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This advanced degree can help you grow in your accounting career

SOURCE: GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP
If you want to make a splash in the accounting or finance field, this degree could help.


By U2B Staff 

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Accountants aren’t just wizards with numbers — they’re also equipped with an arsenal of skills that make them highly attractive to companies. Many former and current CEOs have accounting degrees, including American Express CEO Stephen Squeri and Unitedhealth Group CEO Dave Wichmann. Former AT&T chairman and CEO Randall L. Stephenson also has a master’s degree in accounting. 

While an undergraduate degree can help you obtain entry-level positions, growing into senior roles can be facilitated with additional education, which is where a master’s degree in accounting comes in handy. Accounting careers are a relatively stable field, making it a good career choice.

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The US Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow four percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. 

They add, “In general, employment growth of accountants and auditors is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy. As the economy grows, more workers should be needed to prepare and examine financial records.”

Just about every business, regardless of industry, requires the services of an accountant, which means the potential to find a job in just about every corner of the globe is endless. 

How will a master’s degree in accounting help me in my career?

Southern New Hampshire University notes that a master’s in accounting is designed for those looking to get ahead as a public accountant, corporate accountant, auditor, fraud examiner, financial analyst, among others, and can be the boost needed for attaining a higher-level position in banking, taxation, insurance or any company with a financial division. 

“With an advanced accounting degree, you’ll gain superior analytical skills, deepen your knowledge of accounting principles and learn the latest technology,” said the university.

A master’s degree in accounting is an important step toward certification as a public accountant (CPA), it said. It adds that this advanced degree will also equip learners with advanced analytical skills, in addition to deepening one’s knowledge of accounting principles and learning the latest technology. 

Ohio University notes earning a master’s degree in accounting prepares you accounting and finance positions, be it as an accountant or auditor.

“For example, one potential career path a MAcc degree would follow could be that of an accountant,” it said, adding that work settings could include international corporations, start-up companies or anything in between. 

“Accountants can be employed by large external firms, or they might work in the finance and accounting function within a company. These roles can ultimately develop into the company’s future CFOs and CEOs.”

What will I learn?

Many universities offer a master’s degree in accounting. The University of Manchester, for instance, notes that its MSc Accounting programme will introduce students to different aspects of accounting research and guidance in conducting the research.

Students will be exposed to topics such as Advanced Management Accounting, Corporate Financial Reporting, Qualitative Research Methods, International Accounting Practice and Regulation and Corporate Governance.

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Students can expect the programme to advance their thinking and debate in contemporary issues in financial reporting, management account, auditing and governance, in addition to developing skills that are valued by employers, or prepare for a research career in academia.

York University Schulich School of Business’ programme is academically rigorous; it is accredited by CPA Ontario and the ACCA.

“Successful graduates of the programme will be prepared to sit for the CPA Common Final Examination (CFE). In addition to gaining in-depth knowledge of all sub-disciplines that constitute the broad field of accounting, they will have deepened their expertise in two of the programme’s areas of specialised electives: tax, assurance and performance management,” said the university.

Without a doubt, an advanced accounting degree will equip you with a more specialised skill set to grow in your accounting or finance career.