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Who Hires People with a Master of Accounting?

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Anytime an individual decides to enhance their education with a graduate degree there are a number of factors to take into consideration. Aside from determining what degree program to pursue and which school to attend, a student needs to consider what that advanced degree will do for their current or future career. Earning a Master’s in Accounting is no different; it comes with the same set of factors for students to keep in mind when entering a program.

Whether an accounting student is continuing directly from their undergraduate education or returning to school after a few years in the workforce, the biggest concern they should have is what industries currently or traditionally hire those with a Master’s in Accounting. Everyone’s experience is different. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are four main kind of accountants.

Public Sector

Accountants generally fall into four branches; Public Accountants, Management Accountants, Government Accountants and Auditors, and Internal Auditors. Those employed in the public sector as Public Accountants tend to work for an accounting firm and handle the accounting, tax, and auditing tasks of outside companies. Well qualified accountants with a graduate degree may even open their own accounting firm.

Management Accountants

An advanced degree, such as a Master’s in accounting, is a great asset for those wishing to climb the ladder into a management position. Those individuals who are employed as Management Accountants are responsible for the finances of an entire company and often oversee a number of other employees.

Government Sector

Federal, state, and local governments have vast and complicated accounting books and individuals with graduate degrees are well prepared to handle these books. Government accountants and auditors are in charge of overseeing the government’s finances to ensure that records are straight. Some individual accountants are also tasked with looking into the finances of companies that conduct business with the government.

Internal Auditors

A common position in the private sector, Internal Auditors work to ensure that a company’s records are kept straight and that no one is stealing money from the business. It is also the duty of an Internal Auditor to ensure that company money is not being wasted.

Nearly all sectors within the economy require accountants to help companies maintain their books in an orderly fashion. There are positions available within companies large and small, in sectors ranging from industry and manufacturing to Fortune 500 companies and Wall Street.

It is important for accounting graduate students to realize that not all sectors of the economy will necessarily be open to them for employment. The specific degree program attended will help determine which sectors of the economy a graduate is qualified to work in based upon the specific coursework provided at the institution. []

Specializations at various institutions tend to include Financial Reporting and Assurance, Tax, Managerial Accounting and Control, and even Generalist tracks. Financial Reporting and Assurance best prepares students for a career in public accounting or with a non-profit, while Managerial Accounting and Control is well-suited for those looking to work in industry or government sectors.