You need a master’s in accounting degree to move forward in your career. Not having a graduate degree could be holding you back from a promotion, or one year of college credits might be the only thing standing in the way of you taking the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Either way, you know earning a master’s degree is important – but maybe not so important that you can afford to leave your job to study full-time. Fortunately, there are part-time accounting study options at respected colleges and universities that can help you reach your education goals at your own pace.
Finding a Part-Time Master’s in Accounting Program
If you’re considering a part-time graduate education, you’re in luck. Some of the top affordable master’s in accounting and master of accountancy programs in the United States happen to offer part-time options.
Not every master’s in accounting program is designed for part-time study. You don’t want to find yourself struggling to split a full-time curriculum into part-time hours and miss out on important opportunities, like integrative lessons. If you know that you want to study part-time, look for a school that offers part-time options specifically. A school like this will offer you more support in terms of advising, academic help and other services. Also, make sure you know what’s expected of part-time students. Are you required to complete your degree in a certain number of years or semesters, or can you take courses at your leisure?
Make sure you take into account the cost and value of any school you’re considering. Part-time students may end up paying more than their full-time counterparts, particularly at schools that offer a volume discount for students taking a certain number of credits. If you use student loan debt to finance your education, spacing your education out could cause you to accrue a lot of additional interest – up to twice as much as a full-time student would accrue, according to U.S. News & World Report. Consider the affordability of a program – as a whole, not just for one semester or one year – and make a conscious effort not to borrow more money in student loans than you absolutely need.
The Benefits of Studying Part-Time
There are plenty of advantages to earning a master’s in accounting degree by studying part-time, especially if you already have a job in the field.
Although you will take longer to earn your degree than a full-time student would, you will also continue to gain valuable professional experience through your work. You will be able to expand your professional network at both school and work, which gives you more contacts and opportunities than you would have from just one channel. Since you’re also continuing to earn a paycheck, the cost of tuition is not as big a burden as it might be if you had to leave your job.