Why Pursue an MBA in Accounting?

Many students seek a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree to expand their career options, whether they studied business as an undergrad or want to start fresh in a new career field. It has become a popular degree for working professionals and others who wish to strengthen their management and leadership skills, or gain a specialized credential in one area of business.

Increasingly, students are choosing MBA programs that offer a specialization in accounting, because they provide a gateway to extraordinary careers in the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors.

Opportunity Unchecked

Accounting is not always portrayed in the media as the sexiest or most exciting profession, but it touches every aspect of society. Accountants solve some of the most intriguing business problems of our time, and a specialization in accounting unlocks a wider world of opportunity for MBAs.

Here are 15 occupations for MBAs who specialize in accounting, with average yearly salaries:

  • Financial Advisor ($63,426)
  • Budget Analyst ($63,712)
  • Forensic Accountant ($65,660)
  • Investment Analyst ($73,643)
  • Compliance Officer ($74,845)
  • Accounting Manager ($75,568)
  • Financial Consultant ($75,876)
  • Senior Business Analyst ($85,952)
  • Information Technology Project Manager ($92,166)
  • Analytics Manager ($93,353)
  • Corporate Controller ($100,893)
  • Auditing Manager ($102,344)
  • Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting ($108,771)
  • Client Services Director ($109,549)
  • Financial Planning and Analysis Director ($129,642)

The MBA also prepares graduates for executive careers in leadership, including the roles of Executive Director ($129,496), Chief Executive Officer ($198,583), Chief Information Officer ($162,301), Chief Operating Officer ($156,953) or Chief Financial Officer ($135,499).

Skills Beyond the Numbers

MBA programs with an accounting focus, like the one offered by the University of South Carolina Aiken, provide students with an opportunity to learn more than business skills. Graduates attain proficiency in many core competencies of the accounting profession, including those outlined by one of its guiding organizations, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA):

  • Communication and leadership.
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • The ability to anticipate and serve needs as they evolve.
  • The capability to synthesize intelligence into insight.
  • The capacity to integrate and collaborate.

A Career With Character

An MBA can also help accountants gain a deeper understanding of the soft skills required to effectively manage and lead in business, and the principles by which they should operate. Whether MBA accountants provide financial services and enforce safeguards that respond to the needs of people, institutions or even an entire country, they must know the implications of their work as well as their responsibilities under the law.

At USC Aiken, MBAs specializing in accounting take advanced coursework in the legal and ethical aspects of business, studying corporate governance issues as well as business environment and culture. Courses promote integrity and objectivity in accounting as well as a commitment to quality that leads to lasting career success.

Whether you want to better serve your clients, grow your business, protect the public from fraud, help a nonprofit make a difference in the community, solve financial crimes, or just move up in your career, an MBA program with a specialization in accounting can help you accomplish your goals.

Learn more about USC Aiken’s online MBA program with a specialization in Accounting.



PayScale:  MBA, Accounting & Finance Degree

PayScale: Forensic Accountant Salary

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