Master Degree in Accounting & FinanceIn 2002, as a response to scandals involving corporate accounting fraud, the United States government enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a federal law which establishes new and complex accounting regulations and ethical standards for accounting firms throughout the nation. This new law is causing the finance industry to restructure and reorganize, which in turn is creating demand for a large number of new accounting professionals with master's degrees in accounting or finance.
Until just recently, finance was a highly competitive field, with limited opportunities for promotions and advancement. The enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has created more opportunities for accountants with finance or accounting master's degrees. Those who want to receive promotions as accountants can improve their chances by completing a master's program. Finance professionals with associate or bachelor's degrees will have a solid foundation in finance, but those with master's degrees will develop expertise in specialties such as analysis and capital planning. Skills acquired from these programs will improve career opportunities, increase salary potential, and enhance job security. In 2005, a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported that accountants who completed master's programs were often offered starting salaries over $3,000 higher than salaries offered to candidates with only bachelor's degrees.
Online master's degree programs are great options for working professionals, who need the flexible scheduling that only distance learning can offer. Those with full-time jobs can complete an online master's program at their convenience at numerous accredited educational institutions.
Although a master's degree will not automatically ensure a job or specific wage, most companies seek candidates who have completed accredited degree or certification programs. The Bureau Labor of Statistics reports that demand for accountants with master's degrees will continue to rise in the years to come. To improve job opportunities in finance-related industries, candidates will need to earn a graduate degree.
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