What Type of Accounting Degrees Are Available Online?

There are many types of accounting degrees available online for students who want anything from a certificate to a Ph.D. Getting an online accounting degree is a wise choice for any who wants to work in the fields of finance, business or accounting.

Accounting Certificates

There are many undergraduate certificates in accounting available online. These certificates are ideal for people who are either new to the field, or those looking to quickly boost their resume marketability. The most common type of accounting certificate concerns the basic principles of bookkeeping. This certificate will focus on the role of basic accounting functions within the fields of business and management. Students will study real-world scenarios to learn how to use accounting systems, resources and information to perform tasks and solve problems. They will learn how to understand and manipulate accounting and business data. Students are taught how to properly use ledgers, journals, and worksheets to create formal reports, informal updates and quantitative accounting solutions.

Associate’s in Accounting

Many local community colleges and technical schools offer associate degrees in accounting. Graduates can secure bookkeeper and accounting clerk jobs with this type degree. It also sets the academic stage for completing a bachelor’s degree at a local university. Depending on the student’s work load and personal life, the average time of completion is two to three years. Students are introduced to both basic and advanced accounting tools, concepts and processes. These include classes on internal controls, which trains students to recommend improvements and summarize strengths and weaknesses, but also classes on basic accounting tasks, such as how to journalize a basic transaction and how to post transactions from journals to ledgers. Students will understand the accounting cycle, so they can differentiate between accrual basis and cash basis accounting.

Bachelor’s in Accounting

Bachelor programs offer more options, but they will still require a minimum of at least 120 credit hours. Most of these classes will focus on accounting and finance topics, but there is room for more business classes. In fact, a Bachelor of Science in Accounting allows students to strategically select business classes that will benefit them in their future careers. Students can opt to study business communication and learn about the various purposes of business documents and messages. Students who will communicate with many clients will understand how to leverage technology, context and social media to their advantage. On the other hand, an undergraduate accounting student who is interested in IT can study Accounting Information Systems (AIS) and their real-world applications. This includes topics on data collection, reporting, management and privacy.

Master’s in Accounting

An online Master’s in Accounting will take one to two years to complete. Students will be able to select a popular concentration for their career, such as auditing, tax accounting and corporate and government accountancy. Students will most likely take classes in organizational behavior for managers, statistics for decision making and legal and ethical commercial topics. As an alternative, students can pursue an MBA with a concentration in accounting. This MBA degree, like any master’s degree, will help the student prepare to pass the exam and become a certified public accountant (CPA), according to the American Institute of CPAs. In this program, students will study more business driven concepts, such as finance for business managers and the principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics.

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Other types of accounting degrees available online include doctoral degrees and undergraduate certificates in accounting.