Should You Get a Master's Degree in Accounting? 7 Questions to Ask Yourself
If you’ve completed your accounting undergraduate program, it might be time to consider going back to school to earn your master’s degree in accounting. If this program is on your radar, great! We have put together some helpful advice and insightful questions to ask yourself if you’re considering this degree as your next move.
Before we jump in, it should be noted that at many schools, including Ashford University, the official name of the degree is “Master of Accountancy” rather than “Master of Accounting.” However, generally speaking, these terms are interchangeable and mean the same thing.
That said, getting a master’s degree in accounting has the ability to open new doors for your career. It can bring you one step closer to becoming a CPA and a variety of other finance and accounting-related career field. Demand for accountants and auditors is growing by 10% year-over-year, according to the BLS, and with a master’s degree in accounting, you will find yourself at the forefront of a growing industry with a plethora of exciting careers and additional job opportunities.
How Long Does it take to get a Master’s Degree in Accounting?
Most students typically complete their master’s degree in accounting within two years. This is assuming that they already hold an undergraduate degree and are enrolled as a full-time student, as enrollment status can impact the amount of time it takes to complete an accounting degree. Ashford’s master's degree in accounting consists of 48 credits, with each course being 3 credits.
7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Master's Degree in Accounting
Getting a master’s degree in accounting requires the need to have a good head for numbers, intrinsic knowledge about business and corporations, and the ability to solve difficult, abstract problems. Consider asking yourself the following seven questions before you begin the Ashford University Master of Accountancy program:
1. Do I need to have an accounting background or a bachelor’s degree in accounting?
You can get a Master of Accountancy without a bachelor’s degree in accounting, but you do need to have earned some type of bachelor’s degree. However, the curriculum may prove to be more difficult if you are not familiar with the basic accounting and business concepts.
2. Am I passionate about accounting?
You should not get a master’s degree in accounting solely because you want to get a better job. You should have at least some interest in the field, or you may not be satisfied with your position and career post-graduation.
3. Do I want to become a CPA?
One common reason that students enroll in a master’s degree in accounting program is to reach the 150-hour requirement to sit for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) licensure exam. Bachelor’s degree programs provide only 120 hours, so you will need to take additional courses, such as those in a Master of Accountancy program, to fulfill this requirement.
4. What area of accounting am I interested in?
From audit and tax accounting to bookkeeping and sports accounting, there are many different fields in which you can focus your education. Check out the many careers available with your Master of Accountancy to decide.
5. Have I found a highly-regarded program that provides classes for my specialization?
If you have a particular specialization in mind, you will want to attend a graduate program that offers classes in that field to ensure you’re prepared for the competitive job market. The specializations at Ashford allow you to dig deeper into the topics that are interesting to you. Our Master of Accountancy specializations require three courses, worth a total of nine credits, and include:
Accounting: With this specialization, you will supplement your learning with courses designed to dive deeper into topics such as advanced accounting, auditing, tax research, and foreign currency transaction reporting, and you will develop and strengthen your organizational and leadership skills. It is three courses, each worth three credits, for a total of nine credits.
Audit: With this specialization, you'll prepare for a higher position within the accountancy field and will focus on advanced auditing and issues affecting the profession today, as well as learning how to identify, detect, and prevent fraud within accounting.
6. Will my employer help me pay for my Master of Accountancy?
If you currently work as an accountant, you may be able to pursue a master’s degree in accounting with help from your employer via MBA sponsorship programs, particularly if you work for a “Big Four” accounting firm. Consult with your company to see if you can get funding or tuition aid.
7. Do I have enough funds to pay for my education?
If your employer will not pay for your education, you may have to finance your education on your own. Consider using your savings, student loans, and other options to finance your degree, such as scholarships, including the Entrepreneurship Scholarship and the Senior Project Scholarship. And of course, feel free to contact an AU representative about financial assistance.
How to Get a Master of Accountancy
The process of getting a Master of Accountancy requires the completion of some kind of undergraduate degree, be it accounting, finance, business, or even in an unrelated field.
Second, you must find an accredited college or university that offers a Master of Accountancy program. The program is usually one to two years in length. Complete the program, and you’ll be on-track to succeed in the high-demand world of accounting.
Ashford University offers an IACBE-accredited Master of Accountancy program that was also given specialized accreditation for accounting, and it’s fully accessible online. Plus, at Ashford, there is no GMAT requirement. For more information on the degree details, contact an enrollment services advisor today.
Ready to take the next step and prepare for your new career with a Master of Accountancy? Learn more about our admissions process now.
By Ashford University staff