Accounting Degree Overview for New Jersey
Known for diners, shopping malls, and popular resort towns, New Jersey boasts 130 miles of Atlantic coastline. Well-known seaside towns in the state include Atlantic City, Ocean City, Cape May, and Wildwood. Many New Jersey residents work in New York City and live in northern New Jersey cities such as Hoboken, Paterson, and Jersey City.
Salary data gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that accounting-related occupations typically pay well nationwide. Many New Jersey accounting associate degree graduates work as bookkeeping or auditing clerks, making an above-average annual salary of $47,300. Meanwhile, New Jersey's accounting bachelor's and master's degree-holders often join the ranks of the state's 39,820 accountants and auditors or its 22,000 financial managers.
The following page introduces the various online, hybrid, and on-campus accounting degree programs available in New Jersey. The sections below also outline New Jersey's educational statistics, accounting program types, funding opportunities, and career possibilities relevant to prospective accounting students.
New Jersey at a Glance
|Per Capita Income||$42,815|
|Fortune 500 Companies||27|
|Number of Higher Learning Institutions||72|
Average Annual Temperature: 52.7 ℉
Annual Precipitation: 47.1 inches
|Major Sports Teams||New Jersey Devils, New York Jets, New York Giants, New York Red Bulls, New Jersey Jackals|
|Accountants in New Jersey||39,820|
Top New Jersey Schools for Accounting
- Rutgers University-Camden
- The College of New Jersey
- Rider University
- Seton Hall University
- Ramapo College of New Jersey
- Saint Peter's University
- Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus
- Felician University
- Montclair State University
- Caldwell University
Why Go to College for Accounting in New Jersey?
The most densely populated state in the nation, New Jersey enrolls over 420,000 college students and offers many education, networking, and career opportunities for accounting students. Close to New York City, Philadelphia, and the Atlantic coast, New Jersey also offers many extracurricular options. The state's hot summers and cold winters encourage diverse, seasonal activities.
Boasting a robust economy, this bustling state employs accounting graduates in all major industries, including pharmaceuticals and life sciences, engineering, and financial services. New Jersey's talent networks contribute to the state's growth by connecting graduates and professionals to job opportunities.
Top northern New Jersey accounting schools include Montclair University, Seton Hall University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Caldwell University. Southern and central New Jersey schools that offer accounting programs include Rutgers University-Camden and the College of New Jersey. New Jersey's average tuition rates and cost of living prove higher than national averages, but online programs often offer discounted tuition and eliminate transportation and accommodation expenses, saving students money.
Education Statistics for New Jersey
New Jersey ranks above-average for educational attainment, according to U.S. Census data. This data reveals that 23.8% of New Jerseyans over age 25 hold bachelor's degrees, compared to 19.4% nationally. Similarly, 15.1% of New Jerseyans over 25 hold graduate degrees, compared to only 12.1% of Americans at large.
|New Jersey Data||National Data|
|Number of Four-Year Colleges||49||3,004|
|Number of Two-Year Colleges||23||1,579|
|Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education||24.5%||34.7%|
|Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student||$6,550||$8,196|
|Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education||3.6%||5.8%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree||6.5%||8.4%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor's Degree||23.8%||19.4%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher||15.1%||12.1%|
Accreditation for New Jersey Schools
As you consider an accounting education in New Jersey, look for accredited schools. Schools may receive national or regional accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two. Regionally accredited schools have undergone evaluations by accrediting agencies approved by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Accrediting agencies evaluate schools based on factors like academic rigor, faculty qualifications, and student learning outcomes.
Only students at nationally and regionally accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid. However, regionally accredited schools typically do not accept transfer credits or degrees from nationally accredited schools, so students hoping to pursue advanced degrees should complete earlier degrees at regionally accredited schools. Degrees from regionally accredited schools may also prove more attractive to employers.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) regionally accredits schools in New Jersey. Aspiring students should look for schools with MSCHE accreditation as they choose where to apply.
Considerations for an Accounting Degree in New Jersey
The following sections include information about about degree levels, concentration types, and distance education options. The sections below also discuss New Jersey's tuition rates, along with common funding avenues available to New Jersey accounting students. Read on to determine whether New Jersey offers the best educational path for you.
