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How to Earn an Associate Degree in Accounting Online

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Accounting is a challenging and rewarding career.

If you are considering an accounting career, you might be glad to know that the U.S. Department of Labor projects more than 250,000 new accounting positions that will be created nationwide between 2008 and 2018. It can be an incentive for college-bound individuals and job hunters.

Based on your level of interest, there are several options available to you to get an accounting-related job. An online associate degree could be an easy and great way to begin, especially for working adults and those with kids. An online associate degree in accounting can qualify graduates for a variety of entry-level positions. It also puts you towards earning a bachelor degree in this or other fields.

Anyway, whether you prefer studying online or on campus, you might want to have a general idea of associate degree in accounting.

Generally speaking, it would take two years of full-time study to earn an associate degree in accounting. However, each school and program may have a slightly different time commitment required to complete such a degree. For instance, an associate degree program in accounting offered at Liberty University requires 60 credit hours, while Kaplan University requires 90 credit hours on its associate degree program in accounting.

Anyway, whatever the time frame, students would spend their time in coursework which covers many areas related to accounting along with core business courses such as economics, information systems and business management. Students may also learn to use accounting software as well as prepare and summarize financial documents. Typical coursework may include:

• Principals of accounting

• Payroll accounting

• Document processing

• Computer applications

• Individual tax accounting

All in all, as long as you successfully earn an associate degree in accounting online, you may be eligible for various entry-level professions within accounting firms or a company’s accounting department. Possible position options for graduates include:

• Bookkeeper

• Accounting clerk

• Accounts payable clerk

• Payroll assistants

• Management trainee

For those who want to earn their accounting degree online from the comfort of home, be aware that though a number of colleges and universities throughout the United States offer associate degree programs in accounting online, these programs vary in length, size, program focuses and cost. Here are some tips that may help you if you want to earn an associate degree in accounting online.

• Research colleges and universities with associate degree programs in accounting online

In fact, there are a number of educational institutions offering associate degree programs online, including brick-and-mortar schools and 100% online schools. However, you are recommended to find a reputable brick-and-mortar school which offers accounting programs online. This is because these schools can be vetted more easily.

Additionally, online programs offered by these schools are usually accredited. This means you should choose an accredited online associate degree program in accounting. The “accreditation” status helps you avoid diploma mills, the disreputable for-profit businesses that exist only to make money off students without offering a high-quality education.

Plus, if you choose a program that isn’t accredited, you might be unable to get any financial aid and unable to transfer your credits to another school. This means if you transfer to a four-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree with an accredited associate degree, you might have to start over again at the four-year school.

Here I would like to give some tips on how to check an online program’s accreditation status. As we know, most colleges and universities have their own official websites. If the school is accredited by one of the national accreditation agencies, the information is typically posted on its website. So, look at the “About Us” page for the online school you are considering.

You can also visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website. This website provides a full list of accredited colleges in the nation, including whether they offer online programs. Additionally, you may also find the information on some publications such as the U.S. News and World Report University Directory. These publications usually keep a database of online associate degree programs.

Note: If you are undecided whether you would pursue advanced studies, it is better to choose a school that also offers bachelor and even master degree in accounting online.

Figure out the admissions to the program you choose

It is known that to get enrolled into a degree program (whether online or on campus), you have to meet the admissions to the program. Each school and online accounting program has different criteria for admissions. Some colleges may require successful passage of college-level examination, while some may require an appropriate amount of qualifying college-level work at recognized post-secondary institutions.

Anyway, most programs require students who want to take part in an associate degree in accounting to have a high school diploma or an equivalent. Some schools may also require a certain minimum ACT score in math, English and reading. So, you should check the accounting program you want to attend for specific admissions requirements as well as to find out the application deadlines.

In fact, in addition to admissions, you should also figure out all information about the program, including course schedule, examination requirements and costs. Speaking of costs, most online programs charge tuition fees depending on the number of credit hours required. On average, each credit hour would cost you $350 more or less.

For instance, online associate degree in accounting at Northeastern University requires 87 quarter hours, with each of $335. At Kaplan University, you have to complete 90 credit hours to earn an associate degree in accounting, with each hour costing $371.

Be noted that besides the tuition fees, some programs may also require a technology fee for access to the school’s online services, as well as an non-refundable application fee.

Note: Indeed, it is easier and takes less time to earn an associate degree in accounting. However, earning a bachelor degree in accounting can qualify you a wider range of positions in the field of accounting.

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Online Associate Degree