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How Long Does it Take to Complete an Online Fast Track Accounting Program?

An online fast track accounting degree program, also known as an accelerated program, is one that lets you get your degree even faster. Instead of spending several years in college to earn a graduate degree or up to four years to complete an undergrad degree, you can finish one of these programs in a fraction of the time. You should always look at the benefits of enrolling in one of these programs and other options that are available to you before looking at how long each program takes.

Resource: Top 10 Online Accounting Degree Programs

Accelerated Degree Benefits

A clear benefit to these programs is that you can earn your degree faster. Another key benefit is that you can take classes over any computer that you can access, including the one you use at home or work and those available at your local library. Instead of taking time away from your family or taking time off work just to go to college, you can work on your assignments on weekdays and weekends. Some parents even enroll in these programs and do their work while their kids are napping or asleep at night.

Bachelor Length

A traditional bachelor’s degree program will take four years to complete. You usually take general education classes during your freshmen year with some introductory courses for future accountants. Colleges won’t let you take more advanced courses on tax prep, financial research and other topics until you show that you have a good understanding of those introductory topics. It takes most students up to four years to complete a bachelor’s program. When you enroll in an accelerated program, you can take all required courses and graduate in right around three years. If you previously took college classes and transfer some of those courses with you, you can graduate in less time. Delece Smith-Barrow of U.S. News & World Report recommends looking at the structure and classes available before enrolling in an accelerated program.

Master Length

While not all accountants go to graduate school, those who want to work in select fields, including tax preparation or as a certified public accountant, do earn a master’s degree. To work as a CPA in your state, you must complete a minimum of five years of college before you can get your license, which means you’ll need to complete an undergrad program and at least one year of grad school. Earning a Master of Accountancy often takes two years in a traditional school but may take as little as 18 months in an accelerated program.

4 + 1 Option

A common alternative to an online fast track accounting is something called a 4 +1 program or option. Designed for incoming college freshmen who want to work as accountants, this type of program lets you earn your bachelor’s and master’s in a shorter period of time. These programs let you take graduate classes during your senior year and then require that you spend only one year in graduate school before finishing your advanced degree. You earn both degrees in five years instead of spending six years or more in school.

Many colleges offer accelerated programs for students who want to complete their studies faster, and any credits you bring into the program let you finish your studies even faster. Online fast track accounting programs are available at both the undergrad and graduate levels.