Accounting Degree Overview for Connecticut
| Accounting.com Staff Modified on March 22, 2022
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Set between other New England states and New York City, Connecticut and its vibrant healthcare and insurance sectors make it a desirable market for accountants. According to U.S. News & World Report, Connecticut ranks fifth among the highest-paying states for accountants. Connecticut accountants make a mean salary of $84,890.
The accounting profession continues to prosper across the nation, providing a service that most businesses and individuals rely on. According to CNBC, accounting managers ranked as the 16th best job in America in 2020 due to competitive salaries, robust job markets, and high career satisfaction.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 6% growth in employment for accountants and auditors between 2018-2028, slightly above the national average of 5%.
This guide covers important information for students considering accounting degrees in Connecticut, including types of degrees, common concentrations, and potential careers and salaries for graduates.
Connecticut at a Glance
|Per Capita Income||$44,030|
|Fortune 500 Companies||25|
|Number of Higher Learning Institutions||43|
|Climate||Average Annual Temperature: 49℉ |
Annual Precipitation: 50.3 inches
|Major Sports Teams||Connecticut Sun|
|Accountants in Connecticut||15,450|
Top Connecticut Schools for Accounting
- Fairfield University
- University of Saint Joseph
- Quinnipiac University
- Sacred Heart University
- University of Connecticut
- University of Hartford
- University of New Haven
- Eastern Connecticut State University
- Western Connecticut State University
- Central Connecticut State University
Why Go to College for Accounting in Connecticut?
Connecticut features some of the highest percentages of degree-holders in America. Nearly 40% of Connecticut residents hold a bachelor's degree, and the state hosts the third-highest percentage of people holding at least a master's degree, according to Zippia, which analyzes career data.
Most of the state's public universities, including the University of Connecticut (UConn), and two-year colleges offer accounting degrees. Several of Connecticut's private institutions offer accounting degrees as well, including Quinnipiac University, Fairfield University, the University of New Haven, and the University of Hartford.
The state's size and geographical location can also help degree-seekers access resources and organizations vital to the accounting profession. Connecticut's location near the Northeast megalopolis can enable aspiring accountants to find internships and networking opportunities at some of the biggest corporations in the country.
Education Statistics for Connecticut
When it comes to higher education in Connecticut, degree-seekers can face higher tuition costs and the state allocates less tax revenue for higher education compared to other states. However, the state does appropriate more money per full-time student than the national average. Explore the table below to see how Connecticut's educational system stacks up against the rest of the country.
Higher Education Statistics in Connecticut
|Connecticut Data||National Data|
|Number of Four-Year Colleges||31||3,004|
|Number of Title IV Two-Year Colleges||12||1,579|
|Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education||21.3%||34.7%|
|Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student||$8,458||$8,196|
|Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education||4.2%||5.8%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree||7.7%||8.4%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor's Degree||21.7%||19.4%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher||17.2%||12.1%|
Accreditation for Connecticut Schools
When researching accounting programs, students make sure the institutions hold proper accreditation. Accreditation indicates that a school meets certain academic standards.
Students should look for online accounting degrees in Connecticut with regional accreditation. Typically, credits earned from schools with regional accreditation can transfer easily to other institutions with the same credentials. The New England Commission of Higher Education regionally accredits schools in the state.
A few business and trade schools may hold national accreditation, which tends to recognize two-year programs or schools offering programs in a single industry. Accounting programs might also carry subject-specific accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Considerations for an Accounting Degree in Connecticut
Students choosing between accounting degrees in Connecticut should consider several factors, such as cost, degree level, and available concentrations. The following sections cover these and other factors in more detail.
Accounting Degree Levels
When deciding which school to attend, the level of degree to pursue can impact your options. For entry-level positions in accounting, such as bookkeeper, an associate degree is generally considered the minimum requirement. This degree can be earned at a two-year college or four-year university.
