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Numbers are the international language of business. For this reason, careers in accounting and finance are plentiful, profitable and well-positioned for the long haul. If that's the kind of career you are looking for, consider an online master's degree program in business with a specialization in accounting or finance.

Degrees in accounting or finance can prepare you for many lucrative careers helping individuals, businesses, non-profits and government entities handle their financial affairs prudently and profitably. Combining this kind of background with business school--programs such as master's degrees in accounting and business management--can give you the credentials to compete for senior positions within organizations.

What to expect from an online master's degree program in accounting or finance

An online master's degree program in accounting is likely to include the following areas:

  • Advanced accounting techniques
  • Corporate taxation
  • Accounting ethics
  • Auditing principles
  • Financial reporting standards

There is some overlap between accounting concepts and finance, but an online degree program in finance is more likely to focus on the following areas:

  • Budgeting
  • Financial analysis
  • Cash management
  • Banking
  • Economics

If you are thinking long-term about advancement in the corporate world, consider giving yourself a versatile set of credentials by combining subject areas. Master's degrees in accounting and business management or finance could give you both the nuts-and-bolts understanding of the numbers, and a big-picture vision of how the corporate world operates--a powerful combination of business knowledge.

Careers in accounting and finance

A master's degree in accounting or finance should help you move beyond entry-level positions and into more senior management or analytical roles. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees in the following accounting and finance jobs earned the following note-worthy, mean salaries in May 2009:

  • Financial managers held 495,180 jobs nationally and earned an annual mean of $113,730
  • Accountants and auditors held 1,106,980 jobs nationally and brought in an annual mean of $67,430
  • Budget analysts maintained 60,970 jobs that paid a yearly mean of $69,240
  • Credit analysts reported 67,950 positions nationally that paid an annual mean of $67,230
  • Financial analysts claimed 235,240 jobs that grossed a mean of $85,240
  • Personal financial advisors secured 149,460 jobs that brought in an annual mean of $94,180

Careers in accounting and finance tend to be lucrative, so competition for jobs, especially at the senior management level, can be substantial. Earning a master's degree can help you compete. One particular benefit of an online master's degree program in accounting or finance is that it can allow you to earn your degree, while gaining practical work experience.

An advanced degree and real-world experience make for a marketable resume. To find out more about degree programs that could help advance your career, check out WorldWideLearn.com's Guide to College Majors and research programs in accounting and finance.

You can also browse below and compare master's degree programs in accounting and finance. When you see a program that interests you, simply fill out a form and an admissions representative from that school will contact you. Learn more to earn more, now.

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