When you’re choosing a college major in the field of business, you must understand the difference between a bachelor’s in accounting and a bachelor’s in economics degree. Accounting is the study of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements. Economics is the study of how resources are used, the scarcity of resources and decision-making with regard to using resources, according to the American Economic Association.
Differences Between Accounting and Economics Curricula
The types of courses you take is one of the most significant differences between a bachelor’s in accounting and a bachelor’s in economics degree program. In an accounting degree program, you will take classes such as principles of accounting, internal auditing principles, and income taxation, according to U.S. News & World Report. By the time you finish your bachelor’s degree program in accounting, you will know how to create financial documents such as balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements and statements of changes in owner’s equity.
If you major in economics, your undergraduate curriculum will be slightly different. You will take classes that an accountant probably would not take, including microeconomic analysis, the economics of labor and industrial organizations, econometrics, money and banking, decision-making in economics, history of economics, political economy and economic statistics. Some economics programs may require you to take courses in calculus or computer programming, as well.
Although there are curriculum differences between a bachelor’s in accounting and a bachelor’s in economics degree program, there are also similarities. Both accounting majors and economics majors study macroeconomics, the branch of economics that focuses on whole or big-picture economic systems. General business courses, such as business law and business communications, may be required for students of accounting and economics – particularly if the economics department is part of the college’s school of business.
Accounting and Economics Career Paths
The career options that are available to graduates is another difference between a bachelor’s in accounting and a bachelor’s in economics degree. An accounting major is – naturally – likely to find work as an accountant. Auditor and actuary are other popular career paths for accounting majors. Some accounting students move into the closely related field of finance, where they work as financial advisors. With more experience and a graduate degree, accounting professionals can attain high-level financial manager roles, ones accompanied by a six-figure median salary.
There are far fewer economist jobs out there for economics majors compared to the number of accountant roles available to accounting majors. However, a degree in economics is versatile. Most graduates from an undergraduate economics programs find jobs in other fields, including financial analyst, research assistant and market research analyst, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. Students who want to become an economist often need to earn a master’s degree or Ph.D. if to be qualified for any jobs beyond the most entry-level roles.
Now that you understand the differences between a bachelor’s in accounting and a bachelor’s in economics degree, you can think about your interests and career goals and make an informed decision about which program is the best choice for you.