What Combination of Education and Experience is Needed to Become an Accounting Professor?

accounting professorDo you have a passion for teaching? Are you great with numbers? Are you looking for a career where there is a high gap in supply and demand that will play in your favor?

If you answered yes to each of these questions, you may just want to consider joining accounting faculty at a reputable college or university and become an accounting professor. With the American Accounting Association predicting that as many as 700 accounting professors will retire over the next 7 to 10 years, there is expected to be a huge shortage of accounting professors and faculty. By having the right combination of education and experience, you can become a part of the solution and achieve your goals while you fill in the gap.

What Degree or Certification Must You Possess to Be an Accounting Professor?

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business has set the accreditation standards that accounting faculty must meet. While faculty can be either academically qualified or professionally qualified to become an accounting professor, most full-time accounting faculty are academically qualified and have some professional experience outside of a collegiate atmosphere.

To satisfy academic requirements, you must first pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting to gain a basic foundation of knowledge that will prepare you for a master’s and doctoral program. After you earn your bachelor’s degree, you will then need to move on and earn your Master’s degree in Accounting. This program will take one to two years to complete as a full-time student. Only after you have earned a Master’s degree can you move on and earn your PhD in Accounting. The PhD program is a rigorous program that will take a minimum of 4 years to complete. You will complete coursework and be required to prepare a dissertation. You must be an accounting PhD graduate to satisfy the academic qualification of accreditation standards to be an accounting professor.

What Professional Experience is Required?

To become professionally qualified, you may not need to pursue a PhD. In an effort to fill in the gap between supply and demand, there is a bridge program that prepares those who are professionally qualified to become professors. Instead of pursuing a PhD, you must have a master’s degree and a professional certification like a CPA. In addition to this, you will need 5 to 7 years of senior-level management experience, 7 to 10 years of industry experience, and history of contribution within the field.

Are You Prepared to be a Professor?

It is important to be sure that you are comfortable speaking in front of students before you decide that this is the career you would like to pursue. If you would like some exposure to what it is like to teach accounting, you may want to consider teaching at a community school first as a part-time adjunct instructor.

As you can see, the right combination of education and experience can prepare you to become an accounting professor. If you are ready for a change and you want to map out the route that you will take over your career as a university student, there are two different paths you can take. Decide whether you should pursue being academically qualified or professionally qualified, and pursue a fulfilling profession.

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