More career options
A business degree is rarely an end unto itself. Rather, a master’s degree is a way to advance in your current organization or make yourself more competitive for a new role at a different employer.
If the job and career you’re interested in is focused solely on tax issues, a Master of Taxation might work out. But if now — or at some point in the future — you want to go into auditing, consulting, or another field, a MAC degree is better preparation. MAC coursework formally covers those areas.
If you do want to focus just on taxes, a MAC has you covered there, too. MAC programs will allow you to take additional tax classes to deepen your knowledge in that area. But you don’t need to sacrifice other aspects of accounting to do so.
Strategic job roles
There’s no question that tax management is a critical function for businesses, and even for many nonprofits. But taxes will never be the single most important aspect of financial management for any organization.
The most senior finance and accounting executives, who help develop strategy and steer the overall direction of their organization, must have broader-based knowledge that includes financial reporting, financial analysis, and other skills.
Executives who take on these senior accounting and finance roles must also have strong business skills. That means they need to be good at verbal and written communications, be skilled at managing others and working as a team, and have the ability to see the big picture for an organization. MAC programs include classes on these subjects, because faculty know these are critical skills to be successful in accounting.
While a Master of Taxation degree will help you understand the tax issues a company faces, it won’t help with the other financial and accounting dimensions of an organization that top leaders must master.
The bottom line
When it comes to choosing between a Master of Taxation and a Master of Accounting degree, it comes down to this: Do you want a degree that will give you knowledge of tax issues, but limit your ability to work outside the tax function? Or do you want a degree that will give you tax expertise, plus knowledge of other critical areas of finance and accounting, and enable you to pursue a broad range of career opportunities?
If you’re more interested in the second, a MAC degree is the best option.
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