The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment of accountants and auditors will grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

The market for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks is in the doldrums, however, shedding 23,500 jobs in the same period.

The good news is, working professionals can level up their education and leverage their experience into higher-paying, in-demand jobs in accounting.

Median pay for accountants and auditors was $68,150 in 2016; here in Missouri, the average annual wage for these professions as $70,530.

The BLS points out that, while most accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, the certified public accountant (CPA) credential can improve job prospects.

To become a CPA in the United States, you must pass the Uniform CPA Examination. In most states, you also must complete 150 credit hours of college course work to be a licensed CPA.

Vairam ArunachalamVairam Arunachalam, director of the MU School of Accountancy and PricewaterhouseCoopers/Joseph A. Silvoso Distinguished Professor of Accountancy.

CPA candidates typically fulfill this requirement with a bachelor’s degree – 120 credit hours of undergraduate study – and a 30-credit-hour master’s degree

Employer demand for CPAs is very strong. At the University of Missouri, 95 percent graduates of the master of accountancy program find full-time jobs in accounting upon graduation.

Working professionals who want to advance their careers might be wary of going back to school. How do you balance the demands of graduate study with a full-time job? Luckily, online study is increasingly an option.

Beginning in August 2018, career professionals can earn their master of accountancy (MAcc) from MU entirely online.

“Making our degree available online gives students and working professionals the chance to be part of a nationally ranked program and broadens their access to an extensive network of faculty and accounting industry peers,” says Vairam Arunachalam, director of the MU School of Accountancy and PricewaterhouseCoopers/Joseph A. Silvoso Distinguished Professor of Accountancy.      

“This high demand presents the perfect opportunity for students,” Arunachalam says. “They can pursue graduate education knowing their skills will be needed.”

Students with full-time jobs can take one class each semester and finish the MU program in about three years.

As with all online graduate programs at MU, students in the new online MAcc will pay in-state tuition regardless of residency.

The program is currently accepting applications for the fall 2018 semester. If want to become a certified public accountant (CPA), or if you’re ready to move up a level or advance to a leadership role in your accounting career, this may be the degree for you.

Visit online.missouri.edu/MAcc-launch.

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