Accounting is an area that provides a nation with the ability to generate knowledge and convert it into social development and wealth, based on some institutional agents that collect and apply this knowledge. As far as the rapid expansion of the accounting field is concerned, not just quantity, but also quality education is an essential element (Durso, Cunha, Neves, & Teixeira, 2016). In this way, expansion of the field from an undergraduate level to a Master’s level is considered an important step towards the provision of quality education. Good quality and productive education are to some extent grounded in respective faculties. Master’s degrees in Accounting have contributed a lot towards the private and public sectors through a new mantra. The economic growth and development of nations have further contributed to the importance of this degree (Thomas & Nichols, 2004).
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Is a Master’s in Accounting worth It?
Accounting is one of the ever-growing fields and can lead to a profitable career in the constantly evolving business world. In accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics-(BLS), the accountants’ median annual payment is double that of all other occupations. A master’s in Accounting can lead to very rewarding positions in the business world. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual income of accountants doubles the number of years worked, and has high-earning prospects. The certificate Public Accountant (CPA) is one of the exams for which a Master’s in Accounting or the pursuit of one is required.
Accounting degrees at Master’s level are highly specialized and require an in-depth study of topics such as tax regulation, financial analysis, and auditing procedures. A master’s in Accounting can be applied across a large number of industrial sectors and occupations.
Accounting is estimated to have existed since 5000 B.C., when bartering systems were first invented (Unegbu, 2014). Modern accountants enjoy the high-level demand for their services, and BLS projects that there will be a 4% increase in the growth rate of accounting and auditing positions from 2019 to 2029.
This degree offers high earning potential and adaptability. With its rigorous and diverse curriculum, it cultivates important character traits that aid people in prospering, such as honesty, trustworthiness, cordiality, tenacity, and determination.
By choosing to go for a Master’s in Accounting, you have the chance to follow a variety of courses. Your choice in which courses to follow will obviously have a significant impact on your future career. Some of the subject’s specialties are as follows:
Online Learning vs Traditional Learning
In this time of science and technology, enrolled students are choosing more and more to go for online education to facilitate their learning and level of experience (Napier et al., 2011). This is done by using online mediums such as Facebook Groups or Google Communities. Despite having face-to-face interactions, students opt for online means for discussion, research, meetups, practice, study plans, and preparation of their group presentations. This allows the students to involve external cohorts in any decision-making. The very notion of involving external groups in decision making is known as “boundary-less groups”, where ideas from different sources are gathered and worked upon (Eunice, Kimball, Silber, & Weinstein, 2009; Jaques & Salmon, 2007). This is very convenient and saves the groups a lot of time, as they can get in connection without any barrier of time or space. As explained by Salmon and Jaques (2007), “This system is not just an advantage to individuals who want to get in connection, but it also provides the groups with the advantage of carrying out any work without meeting” (p. 20). The isolated students can in this way become competent and proficient; they get social support, interaction, and develop their skills. The growing influence of online media makes it far easier for internal and external students to interact and increase their potential.
A quick summary of the advantages of eLearning:
It is the most flexible way of learning if we take into consideration time and space; while the traditional method of learning is space and time-bound.
E-learning enhances the quality and efficiency of knowledge with its ease of access to huge amounts of information; while the traditional form of learning provides students with far more limited information within an equal amount of time.
It provides an opportunity for students to interact, exchange views and respect different points of view; under the traditional learning environment, it’s more difficult for students to interact openly and share their points of view.
It eases communication and improves relationships which sustain learning; under the traditional learning environment, it becomes very difficult to continue learning when you’re not physically present.
It also provides students and teachers with extra prospects for interaction; while under the traditional learning conditions, the gap between the teacher and students is quite broad. This results in the students often being left unheard.
E-learning is the most cost-effective way in terms of commuting as well as provision of education to a vast number of students; the traditional learning system is quite costly and this is one of the reasons that a lot of students can’t afford proper schooling.
E-learning provides an opportunity for the individual learners to put a larger focus on their preferred courses; while the traditional learning system doesn’t provide students with a wide variety of options.
It also compensates for any absence of academic staff including teachers, instructors, facilitators as well as lab technicians, etc.; While in the traditional learning system, the non-availability of academic staff is hard to be compensated for.
Other than that, it also favors students who want to learn at their own pace. Students can take classes in accordance with their preferences and learning speed; while in the traditional learning environment, students are never given the opportunity to take the amount of time they need because of their learning speed.
Finally, it’s far easier for an individual to both work and study at the same time; with the traditional learning system, it’s most often quite difficult to combine these.
These are just some of the advantages that an online learning system has over the traditional learning system. Online learning is the most flexible and cost-effective method of learning. Meanwhile, the traditional way of learning is not as flexible and less cost-effective.
Field of Work
A Master’s in Accounting is one of the most multi-dimensional graduate degrees. Having this degree allows graduates to choose from a large number of occupations in both the private and public sectors, such as financial advising, forensic accounting, financial management, and import and export brokerage.
Some of the available occupations and fields that a graduate of accounting can opt for are:
Looking at the above-given courses, there is most definitely a vast range of fields which these graduates are needed for. As per BLS, the most employment-oriented degree is accounting, and this degree ranks at the top in terms of employment. Some of the basic fields that graduates of accounting are seen to be working are as such:
Types of Work
Business, HR and finance
Secretarial and numerical clerks
Retail, catering and bar staff
Marketing, PR and sales
Due to the multitude of skill sets, greater job stability is enjoyed by students with a Master’s in Accounting than in any other discipline. Even during economic downturns or halts, the skills of accountants are required to coup up with it and make special arrangements for managing costs.
