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Benefits of an Undergraduate Accounting Degree

Written by AnonymousMay 31, 2011

Discussing the Benefits of an Undergraduate Accounting Degree

There are more than 1.3 million accountants working in the United States. They work for bookkeeping, tax preparation, accounting, and payroll firms as well as state and local government. Nearly 10 percent are self-employed. Over the next seven years, the Department of Labor predicts that the industry will add 279,400 new jobs, resulting in a 22 percent employment growth. Job growth for accountants is much faster than average, which is only one benefit of an undergraduate accounting degree.

Besides starting a career in a stable and growing field, other benefits of an undergraduate accounting degree are:

Salary and variety. A bachelor’s degree in accounting can prepare you for a career as a bookkeeper, tax preparer, payroll services professional, or an accountant (entry or mid-level). These fields have some of the highest populations of accountants in the industry. The field as a whole also pays one of the highest annual average salaries — $61,480.

Initial preparation for a career as a CPA. An undergraduate degree in accounting offers most of the courses you need to sit for the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam. Most state accountancy boards require at least 24 semester hours of accounting and 24 semester hours of business courses. Other degree programs don’t offer these courses. If you want to qualify to sit for the CPA exam with another degree, you’ll have to take additional courses.

State accountancy boards have strict requirements for sitting for the CPA exam. If you’re planning to get an undergraduate accounting degree, the program must be accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized agency. Visit for a list of recognized agencies.


Start your own business. An undergraduate degree could start you on a path to building your own business. As stated earlier, nearly 10 percent of accountants are self-employed. These entrepreneurs started out as accountants, and then obtained CPA certification. Most obtained the experience needed at an accounting firm, then set out on their own.