What are the pros and cons to a traditional v. online accounting program?

When you are thinking about attending school, it is important to select the right field, the right degree program, and the right school. As one of the top 5 most marketable degrees in today’s employment market, the accounting degree has become a very popular choice for students who enjoy crunching the numbers and job stability.

With an accounting degree, you can become a self-employed accountant, a corporate finance officer, or even pursue government jobs as an auditor or analyst. If you already know what type of degree you want to pursue, the next step is deciding if a traditional or online degree program is best for you. Here is your guide to help you compare the pros and cons of on-campus vs. online programs so that selecting your program is as easy as possible.

The Surprising Similarities Between Distance and Traditional Accounting Programs

One of the main similarities between reputable online degree programs and tradition on-campus programs is that you will need to complete similar curriculum to earn your degree. When you select an accredited program, the accredited body will require that the school has a curriculum that meets their standards, and these standards are set in order to help students succeed in finding jobs in the field. Accrediting bodies in the field of accounting require that business programs with a focus in the accounting discipline include courses in the following:

* Accounting principles
* General accounting
* Managerial accounting
* Financial accounting
* Auditing
* Taxation laws
* Information systems

In addition to curriculum similarities, both traditional and online institutions offer some form of financial aide to students to pay for tuition. In the past, financial aide was commonly not available for students who enrolled in online classes. With more and more distance education programs earning accreditation, students can now receive Federal financial aide while they study from home. Just be sure that the program that you offer is accredited by an agency that is recognized by the US Department of Education in the database and you do not have to worry about funding becoming a major limitation.

Why Choose a Traditional Accounting Degree Program?

While employers do recognize distance degrees, many accounting firm executives have been surveyed and these professionals tend to give preferential treatment to an applicant with a traditional degree. If you want to improve your chances of finding a position in a competitive marketing, having a traditional degree can help. Learning in an interactive face-to-face environment is also best for for visual learners who like to network.

Why Choose an Online Accounting Degree Program?

If you are an adult re-entry student, the idea of going back to school while you work and tend to the family can be intimidating. Online courses are great for adult students who are busy and need flexibility. You do not have to attend school at a scheduled time, and you can customize your own schedule. Because overhead for an online course is much cheaper, the cost-savings are typically passed down to the student in the form of lower tuition costs and no transportation costs.

Traditional accounting degree and online counterparts each have their own pros and cons. Take time to determine which type of accredited accounting program is best for you based on your learning style, your budget, and your schedule.