Accounting Degree Levels
Large universities often provide accounting degree programs at four levels: associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate. Associate degrees often meet the educational requirements for entry-level clerking positions, while bachelor's and master's degrees prepare students for more advanced accounting careers as certified public accountants, budget analysts, and financial managers.
- Associate Degree in Accounting
Usually totaling around 60 credits, associate degree programs require some general education courses, plus introductory courses on accounting principles and practices.
- Bachelor's Degree in Accounting
Traditionally, accounting bachelor's programs take about four years to complete and include more advanced coursework than associate programs, preparing students for a broader range of careers.
- Master's Degree in Accounting
Requiring about two years to finish, master's degree programs often offer various specialization options and prepare graduates for upper-level accounting positions.
- Ph.D. in Accounting
These programs often require 3-4 years beyond the master's degree. Accounting Ph.D. graduates usually work as professors, consultants, or researchers.
Accounting Concentration Options
Many accounting programs allow students to cultivate specialized skills and knowledge through various concentration offerings. Master's and doctoral programs always offer specializations, as do some bachelor's and associate degree programs. Common concentration offerings include public accounting, cost accounting, accounting information systems, and auditing.
Given the high salaries for tax- and finance-related careers in New Jersey, the two sample concentrations described below can lead to lucrative career opportunities in the state.
Taxation concentrations cover topics such as income and business tax, business law, and financial accounting. Graduates often work as tax collectors, tax examiners, or public accountants.
This concentration focuses on financial reporting, training students in financial statement preparation, analysis, and auditing. Graduates often work as corporate accountants, financial managers, or financial advisors.
On-Campus Versus Online Program Options
Students can choose from online, on-campus, and hybrid accounting programs, with each format offering various advantages.
|Enrolled Exclusively in Distance Education Courses||Enrolled in Some but Not All Distance Education Courses||Not Enrolled in Any Distance Education Courses|
|New Jersey Students||8.1%||16.4%||75.5%|
|United States Students||16.3%||18.4%||65.3%|
Paying for Your Accounting Degree
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicates that New Jersey tuition at four-year schools averages $3,000-$6,000 higher than it does nationally. New Jersey's tuition rates prove comparable to those of nearby states, reflecting the region's relatively high salaries and cost of living.
Students can help finance their education through financial aid opportunities like grants, scholarships, and loans. Grants and scholarships do not require repayment. Students can determine their eligibility for federal financial aid by submitting the FAFSA, which can qualify them for grants and low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education.
|Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)||$13,633||$9,037|
|Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)||$28,649||$25,657|
|Average Tuition and Fees (Private Four-Year)||$36,589||$30,731|
|Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)||$4,536||$3,243|
|Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)||$8,049||$7,971|
In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition
The data above indicates that many New Jersey public colleges and universities charge out-of-state enrollees around twice as much as they charge in-state students. Therefore, obtaining state residency can save students considerable money, though New Jersey bars students under age 22 from eligibility unless they can prove financial dependency on a New Jersey resident.
Since New Jersey does not participate in any regional reciprocity agreements, out-of-state students in nearby states do not qualify for in-state tuition rates. However, online programs may cost less than on-campus programs, so students should compare tuition rates carefully when choosing where to apply.
New Jersey's Cost of Living
Like many other states in the New York metro region, New Jersey is a generally costly place to live. This state ranks No. 42 in affordability when compared to other states, according to the World Population Review's cost-of-living index. Compared to the national cost-of-living average score of 100, New Jersey scores 125.1. The state's high housing cost index of 163.1 brings up the total cost of living score.
Other School Selection Criteria
When sifting through prospective accounting programs in New Jersey, consider the following selection criteria.
EXPLORE OUR RANKINGS FOR THE BEST ACCOUNTING PROGRAMS AT EACH LEVEL
Careers for Accounting Graduates in New Jersey
National data indicates that accountants and auditors enjoy above-average salaries and positive job growth projections. Many New Jersey accounting professionals fare better than average, according to the salary data provided below. Headquartered in nearby New York City, accounting's "Big 4" firms employ many New Jersey accounting graduates.
