Types of Accounting Degrees
The cost of an accounting program usually depends on the degree or certification a graduate earns, and the type of career it may lead to. Tuition for certificate or associate degree programs will generally be less expensive than those at the graduate-level. Below are the types of accounting degrees offered by most colleges and universities, along with some of the careers commonly chosen by program graduates.
Coursework in a certificate program introduces the fundamental financial principles and practices, such as cost analysis, managing account books, and budgeting, typically required for entry-level positions in the field.
- Accounting Clerk
- Associate Degree
Along with industry basics, students learn how federal and state regulations affect everyday accounting practices. Computer coursework develops proficiency in programs commonly used for budgeting, payroll, and tax documentation.
- Accounting Assistant
- Payroll Clerk
- Tax Preparer
- Bachelor's Degree
Most undergraduate-level accounting program prepare students for their Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Many also offer academic concentrations like forensic accounting and tax auditing.
- Cost Accountant
- Master’s Degree
In addition to CPA course material, graduate coursework covers more specialized topics, such as fraud detection and corporate accounting, and advanced material intended for those seeking higher-level positions in finance.
- Budget Analyst
- Revenue Agent
- Doctorate Degree
PhD candidates spend a great deal of time developing a thesis, performing research, and preparing a dissertation. Research is usually focused on one core topic related to accounting.
- Chief Financial Officer
- Internal Auditor
How Much Does an Accounting Degree Cost?
From the type of program to an individual school, there are numerous factors that can influence the overall cost of getting an accounting degree. Are you seeking a traditional college experience on campus, or would you rather speed up the pace with an accelerated online program? Many distance learning programs can be completed quickly, saving money as well as time. However, online courses are frequently offered through for-profit institutions, which can be pricier than their nonprofit counterparts.
Whether a school is public or private also affects its cost. Public schools, which are typically nonprofit, receive government subsidies that allow them to offer low in-state tuition rates. Because private schools rely exclusively on tuition funds and donations to operate, they’re significantly more expensive to attend.
Financing Your Accounting Degree
When it comes to paying for college, you have plenty of options. Completing a FAFSA form can help narrow them down by determining if you qualify for federal financial aid through scholarships, grants, and loans. Some students take out additional private loans to cover costs, but federal loans offer much better repayment terms and lower interest rates. If you’re looking for economical ways to finance your accounting degree, scholarships and grants should be at the top of your list.
Unlike most types of financial aid, scholarships and grants don’t need to be repaid. It’s like free money! You can apply to as many as you like, and you’re not limited to accounting scholarships — there are awards for nearly everything you can think of. You may be eligible for certain awards based on your personal, financial, or academic background, state of residence, your hobbies, or scholarships exclusively for accounting majors.
Types of Scholarships
If finding scholarships for accounting majors sounds like a difficult task, fear not! No matter your background, major, interests, or skills, there’s a scholarship out there for you. While some are based on financial need, others are awarded based on exceptional academic, athletic, or artistic performance. Many are open to students who pursue a particular career path or field of study. Below, we’ll look at the most common types of college scholarships.