An online accounting program is a great way to maximize your potential. Not only is the accounting profession expected to grow 11 percent in the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but getting your degree online will allow you to benefit from flexible learning options.
Resource: Top 10 Online Accounting Degree Programs
1. Plan for CPA Licensure
After you complete your online program in accounting, you may be ready to get hired on. Some firms will accept your education and experience, if you have any, but most prefer to hire those who are licensed Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). In order to qualify as a CPA, you must apply for and pass the CPA exam. This typically requires long hours of study that you will need to plan for. You also need to look up ahead of time the eligibility and education requirements for the state you intend to work in so that you experience no delays once you’re ready to apply to take the exam.
2. Take Advantage of Flexible Hours
One of the biggest benefits of an online program include flexible hours for studying. All too often, this can lead to students not leaving themselves enough time to do the work. However, you can make the flexible hours work for you. Accounting degrees take a lot of studying, so maximize the online function by using all the resources available to you. Since you don’t have to waste time driving to school, parking and attending classes, you can save time by finding a nice quiet spot in your home or local library and get the work done. Email your professors to ask questions, and don’t be afraid to see help early on. If you take advantage of all the hours available to you in the week rather than postponing everything to the last minute, you can help yourself be successful.
3. Be Your Own Teacher
Because you will most likely want to become a CPA after finishing your program, it is important that you use these courses to maximize your accounting studies. Remember, you aren’t doing homework only to complete a course and get a grade; instead, you are aiming to learn as much information as you can in order to put your skills to use. Learn to be your own teacher, recognizing areas of knowledge and application where you need more work and constantly assessing how much you’re learning.
It’s true that you have to know someone to get a good job. You can turn this in your favor by introducing yourself to your professors and your fellow students. Maintain contact with anyone you meet online that may be a potential business colleague in the future. One of best things about an online accounting program is the chance to maximize your reach. Instead of only meeting other locals, you can meet people from the comfort of your own home who live thousands of miles away. You can also network as you try for internships and use your program’s career services to your advantage.
5. Set Goals and Work Ahead
Another way to maximize your online studies is to work ahead on readings and little assignments and set goals for your bigger projects. Remember, professors are potential references, so showing them that you can be responsible and conscientious, which are characteristics necessary in any CPA, goes a long way toward helping you become an accountant.
The job prospects are pretty good for those who can finish an accounting program. The work is difficult, but it is definitely worth it, and using these 5 tips to maximize your online accounting studies can help you navigate the challenge.