Not all Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees are the same. When choosing an MBA program, students must look carefully at the school, program and 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 accelerated, online MBA with a Concentration in Accounting from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, this means 24 credit hours of core courses and 12 credit hours of accounting courses. Core courses cover areas of business studies such as behavioral management, data analytics, finance, marketing and strategic management.
Southeastern’s accounting concentration courses cover auditing, accounting and taxation research, forensic accounting and financial statement analysis. These additional courses give students a competitive advantage in the workforce, whether they are beginning or looking to boost their careers.
A Broad-Based Degree
Beyond course topics, MBA students learn various skills through participating in their respective programs. For example, these programs can help students develop “soft skills” like communication, analytical thinking and time management. A 2022 report from ZipRecruiter found an overwhelming 93% of employers say soft skills like these “play a critical role in their decision about whom they want to hire.”
Students also 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 accounting, students leave the program with a firm grasp of the interlocking networks of business. Skills such as these allow MBAs to move fluidly across departments and organizations.
Gain Networking Skills
Speaking of networks, 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 companies offer, human relationships take precedence and connect people working toward a common goal. As students progress through an MBA program, they learn how to network and collaborate with their peers.
In terms of salary, workers with a master’s degree earn, on average, considerably more than those with just a bachelor’s degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for master’s degree holders was $81,848 in 2021, compared to $69,368 for those with only a bachelor’s degree.
Plus, business school graduates often see above-average salaries, especially those with MBAs. The Graduate Management Admission Council reports the median 2022 starting salary for MBA-prepared new hires in the U.S. to be roughly $115,000, compared to $75,000 for bachelor’s degree holders.
An MBA in accounting not only ensures students begin their careers strong but prepares graduates for high-level positions in accounting and finance, allowing for growth throughout their careers. For instance, an MBA in accounting grad might work their way up through the following four positions, with median salaries according to September 2022 data from ZipRecruiter:
Accounting Manager: $77,705
Financial Controller: $93,881
Director of Accounting: $112,218
Chief Financial Officer: $145,793
Job Outlook for Accounting MBAs
Accounting is also a stable field. Thus, accountants who have earned an MBA with an emphasis in accounting can expect their prospects to remain strong. BLS reports that there were 1,449,800 jobs in 2021 for accountants and auditors in the U.S., with job growth projected at 6% until 2031. As an example of the higher-level positions accounting MBA graduates could pursue, BLS predicts 2021-2031 job growth for financial managers to be 17%, much faster than the national average for all job categories combined.
If you want to advance your career in the field, an MBA with an emphasis in accounting may be the right choice. Plus, schools like Southeastern Oklahoma State University offer fully online courses for the working professional. In these programs, you can study while maintaining a career. Moreover, the programs provide the added benefit of networking with colleagues worldwide.