Accounting Degree Overview for Louisiana

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Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana to this day carries the influences of French and Spanish colonizers in its cuisine, celebrations, architecture, and music. It is the 25th most-populous state in the nation and home to more than 60 colleges and universities. 

Students can both pursue on-campus and online accounting degrees in Louisiana. Nearly 12,000 accountants currently work in The Pelican State, enjoying excellent job security and a mean annual income of $66,230, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Other popular accounting careers in Louisiana include bookkeepers, auditing clerks, and financial managers.

In the following guide, we explore the benefits of earning an accounting degree in Louisiana. Read on to learn more about the state’s higher education climate, the different types of accounting degrees available, and what kinds of careers you can pursue after graduation.

Louisiana at a Glance

Population4,645,180
Per Capita Income$27,274
Fortune 500 Companies4
Number of Higher Learning Institutions64
ClimateAverage Annual Temperature: 66.4 ℉

Annual Precipitation: 60.1 inches
Major Sports TeamsNew Orleans Saints, New Orleans Pelicans 
Accountants in Louisiana11,980

Top Louisiana Schools for Accounting

  • Tulane University of Louisiana
  • Loyola University New Orleans
  • Centenary College of Louisiana
  • Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
  • University of Holy Cross
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • University of Louisiana at Monroe
  • Nicholls State University
  • McNeese State University

Why Go to College for Accounting in Louisiana?

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 241,401 students enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions in Louisiana in fall 2018. Of these, 65.2% attended courses entirely on campus, 23.4% enrolled in some distance education courses, and 11.4% enrolled exclusively in distance education courses.

Higher education is fairly accessible in Louisiana, with institutions distributed throughout the state. New Orleans boasts the state’s largest concentration of major universities, including Xavier University of Louisiana, Louisiana State University, University of New Orleans, and Southern University at New Orleans.

More than two dozen Louisiana colleges and universities offer online education options, enabling students to learn anywhere at any time. Some programs are hybrid, where online courses impose mandatory on-campus components, requiring local proximity or the ability to travel.

Whether attending online or on campus, state residents benefit immensely from going to college in Louisiana. On average, in-state tuition costs $12,000 less than out-of-state tuition, and online learners may save even more by avoiding campus costs like room, board, and facility use fees. After graduation, accounting professionals based in Louisiana enjoy local alumni networks and school name recognition.

Education Statistics for Louisiana

Louisiana boasts relatively few postsecondary institutions, but it slightly surpasses the national average of students enrolled in distance education courses. The state also allocates a comparable percentage of its tax revenue to higher education. Check out the following table to see how Louisiana’s education statistics stack up against the rest of the United States. 

Higher Education in Louisiana

Louisiana DataNational Data
Number of Four-Year Colleges333,004
Number of Two-Year Colleges311,579
Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education34.8%34.7%
Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student$5,795$8,196 
Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education5.3%5.8%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree6%8.4%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor’s Degree 15.5%19.4%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher8.2%12.1%
Sources: NCES, SHEEO, U.S. Census Bureau – American Community Survey

Accreditation for Louisiana Schools

Accreditation acts as a form of quality assurance for postsecondary institutions. Accreditation ensures that a school’s offerings meet a certain minimum standard. To become accredited, a college or university must undergo a rigorous, third-party evaluation of factors like academics, finances, and faculty qualifications. Beyond confirming the value of your education, accreditation ensures your ability to apply for federal financial aid and transfer college credits.

Students may attend either a regionally or nationally accredited school. Regional accreditation is reserved for public, nonprofit institutions, while national accreditation applies mostly to for-profit or vocational schools. Look for accrediting agencies that are vetted and recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and/or the U.S. Department of Education.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional accreditation agency for 11 states in the southern U.S. You can access a list of SACSCOC-accredited Louisiana institutions on the commission’s website.

Considerations for an Accounting Degree in Louisiana

College selection is a major decision that can impact a students’ future long after walking the stage at graduation. Important factors to keep in mind include available concentrations, desired program format, and financing options. Some factors, like cost, are multifaceted. In-state tuition prices in Louisiana cost more than the national average, for instance, but the state’s cost of living index is relatively low in comparison.

The data and information found in the sections below can help you decide whether earning your accounting degree in Louisiana is the right step for your future.

Accounting Degree Levels

Your school choice may be impacted by the level of education you hope to pursue. Each successive degree prepares graduates for different kinds of accounting careers in Louisiana.

Accounting Concentration Options

Students who complete their bachelor’s or master’s in accounting in Louisiana may get to select a concentration or specialization — a 3-5 course sequence designed to help prepare students for specific career paths.

While accounting degrees typically offer a variety of concentration options, the two featured below are particularly relevant to students based in Louisiana. Specialized knowledge of taxation or auditing procedures enables graduates to more effectively pursue careers in popular fields like tax accounting, tax consulting, and auditing.

