Although specific details vary slightly from one state to another, the requirements of an accounting education in the United States are relatively uniform across the nation.
The first step on the accounting career ladder is an accounting education that starts with a bachelor's degree from an accredited institute of higher learning. This degree generally calls for four years of study entailing about 120 semester hours of study.
Most often a bachelor-level accounting education must include no less than 24 semester hours of devotion to accounting and/or auditing courses. If a student is interested in an accounting specialty, studies in the specialty are likely to be considered admirable by potential employers in the future.
The US Department of Labor (DOL) predicts higher than average demand for employees with an accounting education on their resumÈs. Not only are there more businesses being developed in the country at this time but new rules and regulations involving financial transactions require more meticulous attention to a company's accounting practices, as they are coming under closer scrutiny than ever before.
Once a bachelor's degree is achieved, an accounting education doesn't need to stop at that level. Many employers prefer employees who hold master's degrees in accounting, even for entry-level positions. Others require them for career advancement strategies.
To obtain employment at an executive level, an advanced accounting education is almost always required. Industries based upon financial transactions, such as banking, financial planning, tax preparation, and auditing almost always require advanced degrees to get started.
One very important step to completing a marketable accounting education is to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). About 30 hours of coursework, in addition to the standard bachelor's degree, is required in most states in order to sit for the CPA exam but anyone holding or applying for a job where they will be required to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required to maintain this certification.