Accounting professionals interested in entering into top paying sectors in the field, such as federal government, private services, or for a large corporate entity, can benefit from returning to school for a Master in Accounting. Graduates with a Master of Accountancy will have earned the 150 credit hours required by most states to take the Certified Public Accountant Examination (if they so choose). The master’s degree combined with the CPA certification will improve young professionals’ odds of getting a well-paying job straight from school. While some states still allow for a person with just a bachelor’s to achieve their CPA, many states are now requiring an additional year of education which can be accomplished with a Master in Accounting. Here are some things to look for in a Master in Accounting school.
Most Master in Accounting programs require 2 years of full time study, although some of the top programs are now offering fast-track programs which can be completed in 10 months, providing the student is ready to put in a lot of studying hours. Undergraduate students and professionals who are interested in going back to school for a Master in Accounting should take care in choosing a quality program because the school backing their credentials can work as a springboard into the top paying percentile in their field. Entry level accounting positions range from $50,000 to $70,000. By graduating from a well-respected Master in Accounting program, graduates are setting themselves up for job offers on the higher end of the salary spectrum.
Besides just program reputation, those considering a Master in Accounting should also consider which sector interests them most in accountancy. Many programs offer different “tracks” for their students such as: financial reporting and assurance, tax, information technology, managerial accounting and control, or general. By focusing on a niche, graduates will be more likely to become experts in a specific area of accounting which will make them more sought after by big companies. An accounting professional with the right education and experience can expect to make $150,000 up to $300,000 annually ten years into their career.
CPA Exam Preparation
While teaching to the test isn’t always ideal, a big boost that comes from a Master in Accounting is a student’s ability to ace their CPA exam upon graduation. CPA salaries are typically 10%-15% higher than none certified professionals, and people with the CPA certification can expect an easier time landing better jobs. That being said, CPA preparation within a Master in Accounting program is a great way to hit two birds with one stone: additional education and test preparation. Below you will find a list of the top Master in Accounting programs. This list was compiled based on school reputation, the successes and satisfaction of graduates, and the rigor of the program, and preparedness for career post-graduation.