ConcentrationDescription
TaxationA concentration in taxation prepares students to engage in taxation research, recognize tax planning opportunities, and identify and solve tax problems. Potential career paths include certified public accountant, tax examiner, and tax consultant.
AuditingAn auditing concentration builds relevant skills while providing students with a framework of auditing concepts and theories, techniques, ethics, and standards. Potential career paths include external or internal auditor, tax auditor, and government auditor.

Explore More Accounting Concentrations

On-Campus Versus Online Program Options

The best accounting schools in Louisiana offer certificates and degrees in several formats, including on campus, online, and a hybrid mix of the two. Each format boasts unique benefits.

On-Campus Programs

On-campus programs require routine, in-person class meetings with professors and peers. This format offers the least flexibility in terms of scheduling, but traditional college attendance remains popular with younger students who want an immersive experience of living, learning, and socializing on site.

Online Programs

Enrolling in an online accounting degree in Louisiana ensures maximum flexibility. Unlike campus programs, online degrees allow learners to attend class from anywhere in the world with a reliable internet connection. Online programs may use asynchronous scheduling, which allows students to complete coursework on their own time, or synchronous scheduling, which requires logging on and participating in live class sessions.

Full-time workers, busy adults, and students living far from campus tend to gravitate towards online college programs.

Hybrid Programs

Hybrid programs are very similar to online programs, but cohorts typically meet on campus once a week or a few times a month. To better accommodate working students, these on-site meetings often occur on the weekends. Hybrid learning offers the flexibility of online learning with the benefit of increased facetime with peers and instructors.

Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education

Enrolled Exclusively in Distance Education CoursesEnrolled in Some but Not All Distance Education CoursesNot Enrolled in Any Distance Education Courses
Louisiana Students11.4%23.4%65.2%
United States Students16.3%18.4%65.3%
Source: NCES

Paying for Your Accounting Degree

Obtaining an accounting degree in Louisiana costs an average of $4,039-$36,715 per year, depending on your residency and whether you choose to attend a public, private, two-year, or four-year institution.

Students can most effectively lower their out-of-pocket costs through scholarships, fellowships, and grants. These forms of aid are awarded based on academic merit and/or financial need and do not need to be repaid. Other common financing options include loans, which require repayment and accrue interest over the life of the loan.

Visit the links below to learn more about your college financing options.

Average Cost of College Tuition and Fees in Louisiana, 2017-2018

LouisianaNational
Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)$9,165$9,037
Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)$21,623$25,657
Average Tuition and Fees (Private Four-Year)$36,715$30,731
Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)$4,093$3,243
Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)$7,057$7,971
Source: NCES

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

In the U.S., public colleges and universities charge different tuition rates for state residents and nonresidents. A $12,500 difference may seem exorbitant at first glance, but states have valid reasons for the disparity.

Public institutions of higher education rely heavily on state government funding, which in turn relies on tax dollars paid by state residents. Since resident students and their families pay into the system that supports their local colleges, they enjoy a lower cost of attendance.

Some schools, like the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, offer tuition break scholarships to help make attendance more affordable for qualified out-of-state students. That said, colleges in every state offer high quality accounting degrees, so nonresidents of Louisiana may best benefit by choosing a school where they can pay in-state tuition.

Louisiana’s Cost of Living

“Cost of living” refers to the amount of money needed to cover essential expenses like housing, food, and healthcare. When evaluating the benefits of attending college in Louisiana, students should take these budgeted costs into account.

Overall, Louisiana boasts a cost of living index score of 93.9, where a score of 100 represents the U.S. average. Louisiana residents primarily save on housing (86.6 index score) and utilities (89.3 index score).

Other School Selection Criteria

Whether you plan to enroll in Louisiana or another state, dozens of factors can impact the college selection process. Four key areas to consider include:

  • School Size

    Campus size and enrollment numbers make a big difference in the kind of college experience you can expect. Major universities offer big sporting events, countless opportunities for socializing, and large class sizes. Students at smaller schools enjoy a close-knit community feel and tend to receive more personal attention from professors.

  • Faculty Credentials

    All colleges and universities maintain minimum standards for instructors, but prospective students should consider taking the time to specifically evaluate the educators working in their target department. Ideally, you want to learn from accounting professors with advanced degrees and extensive experience in the field.

  • Student Services

    The availability and quality of student services varies widely from one school to another. Evaluating these resources is especially important for prospective online learners. Not every school offers remote tutoring, career services, or counseling. Make sure your school provides what you need to succeed.

  • Admission Requirements/Acceptance Rate

    Experts recommend applying to several colleges based on your likelihood of acceptance — referred to as reach schools, target schools, and safety schools. Multiple application fees can add up quickly. Make sure you meet basic admission requirements before you apply.

