Associate Degree Vs. Bachelor Degree in Accounting: What's the Difference?
The differences between an associate degree and a bachelor's degree in accounting include program duration, the rigorousness of coursework and career opportunities available to graduates. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between these two accounting program options.
Differences Between Accounting Associate and Bachelor's Degree Programs
While accounting associate and bachelor's degree programs include some of the same coursework, the latter program option takes twice as many credit hours to complete. However, students who earn bachelor's degrees are prepared for more lucrative employment opportunities. Additional differences between these programs are detailed below.
Associate Degree in Accounting: An Overview
Earning an associate degree in accounting takes two years of full-time study, and students spend their time in courses covering management, organization, marketing, computer applications, writing, public speaking and science. The accounting portion of the program teaches students about financial accounting, managerial accounting and cost accounting. To work in the accounting field, students must know how to use various computer applications and software programs, including Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks.
After graduating with an associate degree in accounting, graduates can get jobs as public accounting assistants at corporations, nonprofits and government agencies. Graduates are also able to begin careers as bookkeepers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earned a median salary of $35,170 in 2012. Employment opportunities in this field were expected to increase 11% over the 2012-2022 decade.
Bachelor's Degree in Accounting: An Overview
A bachelor's degree program in accounting includes at least 120 credits and takes students four years to complete. Students in this program take 60 credits or more of business and accounting-related coursework and 60 credits of general education classes and electives. Core business and accounting courses address such topics as business law, financial accounting, managerial accounting, marketing, finance, management and fraud examination. General education courses offer students a well-rounded education and focus on areas involving science, English, public speaking and humanities.
After earning a bachelor's degree in accounting, students can seek entry-level employment with accounting departments in corporations or government agencies. Opportunities are also available to become a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant or Certified Internal Auditor. These three credentials require the successful completion of examinations after meeting eligibility requirements. For example, prospective CPAs must complete an additional 30 hours of coursework beyond a bachelor's degree program before sitting for the four-part Uniform CPA Examination.
The BLS reported that accountants and auditors could see a 13% employment increase between 2012 and 2022. In 2012, these professionals earned a median salary of $63,550.
Related to Associate Degree Vs. Bachelor Degree in Accounting: What's the Difference?
- Recently Updated
Vertical analysis accounting courses can be found within associate and bachelor's degree programs in accounting and business....
America boasts a number of reputable business schools that possess highly regarded Ph.D. in Accounting programs. While studying...
Graduate students seeking a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) typically find careers in academia after graduation. The number of...
Students interested in how businesses make decisions based on financial reports may want to consider the field of managerial...
- Professional Tax Preparer: Educational Requirements
- Top Degrees in Business Finance and Accounting - Las Vegas, NV
- Top School for an MBA in Accounting - Kansas City, MO
- Senior Java Programmer: Job Outlook & Career Info
- Credit Counseling Degree Program Information
- MBA Vs. MPA: What's the Difference?
- Telecommunications License and Credential Information