If you are great with numbers and would like to enter the field of accounting, you may ask yourself if you need financial degree to become an accountant. Financial and accounting degree programs both teach similar skills, but one degree is better than the other in terms of outlook and job opportunities. Whenever you want to enter into a specific profession, having a degree can be beneficial. In the past, accountants could enter the field with no formal education and work their way up as they gained experience. Now, a degree is critical when you are breaking into the discipline at any level. Read on, and learn what a financial degree will do for you and why a degree is often a requirement.

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What Does a Financial Degree Program Teach?

Accounting and financial degree programs have their similarities, but there are major advantages to earning a degree majoring in finance when you are interested in being an accountant. One of the major benefits is that you will learn the critical skills like financial reporting, accounting, financial analysis, and risk management as well as other skills that will make you an accountant and a strategist. Some of these skills include business development, business analysis, underwriting, and forecasting. For those who want to be well-rounded finance professionals trained for jobs in both accounting and finance, a financial degree is best.

Why Do You Need a Degree to Break Into Accounting?

Earning a degree is becoming a very standard requirement from profession to profession. When you need a specific skill set, there is a good chance that a majority of private and public employers are going to have a two-year or four-year degree requirement. Most prospective applicants applying for jobs in the field possess a degree, and competing for a position is difficult when you do not have past accounting experience and at least an associate’s degree. A bachelor’s degree is preferred by most employers.

You also need to know that all state boards of accountancy require their credential holders to have completed a bachelor’s degree program or 150 credit hours before they can become Certified Public Accountants, according to Accounting Coach. There are also a long list of professional credentials that require 4-year degrees, Master’s degree and/or experience. Since most accountants want to eventually advance their careers by becoming credentialed, becoming a degree holder has become the norm.

Why So Many Are Choosing to Earn a Degree in Finance

Accounting degrees may take you places, but being a finance major has its benefits, because it is one of the top-paying majors that exists. The median starting salary for a graduate with a finance degree is $46,500 per year, according to Yahoo Finance. If you participate in on-campus organizations, you are bound to get a leg up on others applying for accounting or finance positions. Before you know it, you will be earning an average mid-career salary of $87,300.

Related Resource: Financial Accounting

Most people know that you need a knack for numbers to work in accounting, but some do not know that the required skills go beyond that. Some of the skills are inherent and others are those you will learn while you earn your degree. With a finance degree, you can learn strategy, business, and analysis as well. While you do not need financial degree to become an accountant, having a relevant degree in business or similar fields is critical.