Are you interested in learning about the difference between a Master’s Degree in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Taxation? If you are interested in entering the field of Accounting or a career centered around taxation, you will need to distinguish between each type of degree program. By studying the differences between each program, you can select the best program to prepare you for your career goals in the future as an expert in the best suited specialty. With so many Master’s degree programs to choose from, sifting through all of your degree options can be a time-consuming and daunting process.

What Will a Master’s in Taxation Focus on?

The Master’s of Taxation is a Master of Science program that is focused entirely on the Internal Revenue Tax Code and regulations. While there may be required courses that cover income tax filing and basic accounting, the main focus is on federal and state taxation and not necessarily accounting skills. When you take a Taxation degree program at a graduate level, you will take a myriad of different specialized tax courses. Some of the courses you may be required to complete to earn your degree include: estate tax, gift tax, corporations, LLCs, tax research, individual tax issues and international tax.

What Will a Master’s in Accounting Focus on?

Now that you understand the subjects that are covered in a Master of Science in Taxation program, it is important to compare these subjects to those covered in a Master’s of Accounting program. The Master of Science in Taxation and Master’s of Science in Accounting programs are very different even though both have to do with taxes and finance. A Master’s of Accounting is designed to prepare students to become experts in financial accounting, managerial accounting, statistics and economics. Students will be ready to practice accounting on an individual level or a commercial level and test for their CPA upon completion of this type of program. Some of the core courses that are required to earn a Master’s of Accounting include: Accounting Theory, Research, Information Systems, Legal Aspects of Business, Communications for Accountants, Financial Reporting, Auditing, Ethics and Forensic Accounting.

Related Resource: Ph.D in Accounting

Which Degree Should You Pursue?

You may know that you want to work in finance, but each degree path is not one-size-fits-all. If you would like to become an accountant in one of the many accounting jobs, you should earn your degree in Accounting specifically. If you want to work in finance on the business side of taxation as a Comptroller or a business consultant, it may be best to earn your Master’s in Taxation. While some have been able to make the transition from accounting to finance with either degree, the transition is not common unless you return to school.

If your ultimate goal is to sit for the CPA exam, understand that earning your Master’s in Accounting or in Taxation will help you meet the uniform exam requirements. Consider the career you would like to pursue, and be sure to focus on selecting a program that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business so that you know you are paying for quality.