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Information to Consider if You’re Earning a Master’s in Accounting

Find out how online accounting courses can get you closer to becoming a CPA.

If you want to further your career in finance, earning an advanced accounting degree is a great way to start. Having a master’s in accounting enhances your résumé and can open a wide range of opportunities in your accounting career.

Whether you’re looking to prepare for the CPA exam or pursue other accounting jobs, getting a master’s in accounting can help you transition to the next phase of your career. Before you get started on your online MS degree, it’s important to learn more about what to expect from a master’s in accounting program. Coursework can vary depending on the school you select, so let’s explore a little further, using Walden University’s programs as an example.

Information to Consider if You’re Earning a Master’s in Accounting

After Earning a BS in Accounting

If you have earned a BS in Accounting, you will have completed 120 credit hours that can be applied toward the 150 you’ll need to be eligible to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and obtain a CPA license. A master’s in accounting will get you the rest of the way there, giving you the other 30 credit hours you need to take the CPA licensing exam.

Focus Your Studies

In a typical master’s in accounting program, you might choose a particular focus for your studies such as accounting for professionals, a CPA emphasis, or a self-designed specialization. By choosing a program specialization, you can hone your skills an area that supports your career goals.

Accounting classes in a master’s in accounting degree program will likely cover important topics you’ll face in your career, including decision-making for today’s financial professional, analysis and communication, legal and ethical issues in accounting, current trends in accounting, management of operational and financial business risks, management of regulatory compliance, tax analysis, and international perspectives.

Your Career With an MS in Accounting Degree

Once you complete your master’s degree, you’ll find there are plenty of accounting career options. These including compliance auditing, governmental accounting, external auditing, private accounting, IT auditing, public accounting, and more. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for accountants and auditors in 2017 was $69,350 per year, or $33.34 per hour.1 In addition, the BLS outlook for auditing and accounting jobs is that employment is expected to grow by 10% by 2026, which is faster than average.

Professionals with several years in an accounting career can go on to become financial managers. The BLS notes that financial managers earned a median annual wage of $125,080 in 2017.2 The job outlook for financial managers, according to the BLS, is that employment is expected to grow by 19% by 2026.

Get Started at Walden

A career as an accountant, CPA, or financial manager can be available when you earn a master’s in accounting degree. Walden University’s MS in Accounting program provides a way for working professionals to earn a degree through a convenient online platform.

Explore advanced accounting principles, learn how to operate within new federal and international financial regulations, and prepare to address the issues facing today’s accounting field with Walden’s master’s in accounting program. Earning an advanced accounting degree can give you the skills you need to compete in today’s job market and help equip you for a rewarding accounting career.

Walden University offers an MS in Accounting degree program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Expand your career options and earn your master’s degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,

Walden’s BS in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), and PhD in Management programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The MS in Accounting and BS in Accounting programs are also accredited by the ACBSP and have earned the organization’s Specialized Accounting Accreditation.

Most states require individuals to complete 150 semester (225 quarter) hours in certain subject areas to be eligible to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and/or obtain a CPA license. Walden’s accounting programs can help graduates progress toward meeting those requirements. The BS in Accounting offers 120 quarter (80 semester) credit hours that include upper-level courses in topics such as financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting. The MS in Accounting offers 30 semester (45 quarter) credit hours, while the MBA Accounting specialization offers nine semester (13.5 quarter) credit hours. These programs include graduate courses in topics such as financial accounting, managerial accounting, and legal and ethical accounting practices. This will require students to complete additional coursework to meet state requirements.

In each state, there are specific policies that must be followed when an individual is seeking to become a licensed accountant. Some states will not allow individuals who complete the Walden accounting programs to sit for the CPA licensing exams due to state-specific issues such as professional accreditation or face-to-face instruction. For information on the educational requirements for your state, refer to the state’s Board of Accountancy or related agency.

Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide guidance about accountant licensure; however, it remains the responsibility of the individual enrolling in the program to read, understand, and comply with the licensure requirements in the state where he or she wishes to practice.

Walden University can make no representation, warranty, guarantee, or commitment that successful completion of a Walden program, or coursework for credit within a program, will make a graduate eligible to sit for a licensure exam or to obtain state licensure.