Aspiring certified public accountants (CPA) typically pursue master's degrees. Accountants in Connecticut can technically sit for the CPA exam with just a bachelor's degree, but they must hold at least 150 college credits, which they usually achieve with a 120-credit bachelor's and 30-credit masters.
Those interested in careers in research and/or academia typically need a doctoral degree.
Accounting Concentration Options
Many accounting students pursue a specialization. Typical accounting specialties include forensic accounting, internal auditing, corporate accounting, and governmental accounting. Due to the strength of the finance, insurance, and healthcare industries in the state, concentrations in analytics and taxation can make for particularly good careers.
- Analytics: This STEM-related concentration uses data analytics to reveal accounting insights, enhance procedures, and reduce risks. Students learn how to use data in auditing, predictive modeling, and business operations to prepare for jobs such as auditor and financial analyst.
- Accounting Information Systems: Many businesses rely on tax specialists to prepare, file, and audit tax documents. Learners focus on all types of taxes, including income, corporate, and property. Careers best suited for this concentration include tax manager and tax analyst.
On Campus Versus Online Program Options
While distance education continues to boom across the country, some Connecticut students may prefer the structure of a traditional on-campus program. Keep reading to discover the advantages and disadvantages of on-campus and online learning.
Students who prefer to learn face-to-face can find a plethora of campus-based accounting programs across Connecticut, including at UConn. These programs are ideal for those who prefer the traditional academic experience and high levels of personal interaction with professors and peers.
Online programs often provide more affordability and flexibility than on-campus programs. For instance, online students often save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs. Additionally, many programs allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of where they live. The flexibility of online learning appeals to students balancing their studies with personal and professional obligations.
Hybrid programs offer a mix of online and on-campus coursework. Students can receive face-to-face interaction with classmates and instructors during occasional meetings, while also experiencing the convenience of attending many classes online.
Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education
|Enrolled Exclusively in Distance Education Courses||Enrolled in Some but Not All Distance Education Courses||Not Enrolled in Any Distance Education Courses|
|United States Students||16.3%||18.4%||65.3%|
Paying for Your Accounting Degree
Perhaps even more than other students, aspiring accountants understand the costs associated with a college education. Paying for higher education in the state can prove challenging, with tuition often more expensive than it is in other states.
The state's Office of Higher Education publishes a guide to financial aid called Paying for College. The document provides an array of resources to help students find scholarships, grants, fellowships, and loans. The Roberta B. Willis Scholarship Programs can also provide financial relief to qualified in-state learners.
Average Cost of College Tuition and Fees in Connecticut, 2017-2018
|Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)||$12,360||$9,040|
|Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)||$33,740||$25,660|
|Average Tuition and Fees (Private Four-Year)||$40,410||$30,730|
|Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)||$4,310||$3,240|
|Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)||$12,880||$7,970|
In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition
While accounting degrees for residents and nonresidents in Connecticut generally cost more than in most other states, some universities extend in-state tuition to distance learners. Franklin University, which offers more than 60 online programs, charges the same tuition rate to all students regardless of residency.
Residents in the neighboring states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York also enjoy in-state tuition rates at many of Connecticut's public institutions. Connecticut belongs to the New England Board of Higher Education, which grants tuition breaks to students from the five other states within New England.
Connecticut's Cost of Living
Connecticut ranks among the more expensive states when it comes to the cost of living. Housing, groceries, utilities, and transportation all tend to run higher in the state than in other places. The World Population Review, which ranks states for their cost of living, places Connecticut 43 for affordability and lists it as 27.7% more expensive than the national average. Degree-seekers should consider how the high cost of living may impact their budgets.
Other School Selection Criteria
With a wide selection of schools offering accounting degrees in Connecticut, finding the right one can prove challenging. Learners should take into account a variety of factors including, cost, size, location, online availability, and admission requirements.
Some students prefer small colleges with an intimate feel, while others like large, bustling universities. Small schools may offer more individualized attention from faculty, while larger schools may feature more program options.
