If you are among the younger generations in today’s workforce, you may be contemplating the most efficient route to a successful accounting career. Perhaps you are a junior accountant, or maybe you’re in an administrative role. You’ve probably been given advice such as stay in your job for at least two years, work extra hours, be flexible and be receptive to feedback. While this is constructive advice, you may want to supplement it by earning your MBA.
Become a Complete Business Professional with an MBA
The Master of Business Administration in Accounting online program from Fitchburg State University provides a comprehensive background in business skills combined with financial knowledge to help you move into management positions across various business functions and industries. The program offers advanced core courses including accounting theory, organizational behavior, management information systems, marketing management and corporate finance. This specialized MBA includes concentration courses in advanced financial accounting issues, advanced managerial accounting and accounting information systems. Students can also take electives in economic theory and managerial decision-making.
The knowledge you will gain in these courses, as well as the degree itself, can open doors to high-level positions including controller and manager as well as mid-level positions in accounting and finance. Employers know that an MBA graduate with an accounting concentration offers versatile accounting and business skill sets suitable to diverse roles. Accounting professionals who enroll in an MBA program learn the language of business. This enables them to close communication gaps between finance and other areas of leadership. Highly rated MBA programs like that of Fitchburg State are often developed in conjunction with leading corporations to ensure that graduates have the skill sets employers require.
Some MBA candidates choose the specialized program to expand their business and accounting knowledge while accumulating additional required credits to sit for the CPA exam. Career changers with accounting aspirations often choose a specialized MBA over completing more undergraduate work. Because it is a master’s-level degree, an MBA enhances a career changer’s professional profile and earnings potential.
Become a CPA
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a statutory title of a qualified accountant and is also a license to provide accounting services to the public. All CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs. The designation is a demonstration of extensive education and experience, and qualifies you to perform audits, advise on taxation matters, investigate fraud, and conduct business valuations. As a CPA, you may work for a corporation or independently as a consultant, working with corporations or individuals.
Becoming a Certified Public Accountant puts you in position for a lucrative career. According to Salary.com, the salary for CPAs in the U.S. ranges between $70,235 and $461,014, as of December 2019. The MBA, coupled with experience, enables you to accelerate to the higher end of compensation.
Compare the average CPA salary with that of an entry level accountant (Accountant I), which falls between $49,397 and $59,739. An accountant with more experience (Accountant II) earns between $56,907 and $69,470, still a fraction of the earnings potential for a CPA.
Most states require you to take at least 150 semester hours in order to become licensed as a public accountant. You may have accrued 120 of these hours through a bachelor’s degree program, in which case a master’s degree program would offer you the additional 30. You could also earn these credits through a Master of Science in Accounting or a Master of Arts in Accounting degree program, but those degrees do not provide a well-rounded foundation in business. An MBA provides the most versatility and arguably the most efficient route to many of the accounting world’s most desirable and rewarding positions.
Learn more about Fitchburg State’s online MBA in Accounting program.