Associate degrees in accounting lead to entry-level roles, such as bookkeeper, administrator, and accounting and financial clerk.
Home to one of the largest and healthiest economies in the country, Florida offers plenty of employment opportunities for graduates of all kinds. The state hosts steady job creation statistics and declining unemployment rates. Since the health of the accounting industry often mirrors the economy, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Florida accounting graduates can anticipate continued growth in the state.
An accounting degree leads to diverse and well-paying opportunities. In Florida, professions like bookkeeping and accounting clerk, accountants and auditor, and personal finance advisor continue to expand.
This page covers important information for students considering accounting degrees in Florida, including concentration options, employment trends, and potential careers and salaries for graduates.
|PER CAPITA INCOME||$31,359|
|FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES||38|
|NUMBER OF HIGHER LEARNING INSTITUTIONS||229|
|CLIMATE||Average Annual Temperature: 70.7 ℉|
Annual Precipitation: 54.5 inches
|MAJOR SPORTS TEAMS||Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Tampa Bay Rays, Florida Panthers|
|ACCOUNTANTS IN FLORIDA||71,520|
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Florida offers one of the most robust higher learning systems in the country. According to the Florida Department of Education, more than 800,000 students in the state take at least one course at a college or university, and over 480,000 students enroll in associate degrees or higher. The availability of online learning allows many learners to attend school with little or no on-campus requirements.
Florida also offers one of the few voucher programs in the country, making it easier for students to attend college. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, Florida’s graduation rates exceed the national average. With financial aid options, high success rates, and more than 220 schools, state residents enjoy many options.
According to the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the accounting industry was first organized in the state in 1905. Since then, that state’s collective of certified public accountants (CPAs) has grown into one of the largest in the nation.
After graduation, students can remain in Florida to join one of the five-largest accounting workforces in the country. They also enjoy some of the highest state median annual wages. Graduates who choose to work in the same state where they attended school can leverage their existing professional network.
The educational data for Florida looks quite promising for aspiring students. The state offers high educational attainment numbers and many different educational options. Florida also offers plenty of online learning programs. Over 44% of learners in the state take at least some online classes, which is one of the highest percentages in the country.
The following table provides key educational data for Florida.
|FLORIDA DATA||NATIONAL DATA|
|Number of Four-Year Colleges||160||3,004|
|Number of Two-Year Colleges||69||1,579|
|Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education||44.3%||34.7%|
|Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student||$7,542||$8,196|
|Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education||5.8%||5.8%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree||9.8%||8.4%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor’s Degree||18.5%||19.4%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher||10.6%||12.1%|
Accreditation indicates that a school meets high academic standards. At the institutional level, accreditation comes in regional and national forms. Regional accreditation typically applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions, while national accreditation applies to for-profit, vocational and technical schools. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges regionally accredits schools in Florida.
Accreditation benefits students in several ways, for example, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept degrees and transfer credits from accredited institutions. Additionally, many professional licenses and certifications require an accredited degree, including CPA licensure.
Programs within a school may also hold accreditation. Several business accrediting organizations recognize accounting programs, like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Learners should weigh several factors when considering prospective schools, including available programs, cost, concentrations, and delivery options. The following sections highlight some major considerations for aspiring accounting professionals.
Enrollees can find accounting degrees in Florida at every level, and their desired program may affect their school decision. Students should consider their career goals and the necessary degrees for their aspirations. They should also look for schools that offer the appropriate program choices.
Florida students can choose from many different accounting concentrations. As one of the largest economies in the U.S., Florida offers extensive opportunities for accountants.
According to BLS employment data, the state’s financial and management industries provide many opportunities with strong wages. The following table outlines accounting concentrations that might help graduates access these industries with greater ease.
Delivery method affects possible study locations and can play a part in student outcomes, program lengths, and tuition costs, as well. On-campus and online delivery provide various advantages, several of which we highlight below.
On-campus programs offer students a traditional classroom and campus setting. Learners can interact with their peers and instructors in person. Students also enjoy access to campus resources, along with the professional networks the schools develop and manage.
