Accounting is integral to business operations for any company with products or services to sell. As such, job prospects in the field of accounting remain relatively stable in any economic climate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers proof of this stability: It estimates that job openings for accountants and auditors will grow about as fast as the average for all occupations between 2020 and 2030.
BLS notes that "accountants and auditors typically need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting." If you're interested in earning an undergraduate degree so you can pursue an accounting career, you have options. Online degree programs provide a practical way to earn an accounting-focused bachelor's degree. The University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) offers three options that are 100% online.
Here are details for each option, along with a few typical jobs following graduation. Review these descriptions to decide on a degree program that is right for you.
This option is ideal for those who want to pursue an accounting career in its purest form, primarily working with numbers. The Accounting major in the B.A. program consists of 22 three-credit courses and offers fewer electives outside of the accounting area.
Coursework in the Accounting major includes financial and managerial accounting, spreadsheet applications, financial management, cost accounting, business law, intermediate accounting, independent auditing, federal taxation, governmental and not-for-profit accounting, and advanced accounting. This degree program develops analytical, critical thinking, communication and organizational skills.
Two typical roles for graduates of this program are accountant and auditor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies three types of accountants — government, management and public accountants — and three types of auditors: external auditors, information technology auditors and internal auditors.
BLS places the May 2020 median salary of accountants and auditors at $73,560 per year.
This program offers an understanding of accounting principles applied broadly to leading a business. The curriculum combines general business and accounting, with students gaining the financial planning knowledge required to run a company. Students develop hard skills like budgeting, forecasting and supervising. Soft skills honed include leadership, problem-solving, decision-making and communication.
The Accounting concentration consists of eight 3-credit courses covering the topics of business law, intermediate accounting, independent auditing, federal taxation and advanced accounting.
Business owners who want a solid grasp of the accounting side of company operations would benefit from completing UMPI's B.A. in Business Administration with an Accounting Concentration program. ZipRecruiter names the average annual salary for business owners as $55,559 per year, with top earners making $100,000 or more. Another job option for graduates of this program is purchasing manager. The average salary for purchasing managers is $72,306 per year, with ZipRecruiter recording $108,000 on the high end.
If you want some exposure to and experience with accounting principles within the context of a bachelor's in liberal studies, this option would be ideal for you. The broad base provided by a liberal studies program makes it a versatile degree and practical option if you have completed a large number of elective credits and want the quicker route to a degree with a light accounting focus.
The Accounting minor in the Bachelor of Liberal Studies program consists of six courses worth three credits each. Course topics include financial accounting, managerial accounting, intermediate accounting and federal taxation.
With its overview of the accounting field, this degree is ideal for those who want the working knowledge of accounting that will help them succeed in roles like office manager and accounting supervisor. The average salary for office managers in the United States is $42,603 per year, with top earners making $69,000 or more per ZipRecruiter. Accounting supervisors draw $68,032 on average, with a $99,000 take-home at the high end of the range.
All salary data for the jobs listed above was sourced in November 2021, unless stated otherwise.
Why Earn an Accounting Bachelor's at UMPI?
UMPI's YourPace model makes it easy for you to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting online. The cost is affordable, as the tuition for each eight-week session is a flat rate no matter how many courses students take per session. UMPI tailors degree plans to suit each student based on work experience and college credits already earned. With this level of customization, you can make the most of previous college experience and shorten the time to completion.
An online degree program is a good fit for a variety of life and career stages. Whether you're a high school graduate with a few years of work experience or a mid-life degree completer, you can earn a bachelor's in accounting online through UMPI.
The progression is simple. The first step is to decide on a degree program that suits your accounting focus and your career goals. Once you apply and enroll in your program of choice, you can move through the coursework at your own pace to earn a bachelor's degree with an accounting focus.
Learn more about the University of Maine at Presque Isle's online degree programs.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.