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Is Accounting a Hard Degree to Major In?

Getting a major in Accounting sounds like a long, difficult path, right?

Well, it is.

But guess what all companies and successful organizations have in common? They all need professional people that will manage their resources, and that will keep track of where their money is going and coming from. And it doesn’t matter if that company is made out of 4 people or 120. They will still need an accountant.

So if the demand for this profession is so evident, then why not go for it? Of course, you want to know if the courses, costs, and long hours of studying will be worth it. Then read on to find out.

How to Get an Accounting Degree?

A degree in Accounting means that you are going to go through a full four years of a Bachelor program, with 120 credit hours. That, unless you have already earned your Associate’s degree which would remove 60 credit hours out of your way.

Due to the significant need for Accountants, universities are offering online courses or traditional courses. So the choice of method is up to you and the level of flexibility you prefer.

Note: If you’re wondering what an associate degree in accounting means – it is a full, 2-year associate’s degree (usually 60 credit hours). It provides students with the basic concepts of accounting, but also the general education requirements necessary to transfer to a 4-year college.

Accounting Degree Courses

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The coursework you are going to be involved in during your Bachelor’s includes both a general and advanced curriculum. But beforehand, all students have to take general education classes along with the specific coursework for their major. There are mandatory and elective classes that provide students with a little bit of a balance in their course load.

1. General Courses

During the general coursework, financial accounting and management accounting will be two of the first subjects you will encounter, as the basics of accounting. Financial accounting covers concepts related to the dual entry system of accounting and the basic financial statements for private entities.

Whereas management accounting covers job costing and cost of goods sold among other important subjects. Introductory accounting courses are challenging but by all means a must, and they usually take place in the first two years of your studying!

2. Advanced Courses

Accounting for inventory, construction contracts, and accounts receivable are only a few of the things you will learn about in your upper level of accounting courses. This is where you learn more about the nuances of the general ledger and how to properly maintain it.

These classes are designed to prepare students for the Certified Public Accountant exam. The complex nature of these classes may be challenging for some students, but with the right attitude and determination, all barriers can be kicked off the way.
Some of the upper-division Accounting courses, except for the ones we mentioned above include:

  • Cost Accounting
  • Assurance and Audit Services
  • Risk Analysis
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Advanced Business Law for Accounting

What Jobs Can You Get with an Accounting degree?

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Having a degree in Accounting does not mean you are limited to choices. What characterizes this profession is, in fact, its versatility. You may find accountants working in payroll, budgeting and as tax professionals or regulatory experts. Sometimes, all of these jobs at once, depending on the nature of the job.

If numbers and calculations are your forte, then you will have an open door to different career opportunities ahead of you. Of course, it also depends on which aspect of accounting you want to focus on. And if hearing it from us doesn’t convince you enough, then we’ll lead you to our resources that strengthen our previous statement.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job opportunities for accountants to increase by 10 percent over a decade, compared to just seven percent of job growth expected for all occupations. For the field of accounting, they predicted approximately 140,000 new jobs in only ten years. These numbers show us that the projected career growth for accountants stands bright up until 2026.

Whereas if you need more reassurance, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) listed accounting as the second most in-demand major for 2018, with 60.6 percent of employers surveyed stating that they intend to hire candidates with a bachelor’s in accounting degree.

These are only some of the most popular choices out there that students with a degree in accounting are making:

  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Auditor
  • Accounting Manager
  • Investment Banker
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Financial analyst/manager
  • Bookkeeper
  • Financial advisor
  • Tax professional
  • Payroll specialist
  • Loan officer
  • Compliance analyst

If your interested in learning about what kind of accounting software is the most popular, G2 has created a great list that you can explore.

How Much Do Accountants Earn?

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All the factors we mentioned above, the demand for accountants, the complexity of the job, indicate that the earning potential deriving from this career is enticing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for accountants was $69,350 per year. If we have to state a difference, accountants who worked in the finance sector earned a median annual wage of $74,140 while their counterparts working in the government sector made $67,100. This sum calculates to about $31 an hour.

The lowest was 10 percent earned $43,020 while the highest earned approximately $122,220. However, it is worth noting that these salary figures may vary depending on one’s regional location.

Most likely, higher-paid salaries are offered in bigger metropolitan areas. These figures may also differ depending on if the company is privately owned, public, or operated by the government. Either way, if money is the main factor that drives your career motivation, you won’t go wrong with a degree in accounting.

Conclusion
A degree in accounting does require your significant investment and lots of intellectual effort. But considering the data we gathered for you above, don’t you agree that it is totally worth it? If your answer is yes, contact us for additional information on the program of the University of Potomac in accounting.

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