MAcc vs MBA in Accounting

Many look to go back to school for an advanced degree, such as an MBA or MAcc (Master’s in accounting). This may enhance their marketability while networking to ultimately get an internships. As a result, an MAcc vs MBA analysis begins here.

One of the areas of growth for graduates is in accounting divisions within companies. This is due an increased demand in oversight of accounting professionals to help companies streamline their business while maintaining compliance. In this case, employers looking to fill these management jobs are all looking for someone with a graduate degree in accounting.

MAcc vs MBA: Accounting masters vs MBA

What is the difference between MAcc and MBA in Accounting?

One of the common misconceptions about an MBA in accounting is how they are roughly similar to a MAcc. Unfortunately, this is not true. While a MAcc offers a more technical education, an MBA offers more business style learning. A typical MBA program with a focus in accounting may teach you skills, then how to apply them. For example, MBA programs could teach you to apply those technical skills making you a candidate for management type positions.

These are some of the differences between MBA and a MACC accounting programs.

Common SubjectsFinance
Business Strategy
Program Structure
Evening programs
Weekend programs
Executive programs
Evening programs
Weekend programs
Executive programs

Below we have gathered a list of schools from 2019 NCES data who have awarded the most master of accounting degrees. For added context, we have also included acceptance rate data.

School NameDegrees AwardedAcceptance Rate
Southern New Hampshire University35773%
The University of Texas at Dallas32669%
The University of Texas at Austin28539%
CUNY Bernard M Baruch College26839%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill23523%
University of Houston19262%
Liberty University19056%
Florida Atlantic University18959%
University of Missouri-Columbia16178%

Below we have gathered a list of schools from 2019 NCES data who have awarded the most business administration and management, general degrees. For added context, we have also included acceptance rate data.

SchoolDegrees AwardedAcceptance Rate
University of Maryland Global Campus2259N/A
Southern New Hampshire University225673%
Columbia University in the City of New York12216%
Duke University9609%
University of California-Los Angeles82914%
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor81723%
American Public University System778N/A
University of Southern California69513%
Capella University564N/A
The University of Texas at Austin56439%

Whats Right For Me?

MBA accounting programs may teach students the skills necessary in order to hold an upper-management accountant position. Job duties could include managing certified accountants, utilize advanced software to track financial records and transactions. Consequently, all working to make educated decisions to increase the bottom-line.

In brief, the basic difference between getting a MAcc and pursuing an MBA with a focus in accounting: marketability and salary. In reality, with an MBA in accounting you may be applying to management positions with recently licensed CPA’s. The changing corporate business culture is making management-level accountants indispensable.

Nevertheless, requirements for entry into an MBA accounting program and its costs are more significant than MAcc. An MBA program may cost $40,000 a year not including school supplies or living expenses. MBA may be more costly than your typical MAcc program and should be taken into account when considering your options. While your starting salary with an MBA in accounting will be higher you may have to accrue more debt.

Whether you getting a degree for a salary increase or simply to augment your resume, understanding the differences is crucial. While a MAcc may increase technical proficiency, an MBA in accounting may focus on the broader business applications of accounting.

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