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What to Consider Before Pursuing a Bachelor of Accounting

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Somewhere out there is the perfect job for everyone. Each individual has unique skills and abilities that others cannot match 100%. Some people are extremely outgoing and work well with others regardless of the setting. Then there are those who are quiet, more introverted, and perhaps have a great analytical mind. For those with a mind for numbers and statistical analysis, a career in accounting might be worth pursuing upon completion of a college degree program.

Before enrolling in any sort of a program, such as a Bachelor of Accounting, there are a number of factors that each individual should consider. These factors are important because they are critical in helping the individual choose the institution and program that is right for them, setting them up for success along the way. No two individuals will place the same value on the following factors, so it is important to measure their importance on a person-by-person basis.

Public vs. Private

Accounting positions in the workforce vary between private accounting and public accounting. Completing a traditional Bachelor of Accounting program may help prepare graduates for a position as a private accountant. Public accounting requires additional educational requirements that some Bachelor’s programs might not offer.

If public accounting is the route an individual is seeking, they will not be able to take the Certified Public Accountant* exam unless they have completed 150 hours of education. This requirement varies from state to state. Some schools offer a combined Bachelor’s and Master’s program to meet this need, but others break them into separate undergraduate and graduate degrees. It’s important to pick the proper Bachelor’s program in order to meet all the public accountant requirements, and to carefully research the accounting requirements in any of the states in which you’d like to become licensed.

Is the full Bachelor of Accounting Necessary?

While a Bachelor’s degree specifically dedicated to accounting is the most common and direct path to a career in accounting, it is not the only way for a Bachelor’s graduate to become an accountant. According to career advice, it is possible to be completing a Bachelor’s degree in another subject and simply take the necessary accounting coursework to qualify for some accounting positions.

This route requires individuals to complete 30 credit hours of accounting classes and is a good option for those who have already completed a Bachelor’s program in another field but don’t want to leave the workforce to cross-train. While this route is a legitimate option, it may not be right for everyone. For some, paying to take just 30 credit hours of accounting courses instead of going back to school to earn a graduate degree may not be worth it.

Does the Degree Suit You?

Some people are extroverts and thrive on the companionship of co-workers. Other people are introverts and crave quiet, private workspaces. Yahoo! Education recently ranked the position of accountant as one of the best careers for introverts because most spend their work days with spreadsheets, computers, and data instead of interacting with their co-workers. It is important for students to keep this fact in mind when applying for a Bachelor of Accounting program.

Regardless of the degree an individual pursues, it is important to consider all the factors before devoting the time and money to a degree program that might not suit them or their needs in the future.


* Although the master’s degree program is designed to help students prepare for the AICPA licensure exam, it does not guarantee that students will be eligible to take or pass the exam and/or become licensed as a CPA in their respective states. In most states, a person must complete 150 semester hours of college coursework, apply to the State Board of Accountancy, pass the AICPA licensure exam, and meet certain residency, experience and/or other requirements established by the State in order to be licensed as a CPA. Since the requirements for state licensure are established by each individual state, AIU cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible for licensure in their respective state, at all or at any specific time, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment. Anyone who is interested in becoming a CPA should carefully research the accounting requirements of any States in which they hope to become licensed before they begin their education.

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Classes Start November 21, 2016