What Is a Master of Environmental Accounting Degree?

If you’re good with numbers but it’s the environment that you’re truly passionate about, then a master of environmental accounting degree is an option for you. Environmental accountants focus on sustainability and on tracking – and ultimately reducing – the use of natural and economic resources. Combining your accounting skills with a mission to help the environment might just make environmental accounting your dream career. A master of environmental accounting degree can be your first step toward this rewarding occupational path.

Understanding Environmental Accounting

Environmental accounting, also known as environmental management accounting, is a growing subfield of the discipline of accounting, according to Accounting Web. Environmental accountants focus on identifying and managing quantitative information about the environment. How are natural resources used? How could their use be decreased to promote ecological and economical sustainability? What is the likely effect of a business strategy or public policy decision on the natural environment? A master of environmental accounting degree program can equip you with the skills needed to make those determinations.

Who chooses to become an environmental accountant? Mostly, this specialized accounting niche appeals to who want to use their number-crunching skills to do some good in the world and warn executive and policy makers of the environmental impacts of their actions, career website Monster reported.

How Does Environmental Accounting Differ From General Accounting?

A master of environmental accounting degree is a specialized graduate-level accounting degree. However, there’s a lot of overlap between general accounting and environmental accounting. This means that students in an environmental accounting degree program need to develop the same accounting skills as students in a broader accounting program.

Many aspects found in environmental accounting correspond to a general accounting principle, according to Accounting Web. For example, environmental management accounting applies the concepts and practices of management accounting to environmental costs and the flow of energy and materials. In environmental financial accounting, you would use your financial accounting knowledge to report on environmental liability costs. Environmental national accounting requires you to put your national accounting skills – like assessing economic health based on data like national income – to work looking at the quantity of natural resources in existence and the environmental costs of using those resources.

Many environmental accountants are also certified public accountants (CPAs). You must have an extra year of college studies to begin the process of becoming a CPA, which means earning your master of environmental accounting degree is twice as valuable if you’re considering this career path.

Environmental accounting isn’t the right niche for every accounting professional. Though demand for these specialized accountants may be growing, candidates whose interests are more closely aligned to the business world than the natural one might want to think twice about pursuing this path. Likewise, students who prefer science over business might be happier in other environmental roles, like environmental scientist. However, for the right student, a master of environmental accounting degree is an ideal solution that allows them to combine their enthusiasm for environmental preservation with their math and accounting skills.

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Top 10 Best Online Masters in Accounting Degree Programs 2014