Careers in accounting and finance are routinely listed among the best available, and for good reason. Increased financial regulations mean that there is more demand than ever for qualified candidates to fill positions like accountant, bookkeeper, revenue agent, financial analyst, and auditor. To qualify for one of these positions, or another in this growing career field, you will attend accounting schools or finance schools, so that you can obtain the best accounting degree or finance degree possible.
Going to a top accounting school means that you will be highly sought after when you graduate from your accounting program. While many accounting programs have similar accounting courses, there are specialized graduate accounting schools that may be better equipped to help you to meet your goals. If you are interested in pursuing a career as an Internal Revenue Field Agent, which is an auditor who works for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), then accounting training that includes a high level of income tax information will be useful.
On the other hand, if you are interested in becoming a forensic accountant and helping to detect and deter fraud in major corporations around the world, a forensic accounting school is your best bet. These highly skilled auditors must have a high level of knowledge not only of generally accepted accounting practices, but also a great deal of finance training and a comprehensive understanding of information technology (IT). Even if you are not an expert on IT, you still must have an understanding of its components to be an effective forensic accountant or auditor.
Thanks to the internet's growth, there are many different online accounting schools that offer a variety of business, accounting and finance training. Logging online to attend your courses may be the only option for you if there are no other schools iin your area, or it may be preferable due to your work schedule or other factors. Online accounting colleges offer the same variety of degree programs that brick and mortar colleges and universities do. It is important to carefully consider the academic offerings of any accounting or finance college that you are considering.
Look at whether the accounting courses that you must take to graduate will include what you need to be ready for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, if that is a professional goal. The CPA designation can net you a much higher salary whether you work at a public accounting firm, or at a corporation. You will need basic accounting courses, such as cost accounting and managerial accounting to prepare for the CPA exam. Look for an accounting program that includes at least one auditing and accounting class and one tax accounting class. Ideally the tax accounting course should include both individual income taxes as well as business income taxes, such as corporate income taxes, and partnership tax reporting issues. You also will need to take courses in business law, financial analysis, and economics.
There are also great opportunities to pursue master degrees in in accounting. Some will debate if getting an MBA in Finance is worth it and it really depends on your career and financial situation. MBAalliance.com has a lot of detailed information on masters degrees in both Accounting and Finance.
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The salary range for Accounting & Finance begins around $36,780 and usually tops out around $102,380, with a mean in the neighborhood of $69,580. This is about 60% higher than the national average for annual salaries.
In order to qualify for most Accounting & Finance positions, you typically need to have a Bachelor's Degree or higher.
The growth outlook for Accounting & Finance careers is estimated at about 22% while the estimated growth for all career fields over that same span is at about 10.12%. Over the next six years, Accounting & Finance jobs are expected to grow at a 117% higher rate than the national average for annual salaries.