5 Benefits of Earning an Associate’s in Accounting

Benefits that Come with an Associate’s in Accounting

  • Less Debt
  • Quicker Entry to the Workforce
  • Coursework Available Online
  • Enables Many Career Paths
  • Demonstrates Commitment to the Field

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that accountants and auditors – both occupations that can be pursued with accounting degrees – should see a job growth of about ten percent between 2014 and 2024. Although most accountants or CPA-seekers need at least a bachelor degree, earning an associate degree can get you headed in the right direction. There are also several other benefits to earning this degree.

Resource: Top 10 Online Accounting Degree Programs

1. Less Debt

Earning a degree can cost thousands of dollars. For many students this means going into debt for several years. Unlike the bachelor degree, which requires completing about 120 credits, the the two-year associate degree only requires completion of about 60 credits. Since tuition is generally paid on a per-credit basis, earning the two-year degree may easily cost half the money. Once you earn your degree and join the workforce, you’ll be able to work debt free much sooner.

2. Quicker Entry to the Workforce

Because associate degrees are generally completed in two years, they are typically faster to earn than a bachelor’s degree. This allows you to join the workforce quicker and gain practical experience. An associate degree also requires completion of general education courses so you’ll have those courses out of the way if you decide to pursue a bachelor degree. While an associate degree may not be enough to become an accountant, it will provide you with the knowledge to work in entry-level accounting jobs.

3. Coursework Available Online

Online education has really increased the number of individuals pursuing degrees today. Online education, also known as distance learning, is not only more convenient, but it also allows the student to have more flexibility in his or her schedule. With distance learning, the student can continue to work and meet other family or financial obligations. Students aspiring to become accountants are generally not required to complete extensive internships. While accountant or finance students may benefit from externships or internships, they’re not generally a part of online education.

4. Enables Many Career Paths

The associate degree in accounting provides more career paths than just that of becoming an accountant or auditor. You’ll learn about federal income tax, data management, cost accountants, financial statements, economics and spreadsheet functionality. Once you’ve completed the degree program, you’ll be prepared to work as an accountant’s assistant, accounts payable clerk, accounts receivable clerk or bookkeeper. While these positions are not full-fledged accountants, they are occupations that will have you working in the accounting field.

5. Demonstrates Commitment to the Field

Regardless of what your ultimate career goals may be, you’re likely going to need a degree to work in the business world. You may be one of the few lucky ones who find good jobs without degrees, but this is more and more rare in today’s competitive environment. Most companies want employees who have at least a two-year degree. It may be the lowest degree you can earn, but it demonstrates your commitment to potential employers. It can prepare you to earn a bachelor or graduate degree in accounting or a related field. Many of the credits earned in the two-year accounting program may be transferable to another college.

If you aspire to become an accountant or CPA, you’ll definitely need at least a bachelor’s degree if not a master’s. Earning an associate’s degree in accounting can not only get you started on a career in this field but may also motivate you to continue your education.