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What Will I Learn in an Accounting MBA Program?

Accounting made the top 10 in a 2018 U.S. News & World Report Best Business Jobs ranking. Accounting is also a business occupation in which workers with a master's degree can earn significantly more than those with a bachelor's.

In fact, employers may prefer to hire applicants with an advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). They often even pay more if that MBA comes with a concentration, and accounting is a popular choice of specialization.

At the University of West Florida (UWF), for example, students in the online MBA program with an emphasis in Accounting gain the expertise they need to advance their careers in any industry. This degree also prepares graduates for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

Why Choose an Accounting MBA?

When it comes to career advancement, a master's degree is a must in many businesses today. Earning an MBA prepares graduates with the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) employers are looking for in job candidates. An MBA with an accounting emphasis is worth considering for many reasons.

Accounting plays an essential role in any business. And increasingly, accounting careers require higher levels of education. As the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) points out, employers are looking for individuals who can do more than perform routine accounting and auditing tasks. Today's businesses require professionals with the KSAs that an accounting MBA can provide.

Like a general MBA program, an MBA in accounting prepares students with sought-after skills, including:

  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership
  • Strategic planning
  • Relationship management

Beyond the basics, an MBA in accounting builds on students' existing knowledge of financial and accounting principles. When it comes to qualifying for CPA licensure, this advanced-level education is a necessity.

The AICPA notes that many states require 150 semester hours of education for CPA licensure. A typical undergraduate degree is unlikely to meet the educational requirements for becoming a CPA. Pairing an undergraduate degree with an MBA in accounting is one way to meet those requirements.

UWF's accounting MBA program provides a foundation in general business knowledge. It also prepares students for a range of accounting careers. Coursework emphasizes:

  • Real-world knowledge of accounting, applicable to students' current job responsibilities
  • Analytical skills for managerial decision-making
  • Expertise in economic, regulatory and tax policies
  • Advanced knowledge of accounting control structures, budget and performance evaluation, and accounting information systems
  • Standards for nonprofit and government accounting
  • Advanced investment and financial decision-making

When it comes to MBA concentrations, accounting has a lot going for it. This in-demand field may come with a wage premium for employees with an accounting MBA. In addition, the accounting field scores high marks for work-life balance.

Research shows work-life balance is a priority for Millennials, who make up the largest segment of the workforce. But work-life balance is an important benefit for any employee. So, whether it is for the promising employment and salary prospects or the ability to balance work along with family responsibilities or hobbies, an accounting MBA can pave the way to a rewarding career path.

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


U.S. News & World Report: Best Business Jobs

GMAC: Does It Pay to Get a Specialized MBA Degree


GMAC: The Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Companies Expect From Business School Graduates

AICPA: 150 Hour Requirement for Obtaining a CPA License

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

Gallup: Millennials Want Jobs That Promote Their Well-Being

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