Is an Accounting Degree Worth It?

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By DeVry University

December 14, 2022
5 min read

If you’re looking forward to preparing for a career in business, chances are you’re comparing different degree programs to determine which could offer you the best career potential. 

You might be asking yourself: What are the potential benefits of earning an accounting degree compared to other business administration concentrations? Is an accounting degree worth it in terms of career and earning potential?

Skills and Education Required

Deciding to earn an accounting degree is an exciting step. To ensure the program you’re enrolling in is the right fit for you, it’s important that you thoroughly review the skills required to perform the job you’re interested in pursuing. According to the employment website Indeed, accountants need a combination of hard and soft skills to succeed in their careers, which may include:

  • Organization
  • Data analysis and attention to detail
  • Critical thinking
  • Effective communication
  • Time management
  • Problem solving

Coursework in an accounting degree program should cover specific skills like the principles, practices and procedures used by accountants, as well as the logic and reasoning that is so elemental to the profession. At DeVry, coursework in our Accounting Bachelor’s Degree includes:

  • Critical thinking
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Financial accounting
  • Auditing
  • Accounting information systems
  • Federal income taxation 

Is an Accounting Degree Worth It?

As you continue to weigh your career options and investigate which career paths have better earning potential or are more in line with your interests, you’re probably asking yourself, is an accounting degree worth it? While there certainly is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question, let’s take a look at some of the potential benefits.

There can be several strong positives to an accounting career:

  • A straightforward career path: If you’re a person who likes to have a clear idea of where their career is headed, then an accounting degree may give you that. An accounting degree helps equip you with a specific set of skills that can be applied to many accounting jobs across multiple industries. Career paths in accounting are often well defined, making it easy to transition from one role, organization or industry to the next.
  • Broad availability: Some careers require you to live in or near a particular industrial hub, but accountants can work just about anywhere. Since accounting is a universal business need, they can typically find work in any city or suburb, and in organizations of all sizes. Remote opportunities may also be available. 
  • Fulfills an essential function: Since all organizations need people to help prepare and file taxes, manage cash flow or oversee other business-related accounting functions, accountants serve an essential role in nearly every industry. 

So, is there a downside to the field of accounting? We don’t think so. However, here are a few noteworthy things to consider when pursuing a career as an accountant:

  • Some positions require advanced education: If you’re thinking about becoming a Certified Public Account (CPA), you should know that there are specifics sets of requirements for pursuing this certification, including earning a set number of credit hours before you can sit for the exam. In addition, tax accountants must stay up to date on changes in the IRS tax code. If you’re considering either of these as a career path, for example, you will need to be willing to commit to additional study time. 
  • You may have a busy season: As we all know, the period from January 1 to April 15 is known as tax season. Describing this period as busy for accountants might be something of an understatement. During this time, you may be required to work longer hours to get your clients’ returns filed before the April 15 deadline. 
  • Attention to detail is essential: Keeping track of a company’s finances is an important task. As an accountant, you should be prepared to balance various regulations, growth expectations, tax laws and other complex challenges without missing a beat.

Accounting Degree Career Options

Accounting careers can be found in nearly every industry, including public accounting corporations, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and multinational companies. You can explore a range of career opportunities with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, or go on to earn a master’s degree or Master of Business Administration (MBA) so that you may consider higher-level positions.

Career options you may consider after earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting include:

  • Accountant
  • Accounting Manager
  • Auditor Public Accounting or Government & Non-Profit Organizations
  • Budget Analyst
  • Credit Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Manager
  • Financial Planner

Is Accounting a Steady Career?

Because all businesses need the services of an accountant or an outside accounting firm, the occupation is a solid choice. Accounting-related jobs are expected to remain steady during the next decade. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 6% from 2021 to 2031 on a national level1. About 136,400 job openings are projected each year over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who change occupations or retire from the workforce.

Conclusion

Is an accounting degree right for you? If you’re looking for a career with projectably steady employment growth, prefer a clearly defined, step-by-step career path and have interest in working with numbers or business finances, this degree could be a great fit for you.

Start Your Accounting Career Journey at DeVry

If you’re ready to pursue a career in accounting, explore our flexible online or hybrid Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and prepare to learn many of the fundamental accounting skills that can be applied to a career in finance, management, forensic accounting and other industries. 

You can earn your bachelor’s degree in as little as 2 years and 8 months, or even more quickly with qualifying transfer credits2. Classes start every 8 weeks.

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1Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location.  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-1 

2Not including breaks. Assumes year-round, full-time enrollment.

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