Flexibility in Online Accounting and Finance Degrees

With solid job prospects projected through 2016 and with colleges and business schools offering flexible degree programs, what’s holding you back from pursuing career training in accounting and finance? Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates accountants and auditors should see 18 percent job growth rate during the 2006-2016 decade.

Courses for All Levels of Expertise
Whether you’re just beginning an accounting or finance career or looking to move into management roles from your present job, online schools offer programs leading to an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Depending on your career goals, you can enter several career tracts, from accountant to banking, financial advisor to auditor.

Those pursuing accounting degrees can take online courses in preparation for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designations. In 2007, some 48 states required accountants to pursue 30 hours beyond undergraduate accounting training to gain their CPA designations. The certification typically leads to greater on-the-job responsibilities–and greater earnings potential.

Career Prospects in Accounting and Finance
Upon graduation, you may be qualified for a broad range of career opportunities within the world of finance. Bankers, for example, can advance in rank at their financial institution by completing post-secondary career training.

Personal financial advisors, according to the BLS, are professionals in one of the fastest growing career fields, with a sizzling 37 percent increase in jobs predicted between 2006 and 2016. You can get a foot in the door by completing a finance degree. However, graduates holding a bachelor’s or MBA degree may have the best opportunities in financial advising roles.

Jobs for accountants are expected to rise, especially for those who hold CPA certifications. Most jobs typically require at least a bachelor’s degree, the BLS reports. Many new positions should be in the corporate world where government regulations for strict financial reporting may fuel new hires in accounting roles. Public accountants can also work as tax specialists, preparing forecasts and returns for businesses and private individuals.

Doing the Books
Auditors with two and four-year degrees can find jobs in the public or private sector, as well. Companies and government agencies rely on trained professionals to handle budgets, payroll, and accounts. Taking courses in business, finance, or accounting can give you a great start on mastering key job skills, especially if you enroll in courses covering the latest iterations of accounting, taxation, payroll, and spreadsheet software.

Bookkeepers, auditors, and accounting assistants may also handle invoices, billing, and inventory procedures. Online training programs can bring you up to speed in common, in-demand business skills in quick order. Approximately 21 percent of all working accountants and auditors work in wage jobs for bookkeeping, accounting, tax preparation or payroll processing companies, with another 10 percent working as self-employed professionals.

In the end, completing an education is central to finding success in the financial world. Taking online accounting classes at an accredited school or university or completing a finance degree has never been easier. Online education affords you the chance to mesh school requirements with existing work or family commitments.

Kelli Smith is the senior editor for Edu411.org. Find an online accounting school or an online finance degree at Edu411.org.

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