Many accounting majors will need to earn a post-baccalaureate degree in order to obtain a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) license. Although the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) does not indicate the type of degree candidates should obtain, most individuals generally choose between an MBA or a Masters in Accounting.

MBA

A Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is a higher-education degree that provides individuals with a well-rounded knowledge of business theory. Most MBAs require a specialization, such as accounting, management, marketing, or leadership.

Courses

Most MBA programs average 45 total credits, with 12 to 15 credit hours focusing on the concentration that the student has selected. The remaining credits are devoted to general business classes, which teach students to understand business and project management skills.

Masters in Accounting

Several types of Masters Degrees exist in the accounting field, including general accountancy, taxation, or public accounting. Each specialization presents students with specific theories related to the selected field.

Courses

Most Masters in Accounting programs average 30 to 45 total credits, with 12 to 15 credits devoted to the area of specialty. A Masters in Accounting course of study teaches students the depth and breadth of accounting theory.

Differences

MBA degrees are a good choice for students looking to broaden their knowledge of general business theory, while adding some focus to a particular component of business education.

Masters in Accounting programs help students develop skills to become highly educated and trained accountants who can accurately interpret and report financial information.