If you have a passion for numbers, finance and teaching, you may want to pursue a career that combines all three and become an accounting teacher. Accounting teachers and professors work in high schools, community colleges and universities and will instruct students on introductory coursework or various specialty areas of the discipline. Becoming an educator in the discipline can be a lengthy process if you are starting from the beginning, but if you already possess a degree in the field you may need to spend very minimal time studying to meet qualifications. Read on, and find out what types of degrees you need to hold and what steps you must take to teach students accounting curriculum.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s in Accounting
After you graduate high school or you have earned your GED, you are eligible to apply to enter an undergraduate program. You can either study general education coursework at a community college to keep tuition rates low and then transfer to a university after year 2, or you can study for 4 years at a university. When you earn a 4-year degree, you will take introductory courses that prepare you for advanced programs.
No matter what type of school you decide on, be sure that the BA or BS program that you choose is acknowledged by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and AACSB-accredited before you enroll. If you take a program that is accredited, you will be able to advance your degree because you know your credit hours will be counted and accepted by graduate schools.
Step 2: Earn a Master’s in Accounting (MAcc)
After you possess a Bachelor’s, you can choose to work in the field or immediately apply to a MAcc program with a reputable graduate school. It is very important to be practical about the decision that you make because burnout is a very real problem among grad students. When you take the Master’s curriculum, you will take courses that are completely focused on accounting and not on other general subject areas. Some of the courses that you will take include: cost accounting, financial reporting, auditing, financial management, business law, corporate management, federal taxation, economics for business and more.
Step 3: Earn Your Doctorate
If you plan on teaching accounting to students in high school, you may be able to apply for your teaching license with a master’s degree. More often than not, accounting professionals prefer to teach college courses because it is a huge jump in pay. While not all states or settings require professors to have a PhD., it is a common requirement if you want to teach in a university. Those who teach at community colleges can teach with their master’s degree.
When you take a Doctor of Philosophy program majoring in accounting, you will cover very high-level courses centered around finance theory, research, evidence and economics. Unlike the other programs, to earn your PhD. you must complete a very detailed research project and write a dissertation. You may want to check to see the requirements of PhD. programs before you decide where to attend. Some programs may accept you straight from undergraduate school without requiring a master’s.
While most professors enter the field by being academically qualified, there is also the option to work as a professor by being professionally qualified. Professionals who qualify have several years of experience and also hold credentials like the CPA. Decide which pathway you want to take to become an accounting teacher or professor, and then start planning for the next step.