When choosing to pursue a career in accounting, some people may tend to become side-tracked after considering the duration and the cost of education. Online accounting classes have proven to be highly popular as they provide a cost effective education, which allows a person to acquire a degree in accounting. Students may take classes to complete a degree program in accounting. They could earn a Bachelor of Science degree or a Master of Science degree. The aim of these programs is preparing graduates to effectively take professional exams such as CPA (certified public accountant) exams or the CMA (Certificate in Management Accounting) exam.
Duration of Degree Programs and Online Program Advantages
The average duration of these programs is usually four years for a bachelor's degree and two years for a master's degree, but this may depend on the enrollment status of the student. Also, program duration could depend on the number of courses a student takes per semester, and other factors may affect the duration. A major benefit of online education is that it allows a person to earn a degree while still maintaining other aspects of life such as jobs or family responsibilities. Students have more flexibility when scheduling classes and completing coursework, so that they don't conflict with their current schedules.
Course work and materials may be accessed any time even on weekends, which allows students to study at their own pace. The overall cost of education is reduced to mostly only the amount for tuition. Commuting cost and other expenses are also reduced since students do not have to attend classes on a campus or pay for a meal plan. Some resources for online classes provide access to videos that a student will be able to download and watch when needed.
Prerequisites for Admission
Some programs do not have strict prerequisites, and they allow people from differing educational backgrounds to enroll. With regards to undergraduate accounting degrees, the number of required classes could be significantly decreased, and a master's degree could be earned in a shorter amount of time. Students who enroll in accredited schools could complete a master's degree by completing 32 credit hours. While undergraduates who have taken business courses could also enroll and complete the program by taking 40 credit hours. An additional eight credit hours are in courses that will help bridge the gap for accounting studies that they have missed by being business majors. Students from other majors would be required to take introductory accounting courses in addition to necessary course modules.
Career Prospects and Income
Prospects for accounting professionals range from banks, audit firms, and many others. This program offers a unique tool for students to take necessary professional exams that are mandatory for many accounting careers. After students pass their exams, they could begin working in positions ranging from auditors, to consultants and even begin teaching online accounting classes to students. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that auditors earned a median annual salary of $63,550 in 2010.