What Undergraduate Degrees will Prepare Me for a Master’s of Accounting?

Completing a master’s degree in accounting is a challenging task. These degrees require mastery of business, mathematics and legal principles. They are often designed to get you ready for challenging licensure tests and competitive work environments. Luckily, you can prepare yourself for success in your graduate studies by choosing a compatible undergraduate major. Traditional choices like business are perennially popular, but unique options like English or computer science offer flexibility for electives and increasingly important skills.

Resource: Top 10 Online Accounting Degree Programs

Accounting

If your long-term plans include earning a master’s degree in this field, you can’t go wrong by earning a B.S. in the same subject. You’ll pick up a strong understanding of the legal and technical information you’ll need to succeed in the field. When you take your core graduate courses, you’ll easily understand them and be able to focus your attention on electives. Plus, if you’re considering becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you’ll need 150 credit hours of relevant coursework. This educational path will make it easy to obtain those hours.

Business

With a B.S. in business, you’ll be taking many of the same classes as your counterparts studying to be accountants. This means you’ll build a solid understanding of financial principles complemented by a grounding in business operations. Whether you plan to work for a Big 4 firm after graduation or want to start up your own office, formal education in business matters will help you reach your goals.

English

Studying English won’t explicitly prepare you for graduate-level studies in finance, but it will offer an unusual twist to your resume and boost your long-term career prospects. By focusing on your verbal skills over your mathematics abilities, you’ll stand out from other candidates. Plus, you’ll have an easier time with the research papers, business presentations and written exams your M.S. will require as well as the analytical writing section of the GMAT. Accountants need to write newsletters, editorials and client communications to build their professional reputation, but they often lack training in how to write effectively. An undergraduate education focused around English will give you a unique advantage in such a mathematics-oriented field.

Computer Science

Like English, computer science is not a traditional study choice for accountants, but it can come in handy. As financial processes become increasingly digital, a strong background in computing is necessary for success. Someone has to write programs for tax preparation and asset management. Having subject-matter expertise in finance and bookkeeping will make you an excellent choice for that role. If you want to work at a small firm after graduation, a diverse skillset will help your resume be memorable. You may want to pick up a minor in mathematics or business to round out your studies.

There’s no one specific bachelor’s degree that you must have to succeed in your graduate-level studies. If you have a commitment to studying, a passion for developing your career and a basic understanding of financial matters, you can do well in a master’s of accounting program.