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The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.



How Do I Get a Bachelor of Accounting?

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Some students have a gift for certain areas of study. Certain students easily grasp scientific concepts, or easily wrap their brain around intangible theories like those offered in social science programs. Other students are gifted when it comes to mathematics, crunching numbers with ease and capable of organizing otherwise complicated information into intelligible data. These individuals should consider a career in accounting, but how would they go about earning a Bachelor in Accounting?

Why a Bachelor of Accounting?

Most degree programs are offered at a variety of levels, from two-year Associate’s programs up to advanced Doctoral programs. A Bachelor of Accounting program is vital to anyone looking for work as an accountant for a number of reasons. First, and most important, a Bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most entry level accounting positions. Those with high career aspirations will need a Bachelor’s degree to help make them eligible for Master’s and other post-graduate programs.

Choosing a Program

Yes, it has already been determined that a Bachelor’s degree in accounting is the first step a student can take, but what is the specific program that could get them where they want to go. There are accounting programs offered by traditional four-year institutions, in an on-campus setting, but there are also online programs and condensed programs that can be completed in less time than you think. It is important to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each when determining which path best suits you.

Choosing a School

As with many other degree programs, the reputation of the school offering it contributes to the value of that degree to potential employers. When choosing a school research the reputation of the school, its success in assisting graduates with career services, and cost, among other factors. Many accounting programs are housed within an institution’s business school, making it important to use the same factors listed above to determine the reputation of not only the greater institution, but its business school as well.

Accounting Coursework

Any student considering a career in accounting needs to be comfortable with numbers, first and foremost. A Bachelor of Accounting degree program is going to have a lot of courses based in mathematics, but there are other courses students should be prepared for. Additional courses include budgeting, financial analysis, auditing, and taxation.

One of the biggest challenges in earning a Bachelor of Accounting degree can be an individual’s personality traits. Accountants have very detail oriented duties and the coursework for any program will reflect that. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants are responsible for ensuring financial records are accurate, filing taxes on time, analyzing financial operations, and helping organizations run efficiently, among other tasks.

Students should be prepared to showcase their knowledge and abilities before having a diploma bestowed upon them. The BLS points out that many Bachelor of Accounting programs require students to complete summer or part-time internships with public auditors or private firms, providing them with the chance to use what they have learned in a real world setting. Internships are not guaranteed by the school, so a student should prepare to locate those internships themselves.

Sources:
http://www.bls.gov/k12/money01.htm 
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Office-and-Administrative-Support/Bookkeeping-accounting-and-auditing-clerks.htm#tab-4 
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-4  

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