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Thinking of getting a master’s of accounting (MAcc)? It’s hard work, but it definitely pays off! 

Whether you’ve already been an accountant for a few years or are still working your way through a bachelor’s degree, a master’s may be crucial to helping you achieve the accounting career of your dreams. 

Here are just a few of the reasons why earning a master’s degree in accounting is a smart move.

1. There’s a big return on investment

One major reason why you should consider earning a master’s of accounting is the pay. While the average base pay for having a bachelor’s degree in accounting is $65,000, the average base pay for those who have earned a master’s of accounting is $76,000, according to Payscale. That’s about a 17% increase in base pay! A master’s degree will also qualify you for accounting careers that are more lucrative such as tax manager, corporate controller and forensic accountant. The median salary for each of these positions is in the six figures. 

A master’s degree in accounting is also a great value for the time it will take you to complete. The University of Northern Iowa’s Master of Accounting is a 30-credit program that will take you just 12-18 months to finish. This is a short amount of time to spend on something that will boost your career for many years to come.

2. You’ll be better equipped for management roles

If you want to advance your career and take on an upper-management role, a master’s of accounting is a great way to do that. A master’s degree will enhance your technical knowledge and keep you updated on the latest industry trends. Whether you’re hoping to advance at your current firm or you’re interested in looking for opportunities elsewhere, a MAcc sends a clear message that you bring a wealth of accounting knowledge to any role. While you may be able to take on upper-management positions based on experience alone, a master’s degree could help you move further ahead in your career faster. A master’s of accounting will also help open doors for you to become a chief financial officer. 

3. You’ll be on track to obtain your CPA license

If you’re like many accountants, you want to use your accounting degree to become a certified public accountant. You may have also been hired right out of college by a larger public accounting firm that expects you to work toward obtaining your CPA license. Passing the CPA is an internationally-recognized mark of excellence for accountants. But you won’t be able to do this with a bachelor’s degree alone. 

Like most states, Iowa requires you to have 150 hours of course credit to obtain your CPA license, and most bachelor’s degree programs only require 120 hours of course credit. By earning your master’s degree through a program like UNI’s Master of Accounting, you will have met this requirement and be able to take the CPA exam.

Of course, you still have to actually pass the exam. It’s a good idea to look into the CPA pass rates of the accounting master’s program you’re considering. The coursework you’ll take as a student in a Master of Accounting program will help you ace each area of the exam. As a UNI alum, you’ll be in great company. Ninety-four percent of UNI graduates pass the CPA. Since you have to pay to take the CPA exam, enrolling in a program with a high CPA pass rate could actually save you money.

Getting a CPA license comes with its own rewards including higher earning potential and new job opportunities. A master’s degree is the pathway to get you to those opportunities.

4. You can prepare for exams beyond the CPA

For many accountants, earning a CPA license is just the start. There are numerous other designations you might work toward including certified internal auditor (CIA), certified management accountant (CMA) and certified information systems auditor (CISA). Each one has unique qualifications, but you can expect the exam preparation process to be lengthy and intense. 

No matter what designation aligns with your career goals, getting a master’s degree in accounting will expand your knowledge, which will help you on the exam. It will also get you into the habit of exam prep, which is useful if you’ve been out of school for a while. All of this will set you up for success with your professional exams. 

5. You’ll expand your professional network

Connections are crucial when it comes to advancing your career in accounting. This is another area where a master’s of accounting can help. Often, networking opportunities are built into the program. The highest quality schools offering MAccs will host career fairs and have guest lecturers that will provide students with valuable connection-making opportunities. You’ll also expand your network with faculty members and classmates that will last beyond your time in the program.

Building connections at the University of Northern Iowa is easy, thanks to the small class sizes. Every class in the Master of Accounting degree program is taught by a full-time faculty member who will be a valuable professional contact for you to have. The smaller class sizes also make forming meaningful relationships with your classmates easier. 

Earn your master's of accounting at the University of Northern Iowa

If you’re interested in the many benefits that come with a master’s degree in accounting, you should look further into the MAcc program at the University of Northern Iowa. This program comes out of UNI’s renowned College of Business, which consistently ranks among the best business schools in the country.  

Whether you received your bachelor’s degree from UNI or somewhere else, this master’s degree will set you apart from your peers. Not only will the degree program help you improve in tasks like financial statement analysis, but it will also enhance your communication skills and make you a more marketable professional through tasks like team presentations. 

To set yourself up for lucrative accounting careers, contact the University of Northern Iowa about earning a Master of Accounting degree today!

As Iowa's only regional comprehensive university, we are designed to provide critical coursework with real, practical fieldwork. 

Real, relevant academic excellence for a world that expects future-ready graduates.

  • 94% of UNI grads find success within six months of graduation.
  • UNI graduates more CPAs than anywhere in Iowa.
  • UNI Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB).
  • UNI is ranked a top regional public university by U.S. News & World Report.

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Program of Interest:
Currently we do not offer any on-campus doctoral degrees. Please see our online options.

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