To be eligible for this field of study, a student needs to demonstrate a strong background in mathematics, although students with a background in business and statistics will also be at an advantage. Students also have the flexibility to switch between programs after their first year so they can choose the field that attracts them the most based upon their introductory course.
The institutional entry requirements are based upon the following terms:
The subject held by the students during bachelor’s degree (such as computing, commerce, economics, business studies, finance, and engineering)
Grades (Dependents on the merit criteria of different institutions)
Professional Experience of the candidate
Language Proficiency (an additional requirement for international candidates)
Students not having accounting may be subjected to take a few additional courses prior to getting into this degree
Candidates applying for the universities in the US may be required to hold a certificate Graduate Record Examination test (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).
Universities in Australia, Canada, UK, and others may however ask for an adequate (International English Language Test Score) IELTS
People Interested in This Degree
This course work can be of benefit to those who have an interest in mathematics or business, and who can apply their skills in a practical manner. Accounting is basically a numbers game and because of that, it is an important factor dealing with the financial sector of society. It is most suitable for those with good quantitative skills and for those who know how to play with numbers. Individuals pursuing this field need to be patient and persistent to work in it. Especially people who have years of experience in mathematics-oriented courses should apply for it. It can be especially suitable for those working in this area as a banker, clerics, auditors, and others.
The subjects covered under this program are quite interesting and skill-enhancing. The mandatory and optional courses covered under this program are as such:
Some of the universities that provide highly intensified, comprehensive, and well-equipped education in this area are as follows:
The graduate department of LSE provides a wide potential in the area of accounting. It enhances the analytical skills of the students in accounting. It is ranked among the top universities that provide Master’s degrees in Accounting.
The fee for a Master’s in Accounting for domestic and overseas students lies between £30,360 and £30,960 respectively
The Stern School of Business at New York University provides a Master’s degree in Accounting and it has been ranked as one of the topmost universities in this area by QS ranking. However, there are also student loans and scholarships available in this area. The credit hours required for this course are 30-36 credit hours and it takes 12 to 18 months for a full-time student to complete the degree.
The degree cost for a Master’s in Accounting at New York University is $95,462.
As per the QS world university ranking, the University of Melbourne has been ranked 16th globally in accounting. The university calls for its legacy of having 60,000 business alumni in over 100 countries. This gives a chance for enhanced and quality alumni networking. It provides basic and advanced knowledge in the field of accounting and finance under its Melbourne Business School. Through the integrated combination of core and elective courses, it provides advanced knowledge to the students in the accounting profession. It gains accreditation from CFA as well as CPA. The course completion time period covers over 2 years for full-time and 4 years for part-time candidates.
The degree cost at the University of Melbourne is over $69632.
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania focuses on accounting data to be used in a vital manner. The university is accredited by the Certificate Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Management Accountant (CMA). The course is estimated to take over two years for full-time candidates and 4 years for part-time candidates.
The total cost for the degree is around $111, 695.
The Cambridge Judge Business School of Cambridge has developed an integrated Master’s in Accounting program. This program focuses on providing students with the necessary skills to compete during practice and in the real world.
The total fee for this degree is between £55,150 and £65,150.
Accounting as a subject is not just limited to a specific area and country. It is a globally recognized subject and the most employment-ensuring subject. People graduating in this sector may never become unemployed; it is because of this reason that accountants are the backbone of any economy. So, from a minor level to a major ministerial level, accounting seems to be the most integrated and needed subject. Accountants play an extremely important role in maintaining accountability and transparency within an economy.
1. Can students from the background of Social Sciences and Humanities join this degree program?
Yes, students having a background in social sciences and humanities can go for this degree but are at some universities required to do extra course work. This varies from university to university and country to country.
2. What are the other prospects of this degree apart from the corporate and business sector?
Other than the corporate and business sector, people in this course can work in the public and private sectors. They can also work as auditors and teachers at schools, colleges and universities.
3. What is the future of this degree in the upcoming years of digitalization and artificial intelligence?
In the upcoming years of digitalization and artificial intelligence, accounting specialists will continue to play an important role. With the ongoing progress in these sectors, there are few possibilities for this field to diminish in size.
4. What are the prospects of this degree in the underdeveloped world?
Accounting doesn’t just play a large role in the developed world because of their larger economies. It plays a role in every single economy, no matter the size.
5. Do graduates in this sector remain restricted to the banking and corporate sector?
No, the graduates in this sector don’t remain limited in any one sector, rather they can join any social welfare organization, multi-national organizations, and academia.
6. What are the different forms of this degree?
This degree doesn’t just exist as the Master’s in Accounting; it can also be studied in affiliation with economics, finance, and business studies.
7. How to check the recognized institutes that provide this degree?
To get information about institutions that offer this degree, you should look through the global ranking of courses.
8. What is the long-term effectiveness of this degree?
This degree provides a long-term benefit and graduates in this field never remain jobless.
9. Are the jobs in this sector going to continue to exist in the upcoming years?
Yes, each and every sector in this degree is going to be sustained in the long run.
10. Is it necessary to take GRE, GMAT, or IELTS before applying for admission?
This depends on the specific university requirements.
11. Has the language proficiency being waived off for admission?
Due to COVID-19, this requirement has recently been waived at many universities.
Christina Lyon is the author of this educational blog and she is involved with student’s life and education. She has a passion for writing articles related to education including Degrees, Diplomas, exams, students’ experience, and her prime objective is to support worldwide students by answering all their FAQs through this blog.