Many online programs feature little or no travel, allowing enrollees to access programs across the country without relocating. Some schools offer discounted online tuition rates, which may reduce the standard costs, especially for out-of-state students. Online learning also tends to offer more flexible study timelines, such as self-paced or accelerated programs.
Hybrid programs combine online and on-campus elements. They may feature regular on-campus requirements throughout the year or just one or two on-campus sessions. Hybrid programs blend flexible and accessible online study with interactive on-campus learning.
|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%|
Florida students can access federal financial aid and in-state programs, like school choice and voucher programs, to help finance their education. They can also pursue private loans or work while studying, either through standard employment or fellowships.
Learners can also take advantage of the many scholarships and grants available to Florida students. The following table and sections delve into tuition data in greater detail. For more information on various financial aid opportunities, follow the links below.
|Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)||$4,455||$9,037|
|Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)||$18,241||$25,657|
|Average Tuition and Fees (Private Four-Year)||$25,531||$30,731|
|Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)||$2,506||$3,243|
|Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)||$9,111||$7,971|
As highlighted in the table above, the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition can be significant. Florida’s average out-of-state tuition rates come in at less than the national average, but they still cost over four times more than in-state rates for public four-year programs.
To make it easier for non-residents to attend school in Florida, many in-state schools offer online programs with a standard tuition rate for all students, regardless of their location. Florida also participates in the Academic Common Market (ACM) through the Southern Regional Education Board. This reciprocity program allows out-of-state graduate students to attend Florida schools and pay in-state tuition rates.
For ACM eligibility, the program must not be available in the student’s home state.
When exploring Florida’s schools, especially for out-of-state students considering relocating, the cost of living should rank high among deciding factors. According to the World Population Review, Florida features a cost-of-living index of 97.9%, which is lower than the national average of 100%.
Students should prioritize other important factors when searching for their ideal program, such as school size, student-to-teacher ratios, and school reputation. Campus facilities and extracurriculars may also influence a candidate’s decision.
Students with specific career aspirations should ensure their prospective programs offer the appropriate courses and opportunities to achieve their professional goals. Candidates should also consider the program’s faculty and their credentials.
Next, candidates should explore the admission process and requirements for each prospective program. The cost and difficulty of admission may exclude some applicants, whereas particularly high-achieving students may seek out some of the more competitive programs. Aspiring enrollees should also research the required grades and test scores and apply for the programs they qualify for.
Florida provides a great environment for accountants to develop their careers and thrive. The accounting profession is projected to grow on par with the national average for all occupations. In Florida, however, the profession’s 13.9% projected growth rate is much higher than the national average.
The state boasts one of the 10 strongest economies in the country, including the third-best growth in gross domestic product. Florida accountants enjoy career opportunities with each of the Big Four accounting firms, including eight Deloitte offices, eight PWC offices, six KPMG offices, and five Ernst and Young offices.
Florida is also home to significant office and administrative support, business and finance, and management opportunities. While many opportunities appear throughout the state, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach region features one of the largest metropolitan workforces of accountants in the country. Continue reading for more information on specific accounting careers in Florida and the salary expectations of each.
Job Outlook in Florida: +1.3% projected growth (2018-2028)
Job Outlook in Florida: +13.9% projected growth (2018-2028)
Job Outlook in Florida: +17.8% projected growth (2018-2028)
Source: Projections Central
Florida offers accounting students many incentives to pursue degrees and careers in the state. For the careers above, Florida hosts some of the largest industries and workforces. In some of the more advanced accounting positions, like financial advisor and manager, Florida professionals earn more than the national average. In combination with the lower-than-average cost of living, these salaries offer an attractive financial outlook for students looking to study and work in Florida.
Since the CPA requirements vary by state, students, especially those from another state, need to consider how their school and location choices may affect their careers. The following list details CPA licensure requirements for professionals practicing in Florida, as per ThisWaytoCPA.
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