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Top 7 Accounting Careers for 2021

Top 7 Accounting Careers for 2021

Pursuing a career in accounting is a smart move, considering the field’s excellent job outlook in 2021 and beyond. If you enter the job market with a master’s degree in accounting, you will be in particular high demand and in line for management and senior-level roles. The demand for an accounting degree, such as a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree, is so strong that many students are recruited by accounting and finance firms even before they graduate.

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) about 125,700 job openings for accountants and auditors are projected each year, on average, from 2019 to 2029. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force. Competition will be strong for jobs with the most prestigious accounting and business firms. Job applicants who have a master’s degree in accounting will have an advantage.

In fact, the need for accounting professionals is expected to increase 6% through 2029, according to the BLS. The reported numbers for starting wages for graduates with a master’s degree in accounting were higher than for a master’s in finance or an MBA. The median annual wage for accountants and auditors with graduate degrees was $71,550 in May 2019. The highest 10% earned more than $124,450.

Career Advancement

Accounting is considered “the language of business,” and applying the acumen of the discipline is important to a company’s success. It all adds up when you consider that professional accountants can serve in almost any capacity from individual proprietor to upper management positions within an organization. That’s why earning Ottawa University’s online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree is a smart step for career advancement.


Principles of this graduate accounting degree provide an important foundation for careers in finance, economics, auditing and administration within both the public and private sectors. There are a number of accounting jobs you can pursue upon graduation, including budget analyst, controller, financial manager, public accountant and purchasing agent. Completion of the 30-hour online graduate professional degree will provide more career opportunities, while helping you meet the 150-hour educational requirement to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in most states.

Top Seven Accounting Careers

Jobs for master’s in accounting graduates are plentiful – and on the rise. With this in mind, here are the top seven accounting careers for in 2021 (with salary estimates from Glassdoor):

1. Auditor

An auditor inspects a company’s financial records and checks for accuracy and reliability. The role of an auditor can vary depending on the company or the type of auditor – internal, external, government or forensic. An auditor’s responsibilities can include organizing and examining financial statements to comply with laws, making best-practice recommendations to management and ensuring taxes are filed properly and on time.

Average Salary: $58,083

2. Information and Technology Accountant

There is an increasing demand for careers in technology and accounting. Information and technology accountants are responsible for which system a company uses to organize and report financial data. This role requires knowledge in both accounting and information technology and is perfect for someone who is a natural problem solver and interested in identifying technology solutions.

Average Salary: $76,146

3. Financial Analyst

Assessing the financial health of a business and helping guide investment decisions is the job of a financial analyst. Specific financial analyst duties can vary depending on the company, and as a result, this role is much more flexible when compared to many other accounting jobs. This position appeals to those who are interested in data gathering, financial modeling, spreadsheet maintenance, developing investment theses, communicating with investors and management, and forecasting.

Average Salary: $77,280  

4. Forensic Accountant

Forensic accounting is one of the fastest growing jobs in the field of law enforcement. A forensic accountant investigates fraud and uses accounting skills like auditing to provide an expert opinion on legal matters in a court of law. Forensic accountants must be extremely detail oriented as their reports will be scrutinized in court by judges, attorneys and juries.

Average Salary: $80,066

5. Managerial Accountant

A managerial accountant is in charge of analyzing costs and profits, and planning and preparing financial reports for internal employees. Their main goal is to help high-level executives make informed and financially responsible decisions. Some tasks include adapting operation and cost-based planning, forecasting, overseeing the product process, incremental costing, and enterprise optimization.

Average Salary: $83,240

6. Controller

A controller supervises an accounting department at a company and oversees high-level financial strategies. The main duties of a controller are maintaining financial statements, payroll, preparing budgets, general ledger, tax compliance, and more. Gaining experience in business forecasting and tax management is critical if you want to become a corporate controller.  

Average Salary: $130,226

7. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

A CFO’s job responsibilities vary depending on the company, however there are a few key areas in which all CFO’s should excel. These include financial management, performance, business strategy, and risk management. CFO’s are cross-functional leaders who help a company make informed financial and business decisions. They implement revenue strategies, access financial risks and opportunities, and so much more. Many top earning CFOs have multiple credentials, so if your career goal is to become a CFO it is important to consider getting your CPA, MSA or MBA.

Average Salary: $321,645

Ottawa’s online MAcc degree prepares students for the aforementioned accounting careers and more with its focus on developing skilled financial practitioners who understand the intricacies of contemporary business and can advise executives in making strategic financial decisions for their companies. Graduates will be poised for careers as professional accountants in public practice, industry, government, and not-for-profit organizations. With OU’s MAcc degree, you will gain the conceptual framework used to measure and report on an organization’s financial health, while also growing your accounting knowledge, developing strong analytical, written and oral communication skills, and augmenting interpersonal skills.

OU is proud to offer this flexible online accounting graduate degree, which is the best, fastest and most affordable option in the institution’s adult markets in Kansas City, Phoenix, and Milwaukee.

Take the first step in advancing your career in accounting with Ottawa’s Master of Accountancy degree. To learn more about earning your online MAcc at Ottawa University, click here to contact us today!

Posted: 12/16/2020 by OU Online
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