Masters in Accounting

What Do You Learn in a Masters in Accounting?

A Master of Accounting degree aims to provide students with more complete or expanded education in the area of accounting. Many students entering this program may have completed a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Others may have completed a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. The master’s program may allow these individuals to focus more of their skill on accounting. As a graduate program, students may have more options for electives or to select courses that interest them the most.

A master’s degree in accounting may provide individuals with access to new skills they do not have. It may allow them to learn a deeper level of insight into this field. Often, organizations want their employees to have a master’s degree and even sometimes a PhD, which is a step further in education in this field.

A graduate degree in accounting may include a wide range of topics through various courses. This may include financial planning, consulting services, risk management skills, and auditing and assurance. Students may wish to gain insight that is particularly interesting to them or their chosen career path. For example, some courses may be necessary for those who wish to work in government agencies or non-profit organizations. Other courses prepare students for the complexities of the corporate world.

It’s important to note that a Master in Accounting does not lead specifically to a license as a Certified Public Accountant. However, some courses and the degree itself may help some people meet the requirements of that educational path (this is not the case in all situations). For those who wish to become a CPA, then, it is important to compare coursework and credit hours to the state’s specific licensing requirements.

Masters in accounting  programs

Top 25 Schools Graduating Students with a masters in Accounting

According to NCES, these are the top 25 graduating schools across the U.S. based on the number of individuals graduating from each program in 2020.

College / UniversityGraduatesAcceptance Rate
The University of Texas at Dallas27579.00%
Southern New Hampshire University26488.00%
The University of Texas at Austin26432.00%
Western Governors University264N/A
University of Phoenix-Arizona246N/A
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill23023.00%
Florida Atlantic University21863.00%
CUNY Bernard M Baruch College20443.00%
Liberty University20251.00%
The Pennsylvania State University19376.00%
University of Utah17762.00%
University of Missouri-Columbia17381.00%
University of Massachusetts-Amherst16264.00%
University of Houston15365.00%
Rutgers University-Newark14972.00%
University of Georgia14945.00%
Colorado State University-Global Campus13999.00%
Texas A & M University-Commerce13643.00%
Michigan State University13071.00%
University of Kansas12893.00%
Texas Tech University12469.00%
Wake Forest University12130.00%
North Carolina State University at Raleigh11745.00%
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus11492%
University of Wisconsin-Madison11354.00%

Accounting Courses May Include

Here is a look at some of the courses commonly found in a graduate program for accounting .

1st course Financial Accounting

Financial Accounting

In this course, students typically learn how the events of business affect financial statements. Topics covered may include accounting in decision making, accounting recording procedures, and analytical tools for accounting. How to read and interpret financial statements may also be a part of this course.

2nd course Managerial Accounting

Managerial Accounting

This course usually covers the aspects of managerial accounting. Topics may include preparing and using financial information for planning, cost classifications, and profit planning. The course may also look into measuring performance product and service costing and methods.

3rd Course Financial Reporting

Financial Reporting

This is typically an in-depth course in financial accounting topics. Topics covered may include valuation of inventories, intangible assets, and revenue recognition. Transitioning from US GAAP to IFRS is usually also covered.

4th Course Tax Planning and Decision Making

Tax Planning and Decision Making

This course typically includes beginning insights into common tax regulations. Corporate and partnership taxation are topics sometimes covered in this course. Fundamentals of tax planning, taxation of sole proprietorships, and tax treatments of fringe benefits are also topics usually covered.

5th Course Accounting for Governmental and Non-Profits

Accounting for Governmental and Non-Profits

The main concept of this course is often focused on learning the role of accounting in achieving an organization’s strategic goals. Corporate governance and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are major topics typically. How management auditors and committees are to work together may also be covered.

6th Course Financial Statement Analysis

Financial Statement Analysis

In this course students typically learn to interpret and analyze the information on a financial statement. The different types of financial statements and how to evaluate them is also usually covered. Traditional ratio analysis and SEC reporting may also be topics.

  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access

5 Most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about a masters in Accounting

A master’s degree in accounting may be worth it for some students who wish to further their education beyond what they learned in their undergraduate program. It may also provide an opportunity for those with a related business undergraduate degree to further their education in the accounting field. It may help students gain skills employers need or want as well.

Students typically learn a number of skills in a master’s degree in accounting. These skills may help them qualify for positions such as corporate controller, senior accountant, accounting manager, senior financial analyst, or finance manager, though additional experience may be necessary in some of these areas.