  • Careers for Accounting Graduates in Louisiana

    Throughout the U.S., accounting offers generous compensation and comfortable job security. Nationwide, employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow by 4% from 2018 to 2028, in response to globalization, growing economies, and complex tax and regulatory environments.

    Although Louisiana ranks second-to-last in U.S. News & World Report’s state economy rankings, the Pelican State has a competitive hand in a number of traditional and emerging industries like advanced manufacturing, entertainment, and agribusiness. Accounting professionals can find employment opportunities in these and other fields, helping companies navigate Louisiana’s low-tax business environment to maximize returns.

    Graduates interested in public accounting careers can find work at dozens of small, mid-sized, and large accounting firms across the state. Each of the Big Four accounting firms — Deloitte LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG — operate offices in New Orleans. Louisiana’s pro-business climate makes it easy for motivated CPAs to start their own private practice, too.

    In the sections below, take a deeper dive into Louisiana’s accounting industry.

    Select Accounting Careers in Louisiana


    • Accountant


      Accountants perform essential services for businesses, individuals, and governments, including examining financial records for accuracy and compliance, computing taxes owed, and suggesting ways to reduce costs. Entry-level accountants need at least a bachelor’s degree, but students must earn at least 150 college credits to pursue CPA certification in Louisiana.


    • Bookkeeping/Auditing Clerk


      Bookkeeping and accounting clerks handle an organization’s financial records. Common duties include using bookkeeping software, posting financial transactions, and producing reports like balance sheets and income statements. Entry-level positions typically require some postsecondary education. While employment of bookkeepers is projected to decline from 2018 to 2028, it remains the most popular accounting career in Louisiana.


    • Personal Financial Advisor


      Financial managers support the financial health of an organization by developing long-term goals and plans, directing investment activities, and monitoring and analyzing market trends. This career path requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree, plus several years of relevant experience in accounting or finance. It is among the fastest-growing jobs in Louisiana.


    Louisiana Employment Trends

    Projected Job Growth for Accountants

    10,830 Employees2018
    11,170 Employees2028
    Louisiana 3.1% increase
    1,424,000 Employees2018
    1,514,700 Employees2028
    National 6.4% increase
    Source: Projections Central

    Curious about other accounting jobs? Explore more here

    College graduates can pursue a variety of accounting careers in Louisiana. The most populated career fields include bookkeepers and clerks, accountants and auditors, and financial managers. Occupations with fewer employed professionals include credit counselors, tax examiners/collectors, and budget analysts.

    As seen in the table above, most accounting professionals in Louisiana earn less than the national average. However, salaries for Louisiana-based cost estimators and personal financial advisors outpace their national counterparts. Personal financial advisors make an average of $14,000 more per year than the U.S. average, making this career a particularly good option for Louisiana professionals. 

    Professionals seeking a mid-range salary of $65,000-$70,000 may consider working as a cost estimator, accountant, auditor, or budget analyst. A bachelor’s degree meets minimum education requirements for cost estimators and some accountants/auditors. A master’s is required for accountants to seek licensure as a CPA.

    Louisiana Requirements for Certified Public Accountants

    Each U.S. state’s Board of Accountancy maintains a set of requirements for individuals interested in becoming certified public accountants. Requirements vary by state.

    In order to sit for the CPA exam and obtain a valid license, professionals must check the requirements for the state in which they plan to practice. Once a professional obtains their license and at least once year of CPA experience, they can apply for reciprocal licensing in other states as needed.

    To qualify for CPA licensure in Louisiana, candidates must pass an examination and meet the following requirements:

  • At least 120 days of residency in Louisiana
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Valid Social Security number
  • 150 college credits, including a completed bachelor’s degree
  • 24 college credits earned in accounting
  • At least one year (2,000 hours) of qualifying job experience, verified by a licensed CPA
  • Resources

    Frequently Asked Questions


    • Is accounting a good career in Louisiana?

      In every state, including Louisiana, accounting careers offer competitive pay and high levels of job security. For the motivated candidate interested in pursuing advanced education, the field provides great potential for upward mobility.


    • How much do accountants earn in Louisiana?

      Accountants in Louisiana earn an average of $66,230 annually. Salary potential varies by education/certification, years of experience, and employer.


    • What accounting jobs are there in Louisiana?

      Depending on their level of education, professionals can pursue entry-level, mid-level, or advanced accounting careers in Louisiana. Available opportunities include bookkeeper or clerk, certified public accountant, cost estimator, and financial analyst.


    • Can I get an accounting degree in Louisiana?

      Accounting programs are readily available at colleges and universities across the state. Some of the best accounting schools in Louisiana hold specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


    • Does Louisiana have online accounting programs?

      Students interested in the flexibility of distance learning can choose from several hybrid and online accounting degrees in Louisiana. Online programs are available at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels.


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