Not all Master of Business Administration degrees are the same. When choosing an MBA program, students must look carefully at the school, the program and the area of concentration. MBAs come in a variety of concentrations, such as finance, human resources, and even Native American Leadership. An MBA with an emphasis in accounting is one of those choices that students should research before deciding on the right program.
Core Courses and Concentration Courses
Typically, an MBA student completes a core curriculum plus courses in their area of concentration. For an MBA with an emphasis in accounting from Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU), this means 30 credit hours of core courses and six credit hours of accounting courses. Core courses cover areas of business such as resource management, data analytics, leadership and ethics. Concentration topics in accounting can range from auditing to forensic accounting. These additional courses give students a competitive advantage in the workforce, whether they are just starting out or they are looking to boost their current careers.
A Broad-Based Degree
Beyond course topics, MBAs learn a variety of skills, just by participating in their respective programs. MBA programs transfer a number of "soft skills" to students in their day-to-day work. Students receive a top-down perspective of the business world — a better understanding of how each department works in concert to keep the company running. Although the MBA program covers specializations like that of accounting, students leave the program with a firm grasp on the interlocking networks of business. Skills such as these allow MBAs to move fluidly across departments and organizations.
Gain Networking Skills
Speaking of networking, MBA programs also teach students how to create and maintain business relationships. This soft skill of networking is vital to any career and business. Although products and services may be what businesses offer, it is human relationships that take precedence and connect people working toward a common goal. As students make their way through an MBA program, they learn how to network with their peers.
In terms of salary, accounting MBAs can earn considerably more than those with just a bachelor's degree. According to PayScale, accounting MBAs earn an average of $89K, or even more, depending upon years of experience and chosen position. Not only does an MBA in accounting ensure students begin their careers strong, but it also allows for growth over the course of their profession. Within this salary range are jobs such as financial controller ($90,405) and chief financial officer ($142,750).
Job Outlook for Accounting MBAs
Accounting is also a fast-growing field, and thus accountants who have earned MBAs with an emphasis in accounting can expect their prospects to remain strong. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2016 (the most recent data), there were 1,397,700 jobs for accountants in the U.S. Further, the BLS predicts that accounting will grow at a rate of 10 percent, faster than the national average for all job categories combined.
Whether you are just starting out or need a boost to your career, an MBA with an emphasis in accounting may be the right choice for you. Many schools offer online courses for the working professional. In these programs, you can study while maintaining a career. Moreover, the programs offer the added benefit of networking with colleagues around the world.
Sources:U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Accountants and Auditors
PayScale: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Accounting & Finance Degree
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