Follow These 4 Steps to Get Your Masters Degree in Accounting

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There’s a lot more to becoming a successful accountant than just a love of numbers. If you’re thinking about a Master’s in Accounting, prepare for the challenges of the application process and coursework with these tips.

1. Consider Your Timing

Going to graduate school is an important decision, one that could change the trajectory of your career. As a student, you will find yourself devoting your time and energy toward learning, networking and advancing your prospects. That’s why it’s important to consider your timing very carefully.

It’s generally best to make the decision only after you’ve taken at least half of your credits as an undergraduate. Then, you can decide if you want to work on your master’s degree immediately or work in accounting for a few years first. Getting into graduate school is the culmination of all your hard work, so the path you take is extremely important.

2. Take Your Scholastic Temperature

Did you enjoy the accounting classes you took in college? Do you enjoy your work in accounting? Does something about the subject fascinate you? If you are going to dedicate your time to working toward a master’s degree in accounting online, it’s important to enjoy the material.

If you are looking to advance your career and increase your job options, this is an invaluable step. Before you take it, it can be helpful to weigh your options and consider whether you are ready.

3. Create a Goal

When you choose to pursue your master’s degree, it’s important to have a goal in mind. These goals are often career-related: where do you want your master’s in accounting to take you? Are you interested in taxation, auditing, consulting, or government work? Do you want to be a financial controller, a forensic accountant, an accounting manager, or a CPA? Having an idea of what you want the degree to do for you can be extremely helpful as you navigate the coursework. It motivates you to succeed and adds an important emotional element to accomplishing your goals.

Your goal can also be salary related, or it can relate to job satisfaction. A Payscale survey reveals that those with Master’s in Accounting degrees rate their job satisfaction at five out of five. Payscale’s data also reveals that advanced accounting positions, like corporate controller, CPA, and accounting manager can make up to $136,520.  Starting salaries can average around $55,000, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Creating and remaining committed to your goal, whatever it may be, can be invaluable as you work toward your advanced degree.

4. Think About the “Why”

Are you interested in pursuing a master’s degree to earn the credits you need to take the CPA exam? Are you taking master’s degree courses to prepare for that exam? Or are you pursuing this degree to simply advance your knowledge? You might be interested in a promotion, or a new type of accounting career. Whatever your “why,” knowing what drives you can not only help you set goals, but it can also drive your entire graduate school experience. You will meet other students with different reasons for pursuing the degree, from a diverse set of backgrounds, which can expose you to new and different perspectives.

Earning your master’s degree is not all about the coursework; it’s also about making connections, thinking critically, and growing as a person. Understanding your “why” is an important step toward experiencing this unique kind of growth.

There are many more ways to prepare and even more reasons to pursue an advanced degree in accounting. At Maryville University, a diverse community, both online and off, actively engages students to find their place in the professional world. It’s our mission to both educate and inspire those who want to become experts in their field. Visit Maryville University online to learn more.

Sources:
http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/professors-guide/2009/10/21/10-steps-for-thinking-about-graduate-school

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2014/06/19/leverage-job-prospects-with-a-masters-in-accounting

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_Accounting_(MAcc)/Salary