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How to make your accounting career blast off

Man in thought

So what is (or what will) your first job be like? Will you start at the bottom of a corporate ladder in a cubicle, trying to learn enough about how business works to turn that job into a career? Are you already doing that?

How about five years from now? Will you be wondering if you should go back to school for a master’s degree, wondering if you can afford the time away?

You can do better. You just need some professional rocket fuel. You need a Master of Accounting degree.

>> Check out “How Accounting Firms Hire”, a guide on how firms recruit entry-level accountants.

A master’s degree in accounting (or MAC) delivers enough return on investment to launch your career, power it for decades and take you as high as you want to go!

Here’s how:

Great job prospects — now. The “Big 4” accounting firms and large “middle market” firms, as well as numerous major corporations, typically recruit accountants with master’s degrees upon graduation (and often before). Those jobs come with good money, opportunities for travel and other perks.

Down the road, a MAC degree allows you to take on any role — from entrepreneur to nonprofit executive to government leader — that requires accounting and business knowledge. A master’s degree in accounting gives you sophisticated analytical skills that are important in all professional roles.

UNC Master of Accounting students share why they chose to pursue the accounting profession.

A valuable credential. MAC graduates, in addition to their degree, also prepare for and take the exam to earn their Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. Not all accountants are CPAs, but CPAs can do any kind of accounting, giving them the best pay prospects and greatest career flexibility. A CPA designation provides credibility and demands respect.

Career momentum. Many people graduate from college, work a few years and then stop to earn a master’s degree to give their careers a boost. When the job description says “master’s degree required,” MAC graduates are ready.

Great pay. Starting salaries for people with master’s degrees in accounting are higher than accountants with bachelor’s degrees. Many MAC degree holders start with salaries above $60,000 and climb into six figures in just a few years.

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Fast results. Master of accounting degrees can be earned in as little as one year. That means that 12 months after taking your first class, you can be on the job. You don’t have to work for five or ten years and then go back to school for two or three years to earn a return from your MAC degree.

And it’s not just that MACs are in demand and paid well (though that doesn’t hurt). Earning a master’s degree in accounting gives you skills that will pay back for your entire career.

In addition to learning their way around financial statements, tax law and business, MACs also are equipped with strong communication skills, powerful analytical tools and a deep understanding of how businesses and other organizations operate.

Even if you end up in a role with little or no accounting responsibility, a Master of Accounting degree still pays dividends.

Your next step?
Preparing yourself for the job market with a peek at the recruitment process that the Big 4 and middle-market accounting firms, as well as numerous major corporations, use when they search for entry-level accountants.