Online Bachelor's Degree in Accounting

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

Find out how online bachelor’s degree programs in accounting work, and review the typical curriculum. Get info on the licensure requirements for accountants. Explore your career options in accounting.

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Can I Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting Online?

Bachelor’s degree programs in accounting are available in distance-learning formats from a number of accredited postsecondary institutions. This course of study usually takes 3-4 years to complete. Online programs often offer the same resources as their on-campus counterparts, including online libraries, academic advisors and ways to meet with professors. Internet-based classes are commonly delivered using virtual classroom software, which might require you to use discussion forums, watch videotaped lectures or take digital exams. You will also need an Internet connection and computer that meets minimum technical requirements.

Technology Requirements A computer with Internet access that meets the hardware and software specifications of the institution
Licensure CPA credential will be required
Common Courses Marketing, business law, management techniques, finance, accounting
Continuing Education Passing the Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) exam is required for licensure in all states
Potential Work Environments Hospitals, government agencies, accounting firms, public school systems, labor unions
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 10% growth (for accountants and auditors)*
Median Salary (2018) $70,500 (for accountants and auditors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is the Curriculum Like?

Coursework in bachelor’s degree programs in accounting combines training in basic business principles with mathematics and accounting instruction. For example, you could learn about business law, management techniques or marketing. The following are examples of other topics you might study in your program:

  • Managerial accounting
  • Economics
  • Statistics for business
  • Auditing fundamentals
  • Federal taxation
  • Corporate finance
  • Global accounting
  • Finance-based decisions
  • Forensic accounting

Do I Need a License?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most accountants need at least a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) credential ( State boards of accountancy grant CPA licenses. All states use the same test; it’s a 4-part computerized exam offered two months a year by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). You don’t need to pass all four sections at the same time, but most states require you to pass them all no later than 18 months after you pass the first section.

What Are My Career Options?

With a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a CPA license, you could be eligible for a number of different careers. For example, you could work in industries like corporate accounting, education, government auditing or public accounting. Potential employers could include multinational accounting firms, government agencies, hospitals, labor unions or public school systems.


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