Degree Requirements: Accounting is a highly rewarding concentration in the field of business. The University of Phoenix’s Axia College offers students interested in pursuing an education in accounting a quality degree program through which to learn the basics of the trade. Students will take courses that satisfy a variety of educational needs, also called general studies courses, such as those in humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and additional liberal arts, all totaling 33 credits. To earn an associate degree specifically in accounting, students must take a class that deals with the foundations of personal finance as well as earn 18 credits in accounting-specific courses. These courses include financial reporting, accounting ethics, and accounting information systems. In total, all new college students must earn 60 credits in the correct categories to qualify for a degree. This should take full-time students about two to three years to earn, and classes typically cost $365 per credit. The majority of students are also eligible for financial aid, which will help to bring tuition costs down.
Degree Benefits: After earning an associate degree in accounting, many graduates go on to work as professional accountants. As most big accounting firms and businesses only hire those with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in the field, associate degree holders are mainly employed in smaller, local firms. Those who wish to become certified as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) can go back to school for an additional two years to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting, which is the minimum education requirement for certification. However, there are also ample job opportunities available for associate degree holders. In fact, during the 2008-18 decade, new job openings for accountants and auditors will increase 22 percent, adding approximately 279,400 new jobs into the market, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number does not include the additional positions that will become available due to retirement. In addition to a thriving job climate, accountants also enjoy financial rewards. They earned a median salary of $59,430 in May 2009, the most recent information available from the Bureau. If you have a knack for staying organized, crunching numbers, and doling out financial advice, then accounting is the discipline for you.