Is an MBA Worth It for Accountants?

We think that an MBA can absolutely be worth it for accountants. Despite being a business-focused degree, an MBA can be built to specialize in the area of accounting, making it easier to incorporate your career goals into an MBA program.

At DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management, we offer an MBA with a Specialization in Accounting, which means that you'll have the opportunity to take additional accounting courses that can help you work to improve your understanding of the field while you’re earning your MBA, which, in some cases, may actually be more helpful to your career goals than a standard accounting degree.

An MBA can be useful for accounting professionals in two particular ways. First, the versatility of an MBA with an Accounting Specialization may allow you to consider other career pathways that might not be available to those with just a Master's in Accounting, despite the degrees being at the same academic level. Secondly, an MBA may help you satisfy the work requirements needed to prepare to take the CPA Exam or pursue another professional certification1.

In this article, we'll discuss the pros and cons of an MBA, and explore a few different options for accountants who wish to bolster their resume by earning another academic credential as you read through the following sections:

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Earning an MBA in Accounting (Pros and Cons)

As with any degree, there are reasons you may want to pursue an MBA in accounting over another. In this section, we'll take a look at the advantages of an MBA in accounting and compare them with other graduate degrees with an accounting focus, such as a Master's in Accounting, to help you make the best choice for your desired career path and personal goals.

Pros of Earning an MBA in Accounting

There are several advantages that an MBA in accounting may bring that other accounting-focused graduate degrees do not. The biggest advantage is that the degree has the potential to be more versatile due to its more general business focus.

The advantages of the more general approach may not be immediately obvious, but by pursuing a degree with a broader scope of focus, you may be able to apply for a job in the field of business should you choose to move out of accounting somewhere down the line.

Cons of Earning an MBA in Accounting

There are instances where the primary advantage of earning an MBA in accounting, which is its versatility, may be seen as its main disadvantage.

For instance, some high-level accounting positions may prefer applicants have a Master's in Accounting, as that type of degree typically covers a wider range of accounting material than an MBA in accounting may. A Master’s in Accounting also directly feature the word "Accounting" on the diploma itself, which may not be the case with an MBA. However, as you would likely place "MBA – Accounting Specialization" or a similar note on your resume, this issue can be bypassed. Additionally, should you choose to work toward a CPA certification at some point in your career, that can help demonstrate your accounting abilities to employers.

Another element that might be considered a con is that adding an MBA in accounting to your resume after your undergrad or years in the field will take a longer time to complete, rather than just earning a Bachelor's in Accounting and heading directly into the accounting world.

More Education in Accounting for Your Career

An MBA with a Specialization in Accounting is an opportunity to add an additional credential to your resume. While an MBA is mainly a business degree, an MBA with a Specialization in Accounting adds accounting courses to the traditional curriculum. By taking more accounting courses, you can work on building your skills and perhaps even work toward fulfilling some of the requirements to take the CPA Exam1.

Developing Advanced Skills for Accounting

Like all graduate degrees, an MBA in accounting may help you develop more advanced skills than were touched upon in your time spent working toward a bachelor's degree. These advanced skills can help you stand out when applying for accounting positions, and may even allow you to bypass entry-level jobs in favor of more mid-tier positions.

Additionally, advanced accounting skills that you learn in an MBA program can help you prepare to take the CPA Exam1, which is a valued professional certification throughout the accounting world. If you're already working as an accountant, earning this certification or even just earning an MBA can help you develop the skills that you'll need to stand out from the crowd when the time comes for promotions.

Earn an MBA with an Accounting Specialization from DeVry University

If earning an MBA in accounting sounds like the right move to you, then DeVry can help. Our MBA with an Accounting Specialization gives you the opportunity to add an accounting-focused credential to your resume while also allowing you to build up vital accounting skills that can be used in the workplace. Request more info to see how enrolling in our MBA with an Accounting Specialization program can give you the tools you'll need to advance your career.


1Credits and degrees earned from this institution do not automatically qualify the holder to participate in professional licensing exams to practice certain professions. Persons interested in practicing a regulated profession must contact the appropriate state regulatory agency for their field of interest. For instance, typically 150 credit hours or education are required to meet state regulatory agency education requirements for CPA licensure.