How Can You Specialize an Accounting Degree?

Accounting One of the advantages of entering into a field like accounting is the opportunity to specialize an accounting degree to build the qualifications to be successful. In addition to the core classes of an accounting, a specialization includes upper level course work focused on a specific position within the career.

Undergraduate Accounting Degree Overview

Most undergraduate degree programs start with prerequisite requirements, and these typically include everything from composition to history courses. For accounting majors, it is also likely that undergraduate students will complete a number of courses in statistics, mathematics, and economics. Once the prerequisites are completed, upper level course work includes accounting principles, advanced accounting, managerial accounting, and ethical and legal issues in the field of accounting.

Undergraduate Accounting Degree Specializations

Some post-secondary institutions also offer opportunities for students to concentrate in a specific area of accounting. Some of the most common options for adding a concentration in this particular degree program include public accounting and forensic accounting. With an undergraduate degree in accounting, graduates gain qualifications to begin pursuing positions in government agencies, health care organizations, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and private corporations. Including a specialization can further prepare graduates for pursuing accounting careers.

Financial accounting is a specialization that can be particularly helpful for students who are considering entering into positions that require for an in-depth understanding of the accounting methods utilized to run organizational operations. Course work is likely to focus on business accounting methods, programs for record keeping, and transparency in accounting practices.

Forensic accounting specializations will require for students to complete additional course work in technical and legal courses. As a forensic accountant, professionals utilize investigative and analytical techniques to identify issues such as fraud and identity theft.

Graduate Accounting Degree Overview

Graduate accounting degree programs include requirements for students to complete advanced course work in accounting. Some courses that students might be required to complete include quantitative analysis, advanced information technology in accounting, corporate tax preparation, and cost analysis. Much of the classwork will be dependent on the specialization that a graduate student chooses.

Public accounting specializations are a helpful route for future professionals who are interested in pursuing a career as a certified public accountant. Much of the concentration in this particular specialization is on preparing students to graduate and successfully complete the standard examination to be qualified to practice as a CPA after completing the required graduate hours of education. Additional information on preparing for this requirement can be found at American Institute of CPAs.

Another possibility is to specialize in auditing. This concentration track might include courses in cost accounting, fraud examination, financial reporting, and accounting information systems. In a managerial accounting specializations, students focus not only on learning the techniques for performing various accounting functions, but they also complete several courses in overall management and business practices. These courses are likely to include statistics in decision making, organizational theory, employee incentives and motivation, and financial management. Other graduate options for a specialization include taxation, accounting information systems, and forensic accounting.

Related Resource: Healthcare Management

Accounting includes opportunities to pursue positions in various types of organizations and in challenging, rewarding positions. To best prepare for these specific career fields, undergraduate and graduate students have choices in how to specialize an accounting degree.