A Guide to Graduate Accounting Certificates

graduate certificate in accounting
Written by Jonathan Liebtag

A graduate accounting certificate helps advance your career and increase your appeal in the market. A graduate certificate in accounting is a first step towards your masters of accountancy or helps distinguish you in the industry. It takes the knowledge you learned in a bachelors degree and propels you to the next rung in the accountant salary ladder

How do graduate accounting certificates differ from other accounting degrees?

To start out with, you are probably wondering how a graduate accounting certificate differs from a masters in accounting? Graduate accounting certificate programs tend to be shorter, cost less, and cover a more specific range of subject matter. If your time is short and you know what you want to accomplish, this is a great way to get better bang for your buck. Graduate accounting certificates ensure you get the information you need to succeed in a easily digestible and effective manner.

How do I get a graduate accounting certificate?

The first step in the path to a a graduate certificate is to get your bachelor’s degree. It doesn’t always have to be a bachelors degree in accounting. Many graduate accounting certificates are designed to help people new to accounting get a quick introduction that they can apply in their careers. Once you’ve got these basics in place, you need to start thinking about where you want to study and apply to a program.

How do I choose a graduate accounting certificate program?

There are a variety of options when selecting a school, including both online and offline courses, which you can find on our college search page. The key after figuring out where you are studying is to concentrate on what you want to specialize in. A key advantage to graduate accounting certificates is that they let you focus on specific areas. If you are looking for those extra couple hours necessary for your CPA, or have a topic particularly relevant for your current position, you can often craft your own course. Some typical examples of course work include:

Advanced Financial Accounting: Take your accounting chops to the next level and dig into the nitty gritty of advanced financial accounting. This graduate accounting certificate has the opportunity to explore areas of expertise not covered in most general accounting programs, including revenue recognition, valuation, stock options, and financial derivatives.

Regulation: A strong knowledge of regulatory issues is pivotal in many industries. You will have the opportunity to dive into topics like contracts, legal liability, and business law. Often these courses will focus on practical results and examples to better understand the larger regulatory framework.

External and Advanced Auditing: The major focus of many of these program is external audit services. You will learn about what the requirements are as an auditor and how management responsibilities differ across industry.

Regardless of what you study there are lots of great reasons to pursue a graduate certificate in accounting. Check out our college guide to ensure you pick the right school for you!


About the author


Jonathan Liebtag

Experienced advisor with a broad experience working in tech. Roles have included growth, product management, sales and operations management, business development, as well as financial and analytical modeling.