Masters Degree In Accounting

Discover the top jobs you can get with a master’s degree in accounting. Learn about some of the top online and offline master’s degree programs.

If you are an accountant, one of the decisions you must make is whether you want to get your master’s degree. Getting a master’s degree means going back to school, which can be pricey. It can also be time consuming, taking on average two years to get your degree. However, there are many benefits associated with getting a master’s degree in accounting. Some of the highest paying jobs are only available if you have your master’s. Some companies may eventually promote you as you develop experience, but this often takes years and is largely luck dependent. Even if you do not want a higher ranked position, you can get a substantial salary increase by getting your master’s degree.

If you are already employed, your employer may even pay for you to go to school, in exchange for remaining with the company for a set period of time. This is a great way to advance your career without falling into debt. Listed below are some of the top careers and program options for accountants.


Auditors work in a variety of fields. Auditors are responsible for investigating financial records, looking for any discrepancies or signs of fraud. On average, auditors make $58,000 a year. There are four types of auditors:

  • Internal

  • External

  • Government

  • Forensic

Despite the name, internal auditors are independent from a business. They are hired by a business by company executives to assess how well the company is spending money and determine whether any funds are wasted. While most are hired to examine the company as a whole, some are hired to examine a specific project.

External auditors are the most common type of auditor. These auditors are typically hired by investors when they suspect a business is mismanaging funds. Some businesses also hire an external auditor once a year to ensure there are no issues with their spending. They are less concerned with efficiency and focus on finding legal wrongdoing.

Government auditors are a specialized external investigator. These auditors search for fraud in funding that comes from government grants, businesses who do not pay proper taxes or suspicious foreign deals. Forensic auditors are also specialized investigators, only brought in to investigate a business during legal proceedings.

Information and Technology Accountant

Another job you can get with your master’s degree is working as an information and technology accountant. This is an elite type of accounting where you are responsible for all the finances of a business. In addition to tracking finances, you also manage the other accountants in the business. This includes deciding what system the company uses to organize and report financial data. You may also be asked to set the budget for other departments, setting limits so the company does not overspend. The average salary for these accountants is $76,000.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts take a more active role in company spending. As a financial analyst, one of your responsibilities is making investment decisions for the company. Your overall involvement greatly varies depending on the company. In some businesses, you work alongside a team of executives, who use your input to plan meetings with investors. In other companies, you are also responsible for presenting to your investors. How much you make greatly varies based on where you work, but on average financial analysts make $77,000.

Managerial Accountant

Managerial accountants work directly with business manages and executives. The role of a managerial accountant is to oversee the day-to-day spending operations of a business. You are responsible for the majority of spending in the business, including production costs, employee raises and project costs. As a manger, you have more input than other accountant positions, which typically only get to oversee spending without directly influencing it. The average salary for accountant managers is $83,000.

Maryville University

For many accountants, one of the challenges of getting a master’s degree is balancing their current employment with college hours. Most classes run during the day, during business hours. Maryville University solves this problem by running an online master’s program. Another benefit of the classes being online is expedited class options. Students can complete a master’s course through Maryville within 10 months. Maryville does an excellent job teaching both financial information as well as business law.

University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada is another school with an excellent online accounting program. The university partners with some of the largest businesses in Nevada, with industry experts providing guest lectures to students. The school also has excellent networking opportunities, which is helpful for students with minimal work history. The master’s program largely focuses on advanced financing and tax law. In addition to working for major businesses, the classes also cover government and non-profit work.

McCombs School of Business

McCombs is part of the University of Texas. It is one of the top business schools, with multiple master’s programs for accountants. There are class options for most accounting specialties, including international business, management, charity and real estate accounting. Because it is located in Texas, the college is affiliated with some of the largest companies in the United States. Many students graduate and get high paying jobs with these businesses.

University of Illinois

University of Illinois provides in-depth accounting classes, covering niche subjects not taught at other accounting schools. Some of the specialties include scientific and healthcare accounting. There are also classes for entrepreneurs who want to start their own business instead of working with an existing company.