The master’s degree in accounting is a graduate degree that typically takes 2 years to complete. Accelerated programs may be available to help speed that up and allow students to complete their education in 18 to 24 months. Part time education may also be an option.

For those who wish to work in management positions within companies or organizations, completing an MBA may be a better fit for some. Those who enjoy spending their time crunching numbers may way to earn a CPA to allow them to work in this field.

It is not always the case that a person that completes a master of accounting is automatically qualified to sit for the CPA exam. In some cases, they may need to complete additional education if the curriculum within a master’s program does not match state-required skills for the exam.

Find Funding for a Masters in Accounting

The cost of completing a graduate degree may be high for some people. NCES found that, from 2017 to 2018, the average cost for a public institution tuition for a master’s degree program was $18,947. This may be prohibitive to some people to pay out-of-pocket. However, there are funding options that may be able to help some students cover those costs. Each situation is unique, but some of the options for paying for a master’s degree include the following.

Scholarships

Scholarships are a type of funding option for some master’s degree programs. When available and approved, they do not require students to repay them. Learn more about available scholarships for a master’s degree in accounting to determine if you may qualify for this type of funding.

NABA National Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: This award is available for currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students who are African American (black) or of African descent and are active members of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). Students must have an overall grade point average of 3.3 or higher and a major grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: December 15

Federal Loans

A federal loan is a type of loan backed by the U.S. federal government. Several types exist, each with different requirements and lending opportunities. There are fewer options for graduate students compared to undergraduate students, but numerous options may be available to some. Each loan program has different requirements that students need to meet to borrow these funds.

Some of the options that may be available to students include the following types of federal loans:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: These are typically available to graduate schools and professional students. Unlike direct subsidized loans, which are made available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need, direct unsubsidized loans usually do not have a need based requirement. More students may be eligible for them.
  • Direct PLUS Loans: These are loans typically made available to professional or graduate level students. They are designed to pay for educational expenses that are typically not paid for through other loans. Eligibility for these loans is not based on financial need, though. However, some require a credit check to be performed, and borrowers may not qualify without meeting other requirements in some cases.
  • Direct Consolidation Loans: These loans may enable a student to combine all of their undergraduate and graduate level federal debt into one new loan. This consolidation loan is typically provided after a student completes their education.

Be sure to learn all of the eligibility requirements before making the decision to apply for these loans.

Private Student Loans

Private student loans are another option that some graduate students may wish to consider. These loans come from non-government organizations, including private banks and other financial institutions. Because they are not government-backed, the terms and conditions for borrowers differ from one loan to the next. Graduate students often benefit from carefully considering these terms to determine if these loans are a good idea for their specific needs.

For those considering private student loans to cover the cost of a master’s degree in accounting, it may be important to consider the following details about each one before making the decision to apply:

  • Credit score requirements, if any
  • Income requirements, if any
  • Repayment terms (when do payments begin?)
  • Interest rates including whether they are fixed or variable
  • Whether the loan may be deferred, consolidated, or otherwise reworked during the loan term
  • The amount available to borrow
  • Any GPA or other requirements to students

Click here to find private student loans.

Is investment fund manager a good career?

An investment fund manager is a person who works to plan, direct, and coordinate the investment strategy for individual investors or for institutional investors. This multi-faceted career path may include working to create a strategy for managing a large pool of liquid assets to achieve earning goals created by the organization. This fund manager may work to manage investment funds to grow the underlying value of their clients’ portfolios. They may also select specific investments to purchase for the fund and monitor the financial performance of those.

To complete this type of work, a person typically needs to have analytical or scientific software skills and work with other types of software, including database user interfaces, financial analysis software, and presentation software. They also may need to have good active listening, critical thinking, and decision-making skills.

Their detailed work often includes directing financial operations for their organization, approving expenditures, implementing process of policy change, and developing policies or programs for the organization as a whole. They may also analyze forecasting data to improve business decisions.

This type of work typically requires a master’s degree and sometimes a Ph.D, if the employer requires it. Individuals typically need to have extensive skill and knowledge, as well as experience to work in some positions within this field. There is little on-the-job education provided with many employers expecting individuals to have the necessary skills to do the job when hired.