The length of online accounting degrees in Connecticut typically depends on the type of degree. An associate degree usually takes two years to earn, while a bachelor’s degree typically requires four years for completion. Some schools also offer accelerated options.
Students should research university resources and support services, such as networking opportunities, career services, and tutoring services.
Cost and Admission Requirements
Students should research the admission requirements of each prospective school. Some schools may request standardized test scores and prerequisite classes, such as statistics.
Prospective learners should ensure their chosen program offers coursework aligned with their interests and goals. Some Connecticut online accounting degrees may teach exclusively for the CPA exam, while others may specialize in specific areas like forensic accounting or data analytics.
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Careers for Accounting Graduates in Connecticut
With all of the Big Four international accounting firms -- Deloitte, KPMG, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), and Ernst & Young -- hosting offices in the state, accountants remain in high demand in Connecticut. Cities like Bridgeport, Stamford, and Norwalk rank among the hottest places in the country for accountants.
In 2019, Peter Gioia, an economist for Connecticut Business and Industry Association, told an economic development conference that the state had good-paying jobs in accounting just waiting to be filled, according to the Connecticut Mirror. He also predicted strong growth in industries like insurance.
Below we list several promising accounting careers in Connecticut.
Select Accounting Careers in Connecticut
Connecticut Employment Trends
Projected Job Growth for Accountants
Source: Projections Central
Bookkeepers and financial managers represent the highest number of accounting jobs in Connecticut. Those with only an associate degree can often land basic bookkeeping jobs, while those with a master's degree can find work as financial managers.
Traditional accountants also fill many positions across Connecticut, with more than 15,000 employed in the state. Accountants often hold at least a bachelor's degree and can generally find work in virtually any industry.
Connecticut Requirements for Certified Public Accountants
The requirements for passing the CPA exam vary by state, but most states require learners to hold at least a bachelor's degree and 150 college credits.
Connecticut requires the following from prospective CPAs:
- Bachelor's degree
- 150 credits, including: 36 credits in accounting; 30 credits in business and economics; 60 credits in general education; 24 elective credits
- A 90 or better on the AICPA Professional Ethics exam
- At least 104 weeks of professional experience
Frequently Asked Questions
Is accounting a good career in Connecticut?Connecticut ranks among the best places in the nation for accountants. Not only does the state boast high numbers of available jobs, but Connecticut accountants also earn more than many of their counterparts across the nation.
How much do accountants earn in Connecticut?Salary varies by factors like experience, industry, and education, but Connecticut accountants make a mean salary of $84,890.
What accounting jobs are there in Connecticut?Connecticut accountants can work in all types of industries. Some might find employment as corporate accountants, while others might work as auditors or tax examiners. The state also features a high number of financial managers, thanks to its large insurance industry.
Can I get an accounting degree in Connecticut?Those interested in accounting careers in Connecticut will find plenty of places to pursue the required education. More than a dozen schools, both large and small, offer accounting degrees in the state.
Does Connecticut have online accounting programs?Distance learners and local residents can select from an array of accredited online accounting degrees in Connecticut.
Connecticut Accounting and Education Organizations
- Connecticut Society of CPAs A professional organization based in Rocky Hill, the CTCPA represents Connecticut's CPAs. It provides educational opportunities, professional development resources, networking options, and advocacy initiatives.
- Connecticut State Board of Accountancy This official state agency governs the accounting industry in Connecticut and sets the standards followed by accountants. It also offers numerous resources on its site, including information on continuing education opportunities, licensing, and regulations.
- Financial Accounting Foundation A private, nonprofit, national association based in Norwalk, FAF oversees the financial accounting standards across the country.
- AICPA Connecticut Resources The largest association of CPAs in the nation, the AICPA hosts a wealth of resources on its Connecticut page, including links to all of the related governmental agencies in the state, exam information, publications, and tax forms.
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