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Build a Business Foundation While Focusing on Accounting

When it comes to accounting, there is no shortage of work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects higher than average demand for accounting professionals. From optimizing financial operations to keeping up with complex regulatory reporting, accountants provide services that can make them a business's best friend.

The University of West Florida (UWF) offers an online MBA with an Accounting emphasis that provides a well-rounded business foundation while building advanced knowledge, skills and abilities in accounting.

UWF's accounting MBA also prepares graduates for the Certified Public Accountant(CPA) exam. This credential can be important for leadership roles, including those in executive management.

What Is the Value of an Accounting MBA?

Change in the business world happens nonstop and accounting practitioners need to keep up. Technology is one example. Take automation, for instance: As routine accounting tasks become automated, accounting practitioners will become more efficient. But they will also need to adapt to take on new demands.

Earning an accounting MBA can be a great way to develop the skills employers are looking for. At UWF, for example, accounting MBA coursework includes a unique "Portfolio" project. Students choose an emphasis and industry focus and apply what they learn in the classroom to solve complex, real-world problems.

A 2018 B-school Alumni Employment Report reinforces the value of an MBA, with accounting listed as a top industry for employment.

  • 87% of MBA alumni say the skills they developed in business school advanced their careers.
  • A majority reported quicker career advancement with an MBA than their peers without the degree.
  • Most agree that their education increased their earning power.
  • Most agree that their education prepared them for leadership positions.
  • 95% reported that they would recruit students from their alma mater for an opening at their organization. 

How Can an MBA Improve Job Prospects and Salaries?

Accounting practitioners are in demand. According to a 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey, more than 75% of employers plan to hire MBAs in finance and accounting.

The BLS projects that employment in accounting will grow 10% faster than the average for all occupations (7%) through 2026. However, accounting professionals who have their eye on management and leadership positions may find that there is more competition.

Candidates with an accounting MBA may have an edge. The BLS also notes that those with CPA licensure will have the best prospects. CPA licensure represents the highest standard in the accounting profession. In preparing graduates for this licensure, earning the accounting MBA enhances opportunities for advancement. 

Those with CPA licensure may also enjoy a salary bump. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) reports that CPAs earn 10 to 15% more than the average starting salary for their positions. The B-school report mentioned earlier places the median base salary for MBA grads at $115,000 per year.

An MBA education with an emphasis in accounting can help aspiring leaders and managers achieve their goals. Along with gaining a competitive edge in the job market, graduates can go on to earn CPA licensure — which just might be the ticket to a "C-level" position.

Learn more about UWF's online MBA program with an emphasis in Accounting.


Sources:

AICPA: CPA Exam

GMAC: 2018 B-school Alumni Employment Report

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Accountants and Auditors

AICPA: CPA Salaries and Job Market


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