Masters in Accounting: What It Is, Why You Should Get One, and Top Universities to Consider

Obtaining a masters in accounting is a big step towards a serious and lucrative career. Accounting is the backbone of every business, and professionals in the field are responsible for recording, analyzing, and interpreting financial data to inform decision-making.

As businesses continue to grow and evolve, the demand for skilled accounting professionals has increased, making it an attractive field for those looking for a stable and rewarding career.

For those interested in advancing their accounting knowledge and skills, a masters in accounting can be a valuable asset.

What is Accounting?

Accounting is the process of measuring, processing, and communicating financial information about an organization to its stakeholders, such as investors, management, and regulators.

It involves keeping track of financial transactions, preparing financial statements, and interpreting financial data to guide decision-making.

Accounting can be divided into two main branches: financial accounting and managerial accounting. Financial accounting focuses on recording and reporting financial information to external stakeholders, while managerial accounting deals with using financial data to support internal decision-making.

What is a Masters in Accounting?

A masters in accounting is a graduate-level degree program that focuses on advanced accounting concepts and practices. It is designed to prepare students for careers in accounting and finance, providing them with a deep understanding of financial reporting, tax laws, auditing, and other accounting-related areas.

A masters in accounting program typically covers advanced accounting topics, such as financial statement analysis, tax planning, auditing, and accounting information systems. It also provides students with the opportunity to develop specialized skills in areas such as forensic accounting, international accounting, and sustainability accounting.

Why You Should Get a Masters in Accounting

A masters in accounting can be a valuable asset for individuals interested in pursuing a career in accounting or finance. Here are some of the benefits of earning this degree:

Increased Job Opportunities

A masters in accounting can open up a wide range of job opportunities in accounting and finance, including positions in public accounting firms, corporate finance departments, and government agencies.

Higher Earning Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for accountants and auditors in 2020 was $73,560. However, individuals with a masters in accounting typically earn higher salaries than those with just a bachelor’s degree.

Career Advancement

A masters in accounting can help you advance your career in accounting or finance by providing you with advanced knowledge and skills in the field.

Professional Development

A masters in accounting program can help you develop your critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills, making you a more well-rounded professional.

CPA Eligibility

Many masters in accounting programs are designed to meet the educational requirements for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, which can help you achieve this professional designation and increase your job opportunities and earning potential.

Top 5 Universities that Offer Masters in Accounting

There are many universities that offer masters in accounting programs. Here are the top 5 universities in the United States that offer masters in accounting programs, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 rankings:

How Long Will It Take to Complete a Masters in Accounting?

The length of time it takes to complete a masters in accounting program varies depending on the program and the student’s schedule. Typically, a full-time program takes about one to two years to complete, while a part-time program may take two to four years.

Some programs also offer accelerated options that can be completed in as little as one year.

Top positions for holders of Masters in Accounting

A master’s degree in accounting can open the door to many lucrative career opportunities. The accounting field is essential to the success of any organization, and the demand for qualified accountants is high. Here are some top positions for holders of masters in accounting:

Chief Financial Officer (CFO): As the highest-ranking financial officer in a company, a CFO is responsible for managing the financial operations of an organization, including accounting, budgeting, and financial planning.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA): A CPA is a licensed professional who provides financial services to clients, including tax preparation, financial planning, and auditing.

Tax Manager: A tax manager is responsible for ensuring that their company is in compliance with tax laws and regulations while minimizing the amount of taxes owed.

Financial Analyst: A financial analyst evaluates financial data to help their organization make informed business decisions. They analyze market trends, financial statements, and economic conditions to identify opportunities and risks.

Masters in Accounting Salary

A Master’s in Accounting degree can be a smart investment for those interested in the accounting field. In addition to providing advanced knowledge and skills, it can also lead to higher earning potential.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for accountants and auditors was $73,560 in 2020. However, those with a Master’s in Accounting degree can expect to earn more.

In fact, the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that the average starting salary for graduates with a Master’s in Accounting in 2021 was $69,214, which is significantly higher than the average starting salary for those with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Salaries for those with a Master’s in Accounting can vary depending on the industry and job position. For example, those working in finance and insurance tend to earn higher salaries than those in other industries.

Additionally, certified public accountants (CPAs) tend to earn more than non-CPAs.


A masters degree in accounting can lead to a variety of challenging and rewarding career opportunities. Whether you want to specialize in tax, financial analysis, or become a CFO, a master’s in accounting can help you achieve your career goals.

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