What is the timeline for obtaining a degree in accounting?

Accounting is more than just a profession, it’s an expansive discipline. If you are interested in earning your Accounting degree, you need to decide upon a level, a program, and a specific major. With 4 different degree levels, hundreds of different brick-and-mortar and online schools, and a dozen different specializations to choose from, mapping the route that you will take to become a professional in accounting can be daunting. If you like to know what to expect before you leap into something, knowing how long it will take you to earn your degree is important. With so many different options, the duration of an Accounting degree program can vary dramatically between as little as 12 months and as much as 6 years. Read on and learn what to consider when selecting a program.

Lower Level Degree Options for Quick Entry Into the Field

An Associate’s degree will prepare you for entry-level accounting positions in bookkeeping, data entry, and accounts receivable. If you want to get your foot in the door and you are interested in taking the fastest route, earning an Associate’s degree with a major in Accounting could be the best option. In this program, you will complete 60 quarter hours of classes in between 12 and 36 months depending upon the school and your enrollment status. You will complete general education curriculum and some core courses in accounting, business, and finance. This degree will help prepare you to pursue a higher-level undergraduate Bachelor’s degree later down the line.

Timeline of a Bachelor’s Accounting Degree Program

The amount of time it takes to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting will depend upon prior college coursework and also upon the program that you choose. If you completed Associate’s curriculum, you may be able to earn your Bachelor’s in as little as 2 years on a full-time basis. If you are enrolled part-time, it could take you 3 to 4 years to earn your Bachelor’s with a concentration in Accounting if you do not choose an accelerated course plan layout. For students who choose to initially pursue a Bachelor’s, it will take 4 years on a full-time basis, typically 48 months, to earn a Bachelor’s without possessing an AA.

Graduate-level Study Options for Mastery

Once you have a BAAcc or a BSAcc you can find an entry-level or mid-level position, but many choose to pursue a graduate degree or an MBA to specialize in the field with different designations. Bachelor’s degree holders who meet admissions requirements can complete a part-time Master’s or MBA program in 2 to 3 years, or 1 to 2 years as a full-time enrolled student. Completion of this program will also ensure that you meet the 150 credit requirement to test for the CPA credential.

According to the American Institute of CPAs, also referred to as the AICPA, there is a record-setting demand for graduates of accounting degree programs. With an increased projection in the hiring of new graduates, supply needs to meet the increased demand in the for of accounting students. If you are interested in choosing a degree that shows promise, this could be a great field. Decide on a major and a specialization, and take a leap for your future professional life.