What Is a Master’s Degree in Accounting?

Is it really necessary to have a Master’s degree in order to achieve your career aspirations in the field of accounting? This really depends on how far you want to go and whether plan to go beyond simply taking the CPA exam which requires at least a Bachelor’s degree. A Master’s degree helps students develop the skills they need in order to provide the necessary services that are fundamental according to the American Institute of Public Accountants . This graduate program focuses on corporate accounting, taxation, internal auditing and much more.

How Important is a Master’s Degree?

No matter where a person may live in society there is a need for accountants. This is true for not only medium-sized businesses and multi-national corporations but also governments. Even small villages have the need for experts who are able to manage the taxpayers’ funds with the same amount of expertise as the accounting staff in large cities, states and federal governments possess.

The banking industry draws a great deal of attention from those who graduate from various accounting programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) the states with the highest populations employed the largest numbers of bank personnel in 2008 although reports indicated 85 percent of all U.S. banks employed fewer than twenty employees. The states that were top of the list that year were California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

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Financial management has many very strict regulations. While obtaining a Master’s degree in accounting is certainly an excellent way to begin a lucrative career, students must be aware they are likely to face many more exams after they graduate. Students and graduates need to be aware there is a requirement for licensing and certification within each specialty of financial management, and while the education doesn’t end upon graduation, graduates will begin to see nicer paychecks.

Job Opportunities

The need for effective money management is a global one which creates many opportunities for those students who possess high degrees. Job growth is faster than in many industries according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is expected to continue at least through 2018. In spite of these statistics, there is still a great deal of competition simply because of the higher pay, job security and benefits. Accountants who hold Master’s degrees are in the best positions for job security though they still face a great deal of competition.

While salaries may vary, the scope of the work involved in financial management makes it essential for many companies to require their accountants to hold Master’s degrees. The more extensive knowledge they possess means they are capable of handling more difficult tasks and have a broader range of knowledge than those with just a Bachelors’ degree. Because of the increase in responsibility, there is also an increase in the salaries companies offer to accountants who hold graduate degrees.


The financial management industry is one that involves a great deal of detail and as such requires the educational knowledge of a Master’s degree. The additional time students spend in the learning process will also help them overcome the extensive competition that exists in this field. A Master’s degree provides students with a high level of knowledge in the accounting field than they obtained with a Bachelor’s degree. As such they can also expect more compensation for the work they perform.