Learning how to become an accounting professor is the first step on your journey towards a new career. You’ll also want to learn how much accounting professors earn, what your day-to-day schedule looks like as an accounting professor and the states with the highest demand for accounting professors. Overall, this career provides a high earning potential with an interesting and varying schedule. Here’s how to qualify for a great position as an accounting professor.
What Type of Professor?
College professors have different job titles, pay grades and responsibilities. Tenured professors have job security, conduct research, publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals and teach courses. Tenure-track professors are working towards a full professorship but may not reach their goals. Adjunct professors focus on teaching classes and don’t conduct research. Finally, lecturers teach one or two classes per semester and typically hold an additional job. Some are retired. Before you can explore how to become an accounting professor, you’ll have to decide which type of professor you would like to be.
Bachelor’s Degree Required
Almost every accounting professor role will require you to hold a bachelor’s degree. You may be able to teach introductory classes at a community college or trade school if you have an associate degree in accounting and substantial workplace experience. For anything more substantial, you’ll need further education. However, you don’t have to earn your bachelor’s degree in accounting if you plan on pursuing higher education. You can enter graduate school with an undergraduate degree in business, finance, actuary sciences or other related degrees. You may need to take a few prerequisites to ensure you’ve mastered accounting basics.
Which Master’s Degree?
Like with your bachelor’s degree, you have several options for earning the right master’s degree to become an accounting professor. You can pursue a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus in accounting. You could also earn a Master’s in Accounting (MAcc). Some doctoral programs let you pursue your PhD without completing a master’s degree beforehand. You might also consider programs that let you earn a master’s degree on the way to earning your PhD or DBA. What’s the difference between a DBA and a PhD? Keep reading to learn.
Doctoral Degree Options
You can pursue a Doctor of Business Administration in Accounting (DBA) or Doctor of Philosophy in Accounting (PhD). DBAs are most focused on workplace needs and will sharpen your accounting skills. The PhD is a more classic academic degree that teaches research methodology and the culture of higher education. If you’re planning to become an accounting professor, you should enroll in a PhD program. This will give you the greatest career potential when looking for work as a teacher. Plus, there’s substantial funding available for Accounting PhD students, like the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program. Also, there’s currently a large shortage of PhD-prepared accounting professors. So many accountants enter the field intent on working at a Big 4 firm or helping clients that there are few trained graduates interested in a university role. This means less job competition and more options for you.
Unlike some other degree fields, accounting students will always have practical, real-world jobs waiting for them. That’s part of what makes becoming an accounting professor such an attractive idea for motivated, hard-working students.