The process of finding and applying to accounting schools has many steps. Make sure you give yourself time, and do not rush your decision. Once you have some schools in mind, visit the campuses so that you can see their facilities and ask any questions that you may have about their programs.
You will have many factors to take into consideration as you research potential accounting careers schools. Think about your priorities regarding both academic programs and quality of life. As you choose which schools to apply to, remember that pursuing a degree in accounting is a commitment that lasts for a long time. A bachelor’s degree in accounting usually takes four years to complete, and a master’s degree in accounting can take anywhere from one to three years.
Attending an accounting careers school will give you the opportunity to explore various aspects of accounting and determine which you like best. However, having an idea of what specifically you would like to study about accounting is a good way to narrow your school search. Pick an institution that is strong in your interests. Pay attention to how many accounting professors each institution has and in what areas they specialize.
Think about where you would like to live during the time that you are in school. Do you have a preference for going to school in an urban area or in a rural area? Do you want to go to school close to home, or would you like to move to a new place? Factors like these may not be the first to come to mind when choosing an accounting school, but they will influence your overall experience as you study.
Applications for accounting careers schools have many steps and contain both objective and subjective elements. Accounting schools will look at your grade point average and standardized test scores. They will also evaluate you based on an essay you write and on recommendations written about you by teachers or employers.
As you research accounting schools, pay attention to whether they are accredited. Accreditation is an acknowledgment that the school has met high academic standards for accounting and ensures that you will have the opportunity for a quality education. Future employers will notice that you attended an accredited institution, too. Attending an accounting careers school that is accredited is a great way to begin many successful careers in accounting.
Choosing an Accounting School
Deciding to go to school for accounting is a big decision, and deciding which school to attend can be just as momentous. Many factors will play into your school choice, and your priorities will dictate which factors are the most important to you.
A primary thing to consider before deciding on an accounting school is what kind of degree you are after. Is there a particular area of accounting that you would like to specialize in? Your specific interests in accounting may change throughout the course of your education, but if you have an idea which branch of accounting you would like to specialize in, you can get a head start by choosing a school that is strong in that area. Course offerings will differ from school to school, so look through course catalogues to be sure that your specific interests and needs are covered.
The kind of faculty involvement and instruction at an accounting school will influence your decision, too. Many students benefit from small faculty-to-student ratios. If you are specializing in a particular branch of accounting, do the schools you are applying to have a lot of professors that also specialize in that field? A small number of students working with each faculty member will give you increased opportunities for one-on-one discussions, which can be very helpful when studying difficult material. Getting to know your instructors is also important because you may need to ask them for references one day.
There are practical concerns to think of when choosing a school, too. Are you interested in traveling across the state or country to attend school for accounting careers, or do you want to stay close to home? Location can be a factor when it comes to cost, too. You will likely be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities in your state, which is often much less expensive than tuition at a private or out-of-state public university. When it comes to cost, think about how much financial aid you might need. Look into which schools are likely to provide the amount of funding you need.
One of the most helpful ways to determine if an accounting school is right for you is to attend a campus visit. You will have the opportunity to ask specific questions about your priorities and can gain insight into whether you will be happy studying in that environment.
Applying to Accounting School
Applying to school for accounting careers can be a daunting process, no matter what degree you seek. However, when you break down the different parts of the application that you need, the task becomes more manageable.
Your grades are important, but they are not the only thing that accounting schools will consider. If you have a solid B average, you are in a good position to get accepted to an accounting program, but a grade point average that is below a B will not exclude you from consideration. Applications for accounting programs will require that you send an academic transcript.
Standardized test scores are the other quantitative part of an application to accounting school. For a bachelor’s degree, most schools require either the ACT or SAT. For a master’s degree, some accounting programs require the GRE, and others, such as certain MBA programs, require the GMAT. Your standardized test scores will likely be higher if you practice before you take the test. Sample tests, classes, and books are available to help you study for the ACT, SAT, GRE, or GMAT. Make sure you are familiar with the rules of the test and the different test segments you need to complete before going into the exam.
The subjective portions of an application to accounting school will include at least one recommendation from either a former teacher or employer. Once you have decided to apply to accounting schools, think of who will be able to write a positive recommendation for you. You may want to use a teacher whose class you particularly enjoyed, who got to know you personally, and who has seen you excel academically. Give your recommenders as much time as possible to complete their recommendations. You should ask them as soon as you decide to apply to accounting school and make the process as easy for them as possible by supplying any information they need to complete your recommendation.
The majority of applications to accounting schools also require that you write an essay. Devote enough time to write and revise several drafts of your essay to be sure it is a high-quality sample of your communication ability. You may wish to have a teacher, friend, or someone else who can offer good editorial advice read your essay.
There is a fee for each application to accounting school that you submit, which can range from $15 to $100.
Accounting School Accreditation
When choosing an accounting school, you will want to check each school’s accreditation. Accreditation essentially means that a university’s accounting program has met certain standards set by a professional organization. Organizations that grant accounting school accreditation are the International Assembly for College Business Education (IACBE), the Association for Advancing Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Earning your degree from an accredited institution has a number of benefits. You know you will be receiving a good education, gaining the skills you will need for a successful accounting career. Your employers will recognize this, too. The chances of landing your dream job in accounting will only improve by attending an accounting school that is accredited.
As you research the accreditation of schools that you are interested in, keep in mind that a university can be a member of the IACBE, the AACSB, or the ACBSP without having gained accreditation. Also, a university may be accredited even though its accounting program is not.
Sometimes, the accreditation process can take several years. The process can begin once a university is a member of the IACBE, the AACSB, or the ACBSP. Then, the university must apply to become a candidate for accreditation. With the help of a mentor assigned by the accrediting agency, the university develops a plan and timeframe for gaining accreditation. There are a number of things a university might include in its plan to gain accreditation. These might include providing additional resources for accounting students or accomplishing a certain amount of research. The agency forms a committee to review the plan and ultimately, at its completion, determine if the university has succeeded in the plan’s goals and is worthy of accreditation.
Many factors play into an accounting program’s accreditation. An accounting school may gain accreditation based on research performed by the faculty and students that has been groundbreaking or beneficial to the field of accounting. Another university’s program may have produced publications on accounting that have advanced the field. Having a large number of resources for accounting students will also help a school earn accreditation. Even a good-quality administration and staff is taken into account when granting accreditation to an accounting school. Accreditation ensures that you are choosing a school that has made stellar academic contributions to the field of accounting and has exceptional resources to help students get their accounting careers off the ground.