Accounting is a major that typically falls into the Business, Management & Marketing category.
There are 1,075 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in accounting, 1,374 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 626 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 23 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.
Who Is Getting an Accounting Degree?
This is one of the most frequently chosen college majors. It is the 7th most popular in the country with 56,000 students graduating with a bachelor’s in accounting in 2017. According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 51.1% of the graduates are women, and 48.9% are men.
At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of accounting majors is as follows:
- Asian: 7.9%
- Black or African American: 7%
- Hispanic or Latino: 12.3%
- White: 59.8%
- Non-Resident Alien: 6.9%
- Other Races: 6.1%
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in accounting. About 6.9% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending accounting majors to the U.S. are China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
What Will You Learn as an Accounting Major?
An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to accounting to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Accounting Majors
Accounting majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
Skills for Accounting Majors
When studying accounting, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
Abilities for Accounting Majors
As an accounting major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
What Can You Do With an Accounting Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with accounting:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks||-1%||$45,050|
|Financial Managers, Branch or Department||18.7%||$127,990|
|Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents||-0.6%||$54,440|
|Treasurers and Controllers||18.7%||$127,990|
Accounting Major Salary
Accounting majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $50,000 to $90,000. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.
Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.
Amount of Education Required for Accounting Major Jobs
Some careers associated with accounting may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
Find out what the typical degree level is for accounting careers below.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|Less Than a High School Diploma||0.5%|
|High School Diploma or Equivalent||14.4%|
|Some College Courses||9.6%|
|Associate's Degree or Equivalent||8.4%|
|First Professional Degree||0.6%|
Online Accounting Programs
There are 1,374 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting, with 230 of them offering at least some courses online.
Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.
Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.
Is an Accounting Major Worth It?
The median salary for an accounting grad is $79,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 103% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $798,400 after 20 years!
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Featured Accounting / Finance Schools
|Request Info||Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|