What is an Associate’s degree in Accounting?

If you are interested in entering the field of accounting as an entry-level professional, it is important to build the skills you need to qualify for open job opportunities. One of the most practical ways to build skills and gain the knowledge you need to become an asset in the field is to enroll in a related college degree program. As you start to do your research, you will notice that there are several different types of degrees for students who want to major in accounting. Each of these programs teach valuable skills accounting professionals will need to work in the industry. For students who would like to complete schooling quickly, the Associate’s degree with a concentration in Accounting is a good choice. Read on to learn what you will learn and what jobs you can apply for with an AA in Accounting.

What Students Learn in an Associate’s Degree Program

On average, it takes an undergraduate student pursuing an AA with a concentration in Accounting about 23 months to earn their degree when enrolled full-time. Generally speaking, individuals who want to enter the field as quickly as possible with a basic foundation of skills can benefit from entering an AA degree program. The career-specific accounting program will teach students the basics without going in-depth. While the core curriculum that is required to graduate from a 2-year program can vary, most of the degree requirements are similar. Curriculum that will be covered in an Associate of Arts program that is career-specific to the field of accounting include:

  • Basic accounting
  • Cost accounting
  • Taxation
  • Economics
  • Payroll accounting
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Law

What Types of Jobs Will an Associate’s Prepare You For?

An Associate’s degree is a lower level degree that will help graduates compete for entry-level positions where competition is high. While many jobs in accounting do require a Bachelor’s degree, there are opportunities out there for professionals who want to work their way up in the field. Upward mobility is a characteristic that you should look for when pursuing a career, and this is definitely a characteristic when you are employed in any of the following positions:

  • Payroll clerk
  • Billing Clerk
  • Assistant
  • Accounts Receivables Personnel
  • Bookkeeping
  • Trainee for Management
  • Timekeeping Clerk

Why Some Choose an AA over a BA

You may be wondering when it is better to earn an AA than a BA in Accounting, and there are situations where pursuing an AA may be ideal. If you want to enter the industry quickly and gain hands-on experience in the field, this could be the best route for you. Many students choose to use the AA as a stepping stone, and later pursue a BA once they are employed by a firm or organization that offers tuition assistance. If you would like your employer to fund or contribute to the cost of your college education, this could be a wise path to take.

With accounting principles and standards changing, there is a growing demand for professionals who possess a college degree. With recent AICPA studies showing that the demand for new graduates is at an all-time high, enrollments in the field are on the rise. Strong hiring demand combined with the creation of accounting jobs makes pursuing a degree in accounting a good choice. Compare online and traditional options, and pursue a fulfilling career.