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Leverage Job Prospects With a Master’s in Accounting

More employers are planning to hire graduates with this background, one report says.

B-school accountants

A master's in accounting often takes full-time students one year to complete.

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Graduates with a master's in accounting typically have a starting salary around $55,000, ​says Rabitoy, from Foster, but salaries may rise or fall depending on the cost of living where the job is located.

Besides taking the right classes to get a job, experts encourage students to do one other thing that may help them find employment: take the exam necessary for becoming a certified public accountant or certified management accountant. ​

"I think both bring a lot of credibility to an individual," Akers says. Most public accounting firms, he says, will pay for a CPA​ review course. The CMA​ can be appealing for aspiring accountants who are more interested in the managerial side of the field. To take these exams students must have a certain number of credit hours – which vary by state – from a higher education program and in some instances, a bachelor's degree. 

A master's program can help students meet the credit requirement and help students become familiar with material that will be on the tests. These programs are certainly not necessary for getting into accounting, experts say, but they offer benefits that students may not get with just a bachelor's degree.

"The learning experience is different at the undergraduate level," says Akers. "What graduate programs are trying to do are provide lifelong skills – whether it be more on writing, communicating, analytical reasoning – that will benefit them down the road."

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