For those individuals with a talent for numbers and organization, pursuing a career in accounting is a great way to join an in-demand and competitive field with a lot of upward mobility! But bachelor’s degree programs can take up to four years or more, and require a heavy investment in time and money. Pursuing an associate degree in accounting is one of the fastest routes to an accounting career, and can be a great stepping stone to a solid future. The benefits of an accounting degree are clear:
Not Just Accounting Skills
Students who pursue an accounting associate degree complete basic coursework in the principles of accounting and statistics, as well as learn accounting and bookkeeping software. In Goodwin College’s career-oriented associate degree program in accounting, students learn bookkeeping and lower-level accounting operations in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Students also gain experience entering transactional, adjusting, and closing entries into an accounting system; investigating trial balance discrepancies; managing payroll; and preparing financial reports.
Upon completing an associate degree in accounting program, students should be prepared to sit for professional certifications in bookkeeping, Microsoft Excel, and accounting software like QuickBooks.
Beyond just accounting classes, accounting degree students learn plenty of job-critical, business administration skills. As an accounting professional, they will strengthen their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills by identifying, gathering, measuring, and summarizing financial data. They will also learn to integrate and apply technological skills to accounting and business problems; develop awareness of professional and ethical issues facing the accounting industry; and create professional financial reports and analysis for users of accounting information.
Demand is On the Rise
The demand for skilled accounting professionals in the workforce continues to increase, and individuals with education and credentials that come after taking accounting classes stand out to employers. With an associate degree in accounting, individuals are prepared for a number of competitive entry-level jobs, like: accounts receivable clerk; accounting assistant; billing clerk; bookkeeper; or payroll clerk. And demand for these positions is on the rise, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that employment of these professionals is expected to increase 11% between 2012 and 2022. The median salary of these individuals as of May 2012 was $35,730, according to the BLS.