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Online Accounting Degree + Motivation = Excitement
Think an accounting degree sounds dull and tedious? Think again. Accounting careers get more exciting as the corporate scandals get hotter and law enforcement focuses on shareholder ethics and tax fraud. The US Department of Labor expects forensic accounting jobs (the number crunching CSI team) to grow at an average rate. And an online accounting degree is one of the easiest ways to break into the business.

But you won't have to work with law enforcement to stay out of a cramped office. A bachelor's degree in accounting gives you the opportunity to work on-site with companies and individuals as tax and financial advisors, auditors. They also serve as consultants in the area of employee benefits, accounting software, and data processing systems. Even internal company accountants often move from site to site, auditing different branches.

This makes public accounting (with possibilities to become management accountants) an ideal career for anyone at ease with facts and figures, and who wouldn't mind taking the time to earn an accounting degree.

How to get an Accounting Degree

How much time would a bachelor's degree in accounting take? An online accounting degree can take less time to complete than conventional colleges. But if you plan to get your CPA (not always necessary to become a public accountant) pay special attention to the number of credit hours offered by colleges. Most states require 150 semester hours before someone becomes eligible to obtain a CPA license. This is 30 more hours than the normal 4 year bachelor's degree.

If you're excited about becoming a public accountant, and don't have time for four years of college, you can get an associates degree in accounting. While working in an accounting department as a junior accountant, you can continue your education and get an online accounting degree along with the experience necessary to get a higher paying job when you graduate.

What an Accounting Degree Costs vs. Earning Potential

Earning potential... that's the bottom line right? It's all about money (the career itself revolves around it). In 2002, the Department of Labor reported that the average annual salary for accountants was $47,000. The top ten percent of accountants earned more than $82,730. The average starting salary for those holding a bachelor's degree in accounting was $40,647 (only $1,594 less than the starting salaries for those with a master's). The numbers show that experience and skill are what raises the money bar in this business as opposed to initial education.

So what does an online degree cost? It all depends on the school. Check into each one and compare prices (along with counting the credit hours) before making a decision. Discuss your financial aid options with financial advisors from several schools. Pay careful attention to the amount available from student loans vs. the college fees.

Who Hires Accountants?

An online accounting degree can open more doors than you might think possible. With 1.1 million positions in the job market, 20% of accountants worked for accounting firms. Ten percent were self employed. For entrepreneurs, the sky is the limit when it comes to earnings. For those who would prefer the benefits of working as an employee, the Federal government paid the highest average salaries for non-managerial accountants and auditors at $51,070 per year. Ironically, they also had the lowest average starting salaries at $23,442 to $29,037 for junior accountants with a bachelor's degree in accounting.

Can an Online Accounting Degree help with other Careers

As the computer industry grows, so do the needs and expectations for software to handle more complicated calculations based on user input. This is especially true with accounting software as it tries to keep up with IRS and local tax laws. An online accounting degree is a definite asset for programmers and software engineers.

If you like numbers and you like money, there's no question that an online accounting degree can open the doors to exciting job opportunities.
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