Home Online Business Blog The Benefits of Pursuing an Online Master’s in Accounting: Flexibility, Affordability and Career Advancement

The Benefits of Pursuing an Online Master’s in Accounting: Flexibility, Affordability and Career Advancement

05 Oct
Professional accountant group working with documents at meeting in office.

You can find accountants in every corner of the economy, including public companies, private industry, nonprofits and the government sector. Nearly all organizations need one or more accounting professionals to track monetary transactions, review financial statements and prepare taxes. Those tasks fall to senior accountants, controllers, auditors and tax managers, each of whom needed a graduate degree in accounting.1

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a steady demand for accountants over the next ten years. Estimates predict 126,500 new accountant roles annually, with a median pay of $78,000.2 People who earn a master’s in accounting and take on more senior positions may earn even more.1

With today’s technology, you no longer need to complete your accounting degree on campus. Instead, you can consider online options with flexible schedules and affordable tuition. Read on to explore some key benefits that come with pursuing a graduate accounting degree online.

Online Education: Flexible Schedules for Busy Lives

When you pursue an online graduate-level education in accounting, you don’t need to worry about long commutes or trying to find parking as you race to classes on campus.3 If your boss needs you to stay late to complete work duties, you can do so without fear of missing important learning material for your next exam. If you have family commitments, you can fit your study schedule around their needs; you won’t have to choose between hitting the books, attending your kids’ next school concert or spending time with your partner or parents. Some students, such as those in William and Mary’s Online Master of Accounting program, complete the degree in just 16 months. That's a short commitment to make for a lifetime of benefits as you advance professionally.

Online graduate courses provide flexible schedules by utilizing online learning platforms. They free you up to watch classes and study from anywhere: at work, at your favorite coffee shop or library, in the comfort of your own home and so on. Further, when using online platforms, you can log into the learning management system (LMS) to check your upcoming learning objectives and weekly assignments at whatever time works for you. While you'll need to turn in your assignments by set deadlines, you can set the schedule for your study time: before work, on your lunch break or when the kids are napping—whatever best fits into your life.3

Studying Accounting Online Means Affordable Tuition

People often worry about the cost of pursuing an advanced degree. After all, graduate accounting programs aren’t free, and the cost of textbooks, tuition and other fees can quickly add up, pricing many would-be students out of eligibility.4 According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average annual cost of graduate tuition was $19,749 for the 2020-2021 school year.5 While financial aid and student loans can help, they may not cover the total cost.4

Fortunately, pursuing an online education isn’t a budget-breaker. Since you don’t need to live on campus to attend courses, you won’t need to move or pay for university housing. You’ll also save money on transportation and parking fees.

Online Accounting Graduates’ Career Advancement

Whether you're seeking a career switch or want to earn credits to gain eligibility for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, pursuing an online education in accounting can help.1 Most professionals with master’s degrees find they can command higher salaries, especially as they garner experience in different areas, such as tax accounting or auditing.1 In fact, top accounting executives such as chief accounting officers (CAOs) earn an average of $197,753 each year, while corporate controllers earn a median annual salary of $110,456.6,7

You can build on your online education by working toward your CPA licensure once you complete your master's degree.1 All states require 150 hours of upper-level education before you can sit for the CPA exams, and your degree can help you meet the criteria.1 Many courses you'll take will touch on different aspects of the CPA exam, including auditing, financial reporting, complex business transactions and federal taxation. Getting a firm grasp of the concepts in graduate school reduces the studying you’ll need to do in the future, and with curriculum customization, you can focus on topics you choose.

With a master’s in accounting, employers will find you a top-tier candidate for their open accounting roles. In fact, large accounting firms, including Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers regularly seek out William & Mary graduates. They trust our accounting program to instill the necessary skills and knowledge for successful business leadership.

Online Programs Provide Diverse Networking Opportunities

When you start your online master’s in accounting program, you’ll meet others just like you who want to further their education. You’ll get to know what their goals are and how they plan to use their degree in their careers.

You’ll also meet the faculty members who teach your courses. Some professors have experience as business and industry leaders. Others are academic experts whose research supports renowned journals and institutions, including the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). They can help guide you in your career decisions, potentially unlocking doors to future job opportunities.

Prepare for a successful career as a business authority.

The faculty experts and robust curriculum of William & Mary’s Online Master of Accounting (MACc) program instill more than skills. They shape you as a decision-maker and a business leader. You’ll learn from innovative scholars and experts with deep experience teaching online students to assess a company’s processes and think critically to solve problems.

This distinguished online program empowers you to complete your coursework, interact with faculty and fellow accounting students and stay connected with the William & Mary community—all in a way that seamlessly integrates with your life and schedule.

In addition, you’ll progress toward fulfilling CPA coursework requirements. Our Master of Accounting program’s CPA exam pass rate is in the 90th percentile on the first attempt, as ranked by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Find out how the Raymond A. Mason School of Business will help you develop your full potential and prepare you for upper-level positions. Schedule a call with one of our admissions outreach advisors today.