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Accountancy is a vast field offering many opportunities to those eager to join it. In addition, there are many educational routes someone can take to get ahead in the industry. There are eight types of accounting degrees and a significant number of accountant types.

So, let’s explain the different types of accounting degrees and what job opportunities they offer.

Certificate or Diploma in Accounting


Many accountants start their careers by enrolling in a certificate or diploma program. Certificate and diploma programs are generally one to two year programs that cover the basics of accounting.

Certificate and diploma programs are generally cheaper and easier to finish, and they can serve as a good starting point in accounting.

What can you do with a certificate/diploma in accounting?

Given that these programs only cover basics, you will be able to get an entry-level job in accounting. These programs don’t tend to provide in-depth general information about the field, which is why a four-year program is usually needed for positions other than bookkeeping and being an accounting clerk.

Although these credentials can serve as your way in the industry, more times than not, you will need a bachelor’s degree in Accounting to move higher up.

Associate Degree in Accounting

An associate degree program usually takes around two years to finish. Although it is shorter than a bachelor’s program, it still touches on the important accounting concepts and explains them more thoroughly than a certificate or diploma program would.

An associate program doesn’t only give students the required education to enter the workforce, but it also covers all the basics needed to transfer to a four-year university. While an associate degree offers the same job opportunities as a diploma or certificate, the key difference is that oftentimes the credits from an associate degree are transferable to a bachelor’s program.

What can you do with an associate degree in accounting?

Similarly to a certificate or diploma, an associate degree in accounting offers limited job possibilities. A few jobs you can land with an associate degree in accounting are:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounting Assistant
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Accounting Technician
  • Auditing Clerk


Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting


To start working as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), most accountants have to first earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting. A bachelor’s degree program usually takes about four years to complete and comprises 120 credits.

This program allows you to understand the essence of accounting and everything it entails. However, to work as a CPA, you will still need to pass the CPA exam and understand accountancy thoroughly.

What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in accounting?

An undergraduate degree in accounting will open many doors for you. There are many exciting jobs to work in after finishing a bachelor’s degree program. Some job opportunities you will have include working as:

  • Accountant
  • Senior Accountant
  • Accounting Manager
  • Financial Controller
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Tax Examiner


Master’s Degree in Accounting

For many accountants, a master’s degree in Accounting is the final step in their career. A master’s degree takes one or two years to finish, and it requires a bachelor’s degree to start. Be prepared to learn many new skills and take in new crucial information for your career in such a program.

The demand for accountants with a master’s degree on their side is high, which means that the competitiveness in the job market is also high. However, there are many exciting jobs awaiting someone who finishes such a program.

What can you do with a master’s degree in accounting?

A master’s degree on your CV can easily set you apart from the competition in the job market. Since employers value these credentials, there are many available positions to choose from. A few jobs you can do with a master’s accounting degree are:

  • Auditor
  • Information and Technology Accountant
  • Financial Analyst
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Managerial Accountant
  • Corporate Controller
  • Chief Financial Officer


MBA in Accounting Degree


An MBA in accounting is, in many ways, similar to a master’s accounting degree (MAcc). However, an MBA is more likely to focus on developing students’ managerial skills and advanced accounting skills.

This degree program is typically taken on by people who wish to have careers in leadership positions.

What can you do with an MBA in accounting?

There are many roles that can be assumed by a professional holding an MBA in accounting. Some of these roles include:

  • Management Analyst
  • Financial Manager
  • Business Consultant
  • Revenue Manager
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Business Development Manager


PhD or DBA in Accounting Degree

PhD and Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in accounting are both doctoral degrees in accounting and simultaneously the highest degrees in accounting. These two degrees take a good amount of work—around four to five years—to complete and are considered a big accomplishment for accountants.


Although they are both doctoral degrees, A DBA is a professional degree, and a PhD is an academic one. A DBA is for professionals who want to keep working in the industry and move up in positions, as opposed to a PhD, which is intended for professionals who wish to continue with teaching or research.

What can you do with a PhD in accounting?

Accountants with a PhD tend to focus more on research-oriented positions in research institutions, government, or academia. Some potential positions include:

  • College or University Professor
  • Consultant
  • Financial Analyst
  • Public Policy Researcher
  • Researcher


What can you do with a DBA in accounting?

With a DBA degree, you can practically work in any position within the accountancy field, including many executive positions. Some of the potential job titles include:

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Consultant
  • Economist
  • Logistician
  • Professor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Government Employee


Whether you want a diploma in accounting or a DBA, there are many possible options to consider. All of these accounting degrees come with their own advantages and disadvantages and have their own potential job titles. With nothing else left to say, we hope this article helped you figure out which path you want to take!

If you’re looking to start out your accounting education somewhere, you can do so by enrolling in our Bachelor of Arts in Accounting program.



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