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7 Essential Questions Answered About Accounting Schools and Degrees

Get the answers to some frequently asked questions on accounting schools and jobs.

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What accounting schools are available? Can I go to school online?

There are several nonprofit and for-profit traditional schools that offer accounting degree programs. If you're interested in the convenience of an online program, you're in luck. There are quite a few online accounting courses available at every degree-level, from associates to masters and MBAs. We can help you find online accounting schools.

What careers can I pursue with an accounting degree?

Accountants are fortunate in that they have a variety of career options open to them. Accountants often work for the government, performing accounting tasks for the public sector in local, state and national roles, such as IRS agents. Though most accountants usually fall within one of these industry subsets, the playing field is still wide open; in addition to accounting firms and conventional businesses, accountants work everywhere—for nonprofits, educational institutions and major celebrities. Learn about your career options.

What degree programs do accounting schools offer?

As an accountant, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree  to enter the field, though demand is especially strong for those who have earned a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. Depending upon your area of interest, you should also consider taking technology, analysis, budgeting and forecasting courses. If you plan on pursuing a senior-level role or becoming an administrator, you'll need to complete an MBA degree program. Read all about degree programs and curriculum.

What can I expect after I submit a request for information to a school?

First, you'll need to make sure you fill out the form correctly. For example, if your completed education level is high school graduate, you would need to complete a bachelor's program before applying to a master's degree program. So if you enter "high school graduate" and request master's degree information, your request may fail. Be sure to request information for the correct level of education you plan to pursue.

Once you've selected the schools you're interested in and submitted your information, you'll receive a thank you from the schools you chose. You'll be contacted by these schools either by email or telephone. The advisors who call you will ask you about the programs you're interested in, when you would like to start school, and talk about financial aid options, among other things. Feel free to ask questions!

How do I apply for financial aid?

Financial aid is available from a variety of sources. Government financial aid is the most common, but before you can be considered for aid, you'll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Other types of financial aid include scholarships, grants, private loans and PLUS loans.

How does the admissions process work?

Different schools work in different ways. But you'll need to be aware of dates and schedules, and make sure your forms and fees are sent in and paid on time. All schools have an admissions office with advisors who can help, so be sure to use their services.

What are some tips for success in my accounting school program?

You'll need to be the right personality fit to become an accountant, so it's important to learn whether this is the career for you before you jump into the time and expense of a school program. If you're detail-oriented, motivated, possess great reasoning and analytical skills, and have a high level of integrity, this might be the field for you.

U.S. News and World Report offers four top tips for adults going back to school:

  1. Use financial aid resources
  2. Carefully plan your study time
  3. Interact with other adult students
  4. Set some time aside for yourself

For adults considering online degree programs, consider these handy tips:

  1. Understand the time commitment involved in online education
  2. Create a workspace that is conducive to learning
  3. Make a daily routine; Study at the same time every day
  4. Analyze your time-wasting tendencies
  5. Use online tools for better time management
  6. Prioritize work to avoid procrastinating. Try tackling harder subjects first.
  7. Schedule study time around your professors' online office hours
  8. Take notes, participate and speak freely in classes
  9. Find an online study-buddy in your program
  10. Ask a friend or family member to volunteer as the "learning police"
  11. Know your goals: take your online education and yourself seriously