Masters in Accounting , Important skills for Investment Fund Managers
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

2020 Median Salary for an Investment Fund Manager

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found the following salaries were the median for those working as an investment fund manager in 2020:

StateSalaryStateSalary
Alabama$116,920Alaska$102,880
Arizona$117,010Arkansas$97,110
California$145,830Colorado$157,090
Connecticut$150,490Delaware$164,180
Georgia$124,760Florida$118,070
Idaho$83,920Hawaii$108,900
Indiana$108,590Illinois$132,260
Kansas$122,530Iowa$108,230
Louisiana$100,520Kentucky$96,840
Maryland$137,490Maine$110,060
Minnesota$127,960Massachusetts$140,880
Montana$100,530Michigan$122,700
Nevada$103,930Mississippi$81,650
New Jersey$167,590Missouri$127,030
New York$201,920Nebraska$110,540
North Dakota$127,320New Hampshire$121,770
Oklahoma$107,160New Mexico$97,170
Pennsylvania$137,570North Carolina$140,000
South Carolina$113,010Ohio$123,790
Tennessee$100,230Oregon$116,960
Utah$102,580Rhode Island$151,210
Virginia$153,730South Dakota$133,920
Wisconsin$131,200Texas$134,030
Washington$134,300Vermont$100,310
West Virginia$91,760Wyoming$103,000

Is financial quantitative analyst a good career?

A financial quantitative analyst works to develop quantitative techniques with the goal of those techniques informing those working in security investing, valuation, or pricing of financial instruments. To do this type of work, they typically develop mathematical or statistic models for various goals such as asset optimization, relative value analysis, risk management, or pricing.

These individuals typically provide application support to others, including traders and researchers on valuations or other data. They may research and develop tools for this type of analysis work that may enable improvement of portfolio construction, attribution, or for profit and loss statements, among others. Some maintain and modify financial analytic models that are already in use as well.

To do this type of work, financial quantitative analysts typically need to have skills with various types of software, including data base user interface, analytical or scientific software, presentation software, enterprise resource planning ERP software, and other forms. They also need critical thinking, complex problem solving, and decision making skills as well.

The day-to-day tasks as a financial quantitative analyst may include applying mathematical models of financial or business conditions, develop business or financial information systems, and advise others on analytical techniques. They may also work with others in the industry to coordinate business operations. Some analysts also work to assess the cost effectiveness of projects, products, and services.

In terms of education, most individuals working in this field typically need to have at least a master’s degree or a PhD. They may also need to have some experience in the field, with some employers requiring 5 years of experience for key positions. Some employers may provide on-the-job learning.

Masters in Accounting , important skills for Financial Quantitative Analyst
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

2020 Median Salary for Financial Quantitative Analyst

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those working as a financial quantitative analyst in 2020 earned the following, by state, as their median income:

StateSalaryStateSalary
Alabama$84,740Alaska$81,180
Arizona$77,120Arkansas$75,180
California$89,450Colorado$83,030
Connecticut$92,920Delaware$83,750
Georgia$76,620Florida$66,440
Idaho$76,730Hawaii$79,190
Indiana$71,910Illinois$85,470
Kansas$67,020Iowa$74,790
Louisiana$60,190Kentucky$68,950
Maryland$86,900Maine$69,750
Minnesota$84,080Massachusetts$90,270
Montana$70,460Michigan$78,120
Nevada$68,630Mississippi$64,010
New Jersey$91,280Missouri$80,130
New York$105,690Nebraska$71,730
North Dakota$77,640New Hampshire$83,400
Oklahoma$74,050New Mexico$68,700
Pennsylvania$80,230North Carolina$85,050
South Carolina$71,680Ohio$75,140
Tennessee$62,690Oregon$82,920
Utah$66,980Rhode Island$83,950
Virginia$92,610South Dakota$74,640
Wisconsin$72,180Texas$78,470
Washington$83,950Vermont$72,190
West Virginia$70,360Wyoming$65,580
Sandy B CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Sandy Baker

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Sandy has extensive experience writing educational articles for topics ranging from online education to college degrees. She’s worked with several Ivy League colleges to create blogs, newsletters, sales material for recruiting as well as “how to manage” college lifestyle pieces. Additionally, she’s written for well-respected study abroad programs helping students to find international opportunities spanning the globe from South America to Africa and Asia.

Sandy’s experience also includes writing about financial aid, FAFSA, scholarship searches, and managing college loans and grants. This includes aiding both students and parents in managing the application and financial aid process from start to finish. Her writing in this area has been featured in The New York Times, Cleveland Magazine, and several blogs.

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