The value of a master’s degree in accounting is determined by various factors, including your career objectives, the specific requirements of the accounting profession in your region, and your personal circumstances.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether or not to pursue a master’s degree in accounting:

Is a masters degree in accounting worth it?

Career Objectives and Requirements

Some accounting professions, particularly those in public accounting firms or roles requiring advanced expertise, may prefer or require master’s degree candidates. If your career objectives include positions frequently seeking candidates with a master’s degree in accounting, earning the degree may improve your job prospects and open doors to certain opportunities.

Certification Requirements

To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you may need to meet specific educational requirements depending on your location. A master’s degree can fulfill or contribute to these requirements in some jurisdictions. (Check the CPA requirements in your state or region to see if a master’s degree will help you achieve your professional goals.)

Specialization and Expertise

A master’s degree can provide more in-depth knowledge and expertise if you have a specific interest in a niche area of accounting or want to specialize in fields such as forensic accounting, taxation, or auditing.

Networking and Professional Development

Master’s programs frequently offer networking opportunities with professors, industry professionals, and fellow students. Building a robust professional network can help you advance in your career. Some master’s programs also provide career development resources such as internship and job placement assistance.

Cost and Return on Investment

Consider the cost of obtaining a master’s degree, including tuition, fees, and potential lost income while enrolled. In most cases, this would be a bargain compared to the likely increase in earning potential and career opportunities that the degree may bring. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median weekly earnings for a master’s degree holder are $1,545, compared to $1,305 for a bachelor’s degree holder, translating to $12,480 in increased income[1]. These earnings grow over time and will much outweigh the cost of obtaining your master’s degree.

Also, examine the master’s degree’s potential Return On Investment (ROI) in terms of long-term career advancement and salary increases.

Market Demand

Research the accounting job market in your area and the demand for candidates with advanced degrees. This can tell you whether employers value a master’s degree in accounting (they usually do).

Before making a decision:

Citations

1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Education Pays, 2020

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Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees in Accounting & Finance

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