What Are the Most Common Career Paths for Graduates of a Master’s in Accounting Program?

If you’re considering going to graduate school, you should keep in mind the most common career paths for graduates of a master’s in accounting program. After all, your future career prospects are an important part of any decision you make to go back to school. Whether earning an advanced degree in accounting is right for you depends largely on what you want to do with that degree. You should ask yourself whether this program of study is the most effective way to achieve your goals. To do that, of course, you first need a solid idea of what your goals are.

Roles in Public Accounting Firms

Attaining the certified public accountant (CPA) designation is among the most common career paths for graduates of a master’s in accounting program. Naturally, many CPAs work in public accounting firms. With these firms, candidates with a graduate degree in accounting have options, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). They can work in specialized roles focused on tax, auditing or management accounting. They can also look for employment in a variety of different public accounting firms, choosing whether they would prefer to work for a massive international corporation or a small local business.

Specialized Accounting Services

Pursuing a role in specialized accounting services is another of the most common career paths for graduates of a master’s in accounting program. Some of the specialties that require candidates to have focused accounting knowledge include personal financial planning, financial forensics, IT consulting and business valuation, the AICPA reported. If you plan to embark on a career offering specialized accounting services, it may be in your best interests to make sure you choose a degree program with a relevant academic concentration.

Business and Industry Positions

Accounting is a business discipline, and many graduates of accounting programs choose to put their technical knowledge to work in the wider world of business. CPAs can find employment in many different aspects of business, such as financial analysis, management accounting, financial reporting and treasury and cash management, according to the AICPA. Some master’s in accounting graduates may prefer to work in large businesses, while others may feel more at home working with small businesses.

Government and Nonprofit Accounting Jobs

Another of the most common career paths for graduates of a master’s in accounting program is government and nonprofit accounting. In these positions, you can use the same technical accounting skills and general business savvy to make a real difference in the world. Federal, state and local governments all offer opportunities for accounting professionals. Finding work in a nonprofit organization that champions a cause you are passionate about can offer you a uniquely rewarding career.

With so many career options, it’s no wonder that graduate-level accounting degree programs have become popular among students and especially among aspiring CPAs. With the right education and experience, any of the most common career paths for graduates of a master’s in accounting program – as well as a number of rarer employment opportunities – could be open to you.

Related resource:

Top 10 Best Online Masters in Accounting Degree Programs 2014