Associate Degree in Accounting

Congressional accounting regulations enacted in the last few years are contributing to rapid job growth in the accounting sector. In 2002, in response to some of the biggest accounting scandals in history, the United States Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), a Congressional act increasing corporate accounting regulations. As a result, accountants with expertise in the provisions and regulations of SOX are now highly recruited by accounting firms and companies throughout the nation. Individuals interested in taking advantage of this job growth should consider completing an associate's degree program in accounting.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants earn average annual salaries of roughly $58,000. Although acquiring a college degree does not assure a certain salary or a position, most companies and firms will only hire individuals with formal training. Students enrolled in associate's programs usually take classes focusing on the basics of business, accounting, income tax and SOX regulations.

Earning an associate degree in accounting will prepare graduates for entry-level bookkeeping, payroll clerk, managment trainee and other accounting positions. It also prepares students to pursue a bachelor's degree in accounting, or related field, at a four-year college or university. If you decide to earn an associate's degree in accounting, it's important to attend a regionally accredited vocational school or community college. Only degrees and credits from a regionally accredited 2-year higher education institutions can be transfered to a regionally accredited four-year college or university upon graduation.

Individuals enrolled in online degree programs enjoy more flexibility when planning their schedules. Those enrolling in online accounting associate's programs typically finish their degrees in two years or less. Online students can complete their studies at their convenience, since they are not required to attend scheduled classes on a physical campus. More and more colleges and universities now offers online associate degrees in accounting.

Common areas of specialization within an accounting associate degree include:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Tax Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Bookkeeping

If think at some point down the road you'll want to pursue a bachelor's degree in account, you'll want to make sure to earn your associate degree in account from an accredited community college or higher education institution. Only credits earned at regionally accredited community colleges and schools can be transferred and applied toward a bachelor's degree offered a major four-year college or university.

Below you can explore accredited colleges and universites offering online and campus-based associate degree programs in accounting.

Featured Associate Degrees in Accounting
Below you'll find a selection of our editor's pick of top online and campus-based associate degree programs in accounting offered by accredited colleges and vocational schools. To learn more about a school or accounting program, simply click on the "Request Info" button to the right.

Associate vs. Bachelor Degree in Accounting
Much of the coursework offered in both associate and bachelor degree programs in accounting is similar. However, to earn a bachelor's degree requires students to complete about twice as many credit hours. Students who earn a bachelor's degree in accounting are also going to qualify for a greater number of entry-level accounting positions and command much higher starting salaries than students who complete an associate's degree in accounting.

Earning an associate degree in accounting takes about two years of full-time study. Courses typically include instruction in management, marketing, computer applications, marketing, managerial accounting, financial accounting and cost accounting. The bachelor's degree in accounting requires students to complete 120 credit hours of coursework and usually takes about four-years to complete. The bachelor's degree in accounting is usually made up of about 60 credits of general education classes and 60 credits of business and accounting-related courses.

Most corporate accounting departments and government agencies require candidates for entry-level positions to have at least a bachelor's degree in accounting. However, earning an associate's degree is less costly and time consuming than earning a bachelor's degree in accounting. Graduates from accredited associate degree programs in accounting will find career opportunities in various fields of business, operations, management and accounting.

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