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What Can You Do with a Master’s in Accounting and Financial Management?

Chris Kissell
By Chris Kissell

Accounting and finance often go hand in hand, and both are part of the exciting industry of economics that many professionals consider when choosing to pursue a master’s degree. Earning a master's degree in accounting and financial management can give you the relevant skills you need to expand your career in a growing field.

Why should you consider a master’s degree in accounting and financial management?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 69,600 job openings are expected for financial managers annually over the next nine years with a projected 16 percent job growth.1

The United States is facing a shortage of qualified accountants and auditors, largely due to retirements and the ongoing demand for workers with updated skills and abilities.2 Today’s finance and accounting managers are hiring, with 62 percent hiring for new roles , according to Robert Half.3

Some students might consider pursuing a separate master’s degree in either accounting or finance instead of selecting a master’s that combines both accounting and financial management. However, pursuing a combined accounting and financial management master’s degree has advantages. This master’s degree can give you the skills to work in many different careers, ranging from financial manager and accountant to budget analyst and auditor.

“Both accounting and finance are valuable independently,” says Kathleen Sobieralski, program director of accounting at University of Maryland Global Campus. “When combined in a single-degree program, accounting and financial management provides a foundation for next-level career success.”

Wages vary by location, according to Sobieralski. However, she says salaries for business and financial operations range from $60,000 to $80,000, and those in executive-level positions can expect to make more than $100,000.

What can you do with a master’s degree in accounting and financial management?

If you choose to pursue a master’s degree in accounting and financial management, you can learn the principles of accounting theory and how to apply them in the workplace. You can also discover how to oversee the financial operations of a company, making key decisions based on an organization’s financial situation.

“Throughout the program, students develop research, data analytics, and communication skills," Sobieralski says. “Accounting fundamentals combine with auditing and finance expertise to supplement a variety of backgrounds for both career-changers and those continuing on their career paths." 

What can you expect from UMGC’s master’s degree in accounting and financial management?

Students who enroll in the UMGC master’s degree in accounting and financial management can develop the expertise necessary to advance and excel in their careers.

“The UMGC master’s brings a unique mix of key accounting and finance courses together to support career goals and certification exam preparation,” she says. “Many of our students will be taking the CPA or other professional exams.”

Some of the skills you will learn in this program include

  • Cost and risk management
  • Investment planning and analysis
  • Strategic management in a framework of ethics and sustainability
  • Corporate governance and internal controls required for all organizations

This master’s program gives you access to skilled faculty who have decades of experience. Faculty share their professional experience and help students build skills that can advance their careers.

The master’s degree in accounting and financial management from UMGC has also been endorsed by several professional organizations, including the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) through its Internal Audit Educational Partnership (IAEP) and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). As a member of IAEP, UMGC is one of less than 100 colleges and universities worldwide that has been recognized.

Much of the content, learning and skills in finance and accounting curricula is valuable in other fields. For instance, skills in financial analysis, assessing accounting data, and economic modeling are valuable to growing needs in supply chain, logistics and business analytics.

Dr. James Falter, chair of accounting and finance at UMGC

Earning any type of degree requires commitment and hard work. However, the right planning can make it easier to earn your online master’s degree at UMGC.

To help students earn their master’s degree faster, students who previously completed an undergraduate accounting degree at UMGC may qualify for an accelerated pathway that allows them to apply up to six undergraduate credits toward the master’s in accounting and financial management.

“If you do not yet have 15 credit hours of undergraduate accounting, the best starting point is to earn those credits at UMGC,” says Sobieralski. “With those 15 undergraduate credits, students can begin with either the accounting or finance courses to build their skills and abilities."

More reasons to choose UMGC

All students who enroll at UMGC will have access to success coaches who guide them toward completing their degree and make sure they are working at a pace that can fit into their lifestyle and life situation. 

In addition, both current students and alumni gain access to lifetime career services where students can learn to market their personal skills and apply professional development tools in ways that are attractive to employers.  

UMGC offers students access to job fairs, career planning, and job searches for organizations such as: 

  • The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) 
  • The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA)
  • The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • The Institute of Internal Auditors
  • The Institute of Management Accountants

“The UMGC master’s degree in accounting and financial management brings students into a well-known networking platform with local, regional, national and international connections," says Sobieralski.

Deciding to pursue a master’s degree is an important decision, and University of Maryland Global Campus provides students with an affordable and high-quality education. UMGC is proud to offer competitive master’s degree programs in expanding industries, and the master’s degree in accounting and financial management could be the next step for a student to advance their career. 

1Financial Managers: Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 6, 2023.
2 Gurchiek, Kathy. “The CPA Shortage.” SHRM, May 6, 2023.
3Finance and Account Hiring Trends 2023.” Robert Half, September 15, 2023.

Reference on this webpage to any third-party entity or product does not constitute or imply endorsement by UMGC nor does it constitute or imply endorsement of UMGC by the third party.