Prospective graduate students should know that a number of academic tracks are available in online master’s in accounting programs. These tracks can allow you to specialize in a particular accounting role or niche or to broaden your skills beyond the field of accounting. Weighing the academic tracks available to you and how each one could help you meet your career goals can make sure you’re choosing an online program that will really prepare you for your future.
If you really just want to study accounting, you can pursue a general accounting track. You don’t have to specialize more narrowly, and some online master’s in accounting programs offer concentrations as optional, or don’t offer them at all. By studying general accounting, you have the opportunity to develop more of a breadth of accounting knowledge compared to someone who delves deep into one area of focus. However, keep in mind that some employers prefer specialized knowledge and skills.
If you’re looking to advance in the business world, it’s always a good idea to broaden your knowledge of business as a whole. General business is one example of the academic tracks available in online master’s in accounting programs. Students pursuing a business concentration as part of their graduate accounting degree often take courses in finance, business administration, business law and management.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Track
If you know you want to become a CPA, you can give yourself an advantage by choosing an online master’s in accounting program that emphasizes CPA preparation. CPA exam preparation is one of the most popular academic tracks are available in online master’s in accounting programs. These programs focus on not only helping students meet the qualifications to sit for the difficult CPA exam, but also on reviewing the topics covered in exam questions.
If you want to become a master at tax planning and preparation, a specialization in taxation can help you succeed. This academic track often includes coursework in everything from income tax and estate tax to tax law and international tax regulations, according to U.S. News & World Report. Taxation is another of the more popular academic tracks that are available in online master’s in accounting programs.
Some of the top online master’s in accounting programs in the nation, like Walden University’s Master of Science in Accounting, offer the option of creating a self-designed specialization. If you have your eye set on an accounting niche that’s so specific there aren’t yet programs dedicated to it, developing your own academic track can help you prepare for that specialized career. Students may incorporate interdisciplinary studies along with their core graduate accounting and business coursework.
With a wealth of academic tracks available in online master’s in accounting programs, graduate students can customize their education so that they’re learning the information that’s most valuable for their future career paths.