Why Pursuing an Online Accounting Degree Adds Up

When choosing a course of study, there are several factors to consider, from your skill set to how your degree will help you find a stable, secure job that you enjoy. If you’re good with numbers and organization, then an online accounting degree might be the best choice for you.

Online Accounting Programs Put You on the Right Path

The world of accounting is full of opportunities for those with the right qualifications. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 1.3 million accounting positions in the United States, and that number is expected to grow by 7 percent over the next decade. 

More than just being in demand, accounting positions also offer a great deal of stability, as accountants are needed year-round, especially during tax season. According to U.S. News and World Report, accountants earn an average of $71,550 per year, and accountancy ranks as the 13th-best job in the business sector.

Wide Variety of Work

Accountancy may seem like a relatively narrow field of study, but earning credentials in this popular field of study, such as through an online accounting program, can position you for a variety of interesting careers in many different areas, including:

Government and Non-Profit Accounting Jobs

These specialized jobs involve everything from fund accounting for charities to working for the IRS and other government agencies to balance the books of public projects. They offer you a chance to provide public service by putting your math skills to work, ensuring monies are ethically and equitably spent.

Public Accounting Jobs

From cost estimators to forensic accountants, public accountants provide a valuable service in an independent or professional group business setting. They can seek business from clients across the financial spectrum. Other public accounting specialists with independent businesses include:

  • Tax attorneys
  • Enrolled agents
  • Tax accountants
  • Real estate appraisers
  • Tax preparers

Some of these specialties may require additional training, but an accounting degree provides a firm foundation for each role.

Private Accounting Jobs

From bookkeeping to budget analysis, corporations large and small often keep private accountants employed full time. Certified public accountants hold about 36 percent of CFO positions, and while that number may be decreasing, CFOs with less direct accounting experience are more reliant on certified staff. 

Some common private accounting positions include:

  • Comptroller/financial controller
  • Accounts payable/receivable clerk
  • Actuarial accountant/insurance accountant
  • Accounting information system specialist
  • Capital accountant
  • Budget analyst
  • Cost accountant
  • Environmental accountant

Accountancy provides a good doorway into large corporate work if you’re seeking employment rather than aiming to start your own practice.

Financial Services

The world of financial services offers several boutique opportunities for accounting professionals that fall outside the purview of public accounting. Accountants are uniquely qualified to enter some fields of private practice, including: 

  • Financial analysis
  • Business valuation 
  • Tax consultancy
  • Certified financial planning

As you can see, accounting certification opens the door to many interesting, challenging, and rewarding work opportunities.

Choosing the Right Online Accounting Degree Program

As you might expect, there are numerous online accounting degree programs from which to choose, and it can certainly be a challenge to figure out which one best meets your needs. While everyone is different — and the choice is ultimately yours — you would benefit greatly to seek out programs that offer a wide range of options for studying accounting, allowing you to choose when and how you’ll pursue your online education. Those considerations should include whether the college or university offers degree and/or certificate programs, online and hybrid learning options, and how the flexibility of their offerings fits your schedule.