Acquiring an accredited online accounting degree has never been more of a viable option than it is today. In the past, the accounting profession was considered too specialized, often esoteric and mysterious. Nowadays, it is a vital service to society in private practice, government posts, and the public sphere. Accounting remains one of the more dependable career paths, with accounting majors one of the most likely degrees to yield a job directly after graduation. But many students are opting to study for their degrees online, through e-campus programs that facilitate individuals receiving their coursework virtually and at a pace of their choosing.
Online degrees offer flexibility and adapt well to the rapid pace of technology advancement in the field of accounting. While an online degree does not guarantee you a quicker finish than traditional accounting programs and will still need to be coupled with the completion and fulfillment of the Certified Public Accountant exam, it’s almost a certainty that it will be significantly cheaper than a traditional degree, although tuitions will still vary. The level and nature of your degree can vary too, ranging from associate to bachelor’s to master’s in the sub-specialties of finance, federal accounting and auditing, accounting information systems, accounting in the public sector, and statistics.
Once you have your accounting degree, it’s important to keep it up-to-date by exploring certificate programs. These are non-degree credentials that afford a degree holder with additional, more specific, areas of knowledge. Certificate programs are critical in professions such as accounting, in which new technologies and government regulations are continually creating the need for specialization. Certificate programs do not take as much time as a full accounting degree and they offer the possibility of considerable upgrades in both salary and title.
Certificate programs vary widely in nature, from basic programs directed towards high school graduates to more advanced programs which aid in preparing for the Certified Public Accountant examination. They usually focus on bestowing specialization in the fields of managerial accounting, business law and taxation, corporate finance, forensic accounting and financial analysis. The diversification of areas of expertise in accounting testifies to its long term stability as a career profession as well as its ubiquity in virtually all forms of business and commerce.
Certificate programs are a great way for accounting graduates to update their skills and prepare themselves for changes in the industry. They are also extremely important for people who wish to keep several different career options open. For example, specialized certification can make you qualified to work for a private company as an internal auditor, or to secure a post in a government agency or an organization in the public sector. That’s three different job markets that a certified accountant will be prepared for. As opposed to other industries that are bottlenecking into certain directions, accounting continues to expand into many different fields and is accessible to many different people.
There are a variety of options for where to acquire your online accounting degree-DeVry, Kaplan, Strayer, Capella-and just as many options for pursuing certificate programs thereafter. This career path promises greater job security than most other professions, and in a number of different fields. For these reasons and more, accounting jobs are projected to grow extensively between now and 2018, making accounting the most stable career choice in the nation, ahead of even business. The Bureau of Labor Statistics isolates four major sectors for accounting jobs in the coming years: public accounting, government accounting, management accounting, and internal auditing. A career in any of these fields, bolstered by several certificate programs, is a good option for professionals with an interest in finances, accounting, and auditing.