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What is an Associate’s in Accounting Degree?

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Individuals interested in working with numbers often choose to pursue an Associate’s in Accounting degree. This program can offer a fast-track towards an accounting career. Although accountants are usually required to have a bachelor’s degree, the associate’s degree provides students with academic and technology courses needed to begin a career in the accounting field. Learn more about this degree here.

What is an Associate’s in Accounting Degree?

Besides being one of the quickest paths towards an accounting career, the Associate’s in Accounting degree is a two-year program that allows students to bypass the traditional bachelor’s degree program. Accounting associate’s degree programs provide students with a solid understanding of career-based accounting skills, such as basic accounting, taxation, financial statement analysis and cost accounting to name just a few.

Another helpful feature of associate’s degree in accounting programs is that they are not just a group of accounting-related courses. Unlike in the past when accounting was a pencil, paper and numbers career, today accountants and accounting firms are using more advanced and sophisticated accounting computer programs.

The Associate’s in Accounting program includes various accounting technology courses. Some associate degree accounting programs also offer the students the chance to specialize in certain areas such as accounting technology operations or accounting technology management.

Courses in the Accounting Associate Degree Program

The two-year accounting associate degree program includes general education courses as well as major-related courses. Many of the programs also include an internship requirement during the final semester. This allows the student the opportunity to obtain hands-on training working with a licensed accountant or in an accounting firm.

Although the program includes many finance and accounting-based courses, it also has courses that provide students with the basic accounting courses. Below are some of the courses that are typically found in the Associate’s in Accounting degree program.

  • Financial accounting
  • Cost accounting
  • Managerial accounting Statistics
  • Taxation (individuals and business)
  • Ethics
  • Auditing
  • Economics
  • Accounting software applications
  • Payroll accounting
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics for business
  • Composition

In addition to the accounting courses, Associate’s in Accounting programs also offer business courses, such as business law, business technology, macroeconomics, microeconomics, introduction to business and business communications.

Career Opportunities

Although earning an accounting associate degree may not be enough for the graduate to instantly jump into a position as an accountant, it does prepare candidates for many entry-level accounting jobs. Some career possibilities include the following:

  • Payroll clerk
  • Accounts receivable clerk
  • Accounting assistant
  • Auditing/bookkeeping clerk
  • Billing clerk
  • Management trainee
  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounting technology specialist
  • Fiscal technician
  • Administrative assistant

As a graduate of an associate’s degree in accounting program, the candidate is not just limited to jobs in accounting firms but may also find career opportunities working in healthcare offices or government jobs. Accountants are expected to see a job growth of 10 percent from 2016-2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. PayScale indicates that graduates of accounting associate degree programs earned median annual wages ranging from $36,000 to $61,000 or more as of April 2018. The wages vary by job, employer and geographic location.

U.S. News & World Report ranks accounting number six among best jobs. Accounting is a field that offers so many opportunities in so many settings. Individuals who are interested in starting careers in the accounting field but don’t wish to spend years in college often find the Associate’s in Accounting degree the perfect solution.

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