options, including evening and weekend classes and executive programs.
Career Options for MBA Graduates
BLS projections estimate that nearly 280,000 new jobs for accountants and auditors should be created between 2008 and 2018, and additional jobs should arise due to the need to replace existing workers who retire or leave the field. The BLS predicts certified public accountants (CPAs) should have the best job opportunities, so consider seeking certification after earning your master's in accounting.
BLS salary figures indicate the median annual wage for accountants and auditors was $60,340 in 2009. The top-earning ten percent of workers in this field earned more than $104,450. BLS numbers show that job candidates with master's in accounting degrees were offered average starting salaries of $49,768 in 2009.
With a high earning potential and favorable growth, earning an MBA in accounting is a way to advance or solidify your professional career.