CPA vs MBA: Which is Better For Your Career & Salary? [2020 Update]

Many upper-level accounting positions require a minimum of a master’s degree. Plus, if you plan on sitting for the CPA exam, a master’s is a basic requirement. You have to earn 150 credit hours of education—30 hours beyond a bachelor’s degree. In the past, different Boards of Accountancy across the U.S. had varying education requirements to get the CPA license. In a nutshell, this means that you need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree plus some additional coursework to bring you up to 150 hours. Since most masters in accounting programs are hours, CPA candidates with a master’s usually have the needed 150 education hours. Accounting and finance graduates are highly sought-after, with employer demand showing little sign of slowing down.

  • Public accountants often move into management accounting or internal auditing.
  • A finance degree, on the other hand, is a great starting point for careers in financial services, across business, banking and consultancy sectors.
  • Someone who obtains their master’s degree in accounting will likely have a better chance of moving forward in their careers or obtaining opportunities that were unavailable with just a graduate degree.
  • The eligibility criterion is 120 credits which are earned via 4 years graduation.
  • The organizing body that issues the CPA designation is called the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants .
  • You will be able to learn in a variety of state-of-the-art facilities, including the Margolis Market Information Lab, the Illinois MakerLab, and the Business Instructional Facility.

Of course, you’ll be able to choose from various specialties, too, to help you hone your degree. Options include marketing, business communication, finance and business economics, data science and operations, entrepreneurship, management and organization, and of course, accounting. You’ll be able to put your new business skills to the test and solve problems across a diverse array of industries. If life in the big city has you feeling a bit confined, you can take your accounting training overseas, too. The MBA offers several global programs that last either one or two weeks and will allow you to study abroad without having to give up a full semester of learning at Stern.


Practically all companies employ accountants so there is always a strong demand for good ones, and the CPA will boost your standing when competing for these roles. At postgraduate level this gap widens; finance postgraduates earn an average of US$74,201 in comparison to accounting postgraduates, who earn an average starting salary of US$69,605. At graduate level,accountingandfinancedegrees become even more popular, with as much as 25 percent of all full-time postgraduate students in theUKenrolled on a FAME-related program.

CPA vs MBA: Which is Better For Your Career & Salary? [2020 Update]

Looking for an MBA that will prepare you for the global nature of modern businesses and accounting systems? Picture this—you have an endowment fund of $8.0 million to manage in four equity and one fixed-income portfolio, each with a unique investment discipline.

Are you ready to discover your MBA program?

The MS Accounting salary has more of a narrow focus which means it can have a higher demand than a more general business degree. So, whether it’s a Masters in Accounting salary or a Master of Science in Accounting salary, odds are an applicant will find themselves off to a good start. Students can also receive access to the institution’s online assets which can help a great deal with studying, learning, and finding opportunities as far as internships or professional associations. Understand that the importance of accreditation exists across the board. Even if the applicant is specifically looking for online programs, they should look for an accredited online Masters in Accounting programs.

Although this will allow accountants to become more efficient, this change is not expected to reduce overall demand. Instead, with the automation of routine tasks, such as data entry, the advisory and analytical duties of accountants will become more prominent. All states require CPAs to take continuing education courses, including ethics, to maintain their license. Internal auditors have duties that are similar to external auditors, but these workers are employed by the organization they are auditing.

What Is a Masters in Accounting?

Technology will also be a major enabler throughout your career, so it’s critical to stay abreast of and utilize new computer applications and systems as necessary. Once you have obtained your CPA license to practice, you will need to take continuing professional education courses annually to retain your license. The timeline to licensing includes education, examination and experience. The exam sections include Accounting and Auditing, Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting, Reporting and Regulation, and Regulation. Management-related content is addressed in the Business Environment and Concepts section and to a lesser degree in Financial Accounting, Reporting and Regulation.

What is the salary of CPA in USA?

According to AICPA's survey, the CPA fresher salary in the US is $66,000 per annum. The average salary for a CPA in the US is $119,000, with 20 years of experience, one could command more than $160,000 annual pay.

Thus if you are unclear of your career choices, it is advisable to go for an MBA and gain a perspective through some work experience because both will be an asset if you wish to pursue CPA in the future. All of these credentials require experience in the related area, continuing education, and passing an exam. Accountants and auditors typically need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, such as business. Some employers prefer to hire applicants who have a master’s degree, either in accounting or in business administration with a concentration in accounting. Most accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Forensic accountants combine their knowledge of accounting and finance with law and investigative techniques to determine if an activity is illegal.

How can students set themselves apart from fellow accounting and MBA graduates?

PwC, EY, and KPMG also pay CPAs who have recently passed the CPA exam approximately the same amount. Many CPAs also work as tax professionals or business consultants; their expertise CPA vs MBA: Which is Better For Your Career & Salary? [2020 Update] and training ensure that they can command high salaries. Consequently, most companies do their best to retain their accounting talent by providing regular salary hikes and bonuses.

Why growing knowledge is more important than proving knowledge – Journal of Accountancy

Why growing knowledge is more important than proving knowledge.

Posted: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 18:36:59 GMT [source]

Since 1924, the University of Kansas has been preparing students for the world of business. As the flagship university of the state of Kansas, KU has produced Jayhawks that have innovated, led, and inspired businesses and leaders for many decades. If you’re ready to become a well-rounded business professional, the highly ranked and affordable KU online MBA program can help you do just that. When considering a CPA or MBA, one advantage of an online MBA program is its flexibility. Particularly with an online MBA, you can complete your coursework at times that fit into your daily life. In many cases, the work you have to do can be slotted for when you are free, such as at night, on weekends, and when you have partial workdays. This flexibility makes an online MBA a more realistic option for people who don’t have several hours every day to commit to a more traditional program.