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How do I get an Accounting Degree?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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There are four steps to get an accounting degree: select a school, qualify for admissions, pay the tuition fees, and complete the course work. An accounting degree is required for most finance and accounting related jobs. A degree in accounting is required to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This designation is required for anyone who wants to open a private practice as an accounting. Most large firms require this designation for all their accounting positions.

An accounting degree is available from a wide range of universities, including online schools. It is important to ensure that the school you are considering is accredited. A non-accredited school can offer accounting courses but would not be able to grant a degree or provide access to government student aid.

Accounting degrees from online schools provide additional flexibility for time management, course load and learning methods. If you are thinking about selecting an online school, check to ensure that they are accredited and that credits from this school will be accepted by the CPA toward your designation. Review the course offering, flexibility and academic credentials with care.

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The qualifications for an accounting degree vary, but usually include high school credits in accounting, math, English and business studies. Mature students who want to obtain an accounting degree can often use workplace experience to help bridge the gap in formal education. If you have completed a certificate or diploma in accounting, additional credits may be granted toward your degree, reducing the number of courses required.

The tuition fees for an accounting degree vary, but typically range from $3,500 to $20,000 US Dollars (USD) per year. Explore scholarships, bursaries and government student aid to help cover these costs. In addition, there are a number of employment opportunities available in a university setting that pay more and form a part of overall student funding.

The first and second years of an accounting degree covers standard courses in accounting, finance, communication, commercial law and economics. There are opportunities for specialization in the third and fourth years. Expand your job opportunities by taking a minor in information technology, international trade or economics.

Upon completion of an accounting degree, most students will work towards their CPA designation. This program requires additional courses and work experience after graduation. Upon completion of these requirements, candidates can write the necessary exams to qualify as a CPA. This designation is required to operate a private practice as an accountant. In addition, most accountant positions will only hire candidates who are either working toward, or have obtained their CPA.

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