It’s no surprise that so many students considering a distance learning education are interested in accounting. After all, accounting requires technical skills and, increasingly, computer skills. Not only is it possible to earn an accounting degree online, but it’s a good way to learn the fundamental concepts and necessary practices involved in business and finance, according to U.S. News & World Report.

How the Field of Accounting Changes with Technology

In modern accounting, computers handle many of the calculations that accountants used to do. As they spend less time crunching numbers, today’s accountants spend more time consulting with and advising their clients to help them reach financial goals. This work requires excellent analytical skills and a solid understanding of accounting principles and financial models – objectives that any online accounting program will emphasize, according to U.S. News & World Report.

What to Expect from an Online Accounting Degree Program

While students in online accounting programs often have the opportunity to take plenty of general education and elective courses – and sometimes to even double major – their core courses, where they will learn the basics of accounting, are the most important. Students should expect to take the following courses, according to U.S. News & World Report:

  • An introductory accounting class, like Principles of Accounting
  • An internal auditing course
  • A macroeconomics course
  • An income taxation course

Through this coursework, online students will develop a solid understanding of business transactions, ethical and professional accounting standards and how to create financial reports and statements.

Students who aspire to become certified public accountants (CPAs) should find out how long their desired program will take to complete and plan the remainder, if any, of their college studies. Candidates who want to take the CPA exam must have completed 150 semester hours of college study, according to U.S. News & World Report. Since most bachelor’s degree programs are just 120 semester hours, students can have as much of a year of full-time study left before they are eligible to take the CPA exam. They must decide how to best spend that time, including whether they want to attend graduate school to earn a master’s in accounting or Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an online accounting degree program. You want to be sure both the school and the individual program are accredited by the right organizations. Whatever accredited program you choose to pursue, you can rest assured that accounting remains a solid career path. Accounting is among the educational paths parents most often nudge their children in the direction of, according to U.S. News & World Report, and the job continues to rank highly on lists of the best business, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and overall jobs.