Online associate degree in accounting programs are ideal for individuals who enjoy developing financial budgets, solving problems, managing finances, and performing and analyzing research. For those who desire a career in accounting, earning an accounting associate degree is the first step. Topics covered in accounting degree degree programs will include auditing, accounting and review services, taxes, management services, income tax planning, restructuring business entities, business budgeting, and more. Students who love math, organization, management, and problem solving may be interested in an accounting degree.

Why an Associate Degree?

A career in accounting begins with an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree. Many students use their associate work to eventually gain a bachelor’s degree in accounting. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the majority of accounting positions today require at least a four-year degree, and some even require a master’s degree. Additionally, all accounting certification exams, such as the Certified Public Accountant exam, require students to have both a bachelor’s degree and work experience before testing for certification.

Getting Into an Associate Degree Program

If you are thinking about applying to an associate degree program in accounting, be prepared to submit the following materials:

  • A high school transcript
  • ACT or SAT score documentation

Inside an Associate Degree Program

Usually, it takes about two years of full-time online course work to complete an associate degree in accounting. Students usually start out taking courses in broad areas, like the liberal arts, to fulfill core requirements. Programs then begin to include basic courses in accounting. Most accounting classes will cover things like financial reporting, auditing, taxes, and management accounting. Assignments and exams in accounting associate degree programs will prepare students to become experts at problem-solving and accounting math. They will also learn all the rules and regulations involved in an accounting career.

Students working toward their online degree in accounting will follow a flexible, reasonable course load. Typically, class lectures are presented with video lectures, podcasts, PowerPoint presentations, and online textbook materials. Assignments, quizzes, class projects, tests, and final exams are usually submitted to professors online. Despite the fact that they aren’t enrolled in a brick-and-mortar university, online students still typically have mentors and are able to contact their professors directly with questions and concerns.

What’s Next for Associate Degree Holders?

An associate degree may open the door to entry-level jobs, but many students need to pursue a bachelor’s degree to secure the best positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of accountants is expected to grow 16% from 2010 to 2020. With an increase in corporate financial scandals and stricter laws and regulations in the financial sector, accounting positions could also be gaining importance.

Because those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting often see better job prospects, it may be a recommendable path to take. With a higher degree level, accountants are able to move up in the workplace much faster. Many online schools offer programs that allow students to obtain both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in as little as five years. For students who are interested in teaching accounting, a Ph.D. in accounting may be a good choice.