New Jersey accounting program graduates may work in various positions across multiple industries. Thriving New Jersey industries include information technology, financial services, pharmaceuticals, and transportation. New Jersey businesses tend to concentrate in the state's northern and eastern regions, near New York. Many financial managers and advisors work in New Jersey's financial services industry, concentrated near New York City, in Hudson County.
New Jersey's state economy ranks No. 22 for business environment, according to the U.S. News & World Report. The BLS projects a 9.7% growth in credit counselors, an 8.4% increase in cost estimators, and a 15.7% growth in financial manager positions in New Jersey from 2018-2028. See below for more data on common New Jersey accounting career paths and employment trends.
Select Accounting Careers in New Jersey
- Tax Examiners and Collectors
These professionals calculate taxes due for individuals and businesses. Tax preparers complete requisite tax documents, tax examiners review and analyze these documents, and tax collectors perform various collection duties on behalf of the government. Tax professionals usually hold bachelor's degrees in accounting or related fields.
Job Outlook in New Jersey: +9.7% (2018-28).
- Credit Counselors
These counselors guide individuals and organizations regarding debt acquisition and management. Credit counselors' expertise includes loan types and processes, debt management planning, mortgages and budgeting, and bankruptcy counseling. Credit counselors typically hold associate degrees in accounting-related subjects.
Job Outlook in New Jersey: -1.9% (2018-28).
- Financial Managers
Financial managers supervise financial staff, guide executive decision-making, and oversee financial planning and reporting. These professionals may work as controllers, treasurers, or executives in various industries, including banking, insurance, and investments. They usually hold bachelor's or master's degrees in finance or accounting.
Job Outlook in New Jersey: +15.7% (2018-28).
New Jersey Employment Trends
Projected Job Growth for Accountants
Source: Projections Central
In keeping with the state's relatively high cost of living, salary averages for New Jersey's accounting-related occupations consistently top national salary averages. Personal financial advisors and financial managers in the state make salaries that surpass national averages by $30,000 and $47,000, respectively.
New Jersey's credit counselors and tax examiners also make above-average salaries. Students seeking lucrative jobs requiring associate degrees may wish to consider credit counseling, which pays an annual mean salary of $74,880 in New Jersey. Meanwhile, earning a bachelor's with a tax-related specialization can set up graduates for high-paying careers as tax examiners or tax collectors, who make an average of $77,980 annually in New Jersey.
New Jersey Requirements for Certified Public Accountants
Certified public accountant (CPA) requirements vary by state, so aspiring CPAs should research the requirements in the state where they plan to practice. New Jersey CPAs must hold a Social Security number and meet the following requirements.
- Education: New Jersey CPA candidates need at least 150 college credits, including 24 credits in accounting and 24 in business. They also need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school.
- Experience: Candidates need at least one year of supervised professional experience in accounting or auditing.
- CPA Exam: New Jersey CPAs must pass the standard CPA exam created from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
- Ethics Requirement: New Jersey requires CPAs to complete a four-credit New Jersey law and ethics course.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is accounting a good career in New Jersey?
- According to the BLS, many accounting-related professionals enjoy positive job growth projections and above-average salaries in New Jersey.
- How much do accountants earn in New Jersey?
- BLS salary data indicates that New Jersey's accountants and auditors earned an annual mean wage of $91,960 as of 2018. This salary compares favorably with the national mean of $79,520.
- What accounting jobs are there in New Jersey?
- New Jersey currently employs nearly 40,000 accountants and auditors, according to the BLS. Other common careers for accounting graduates include bookkeeping or auditing clerk and financial manager.
- Can I get an accounting degree in New Jersey?
- Many New Jersey colleges and universities offer accounting associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.
- Does New Jersey have online accounting programs?
- According to NCES data, 24.5% of New Jersey students take courses online. Online accounting programs exist at many of the accredited schools listed at the end of this guide.
New Jersey Accounting and Education Organizations
- New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants A professional organization founded in 1898, the NJCPA provides professional development and advocacy for more than 14,000 CPAs in various sectors. Member benefits include continuing education, networking, and leadership opportunities.
- New Jersey Association of Public Accountants Committed to supporting accounting professionals, the NJAPA provides seminars, professional meetings, newsletters, and networking opportunities and tools. It also protects consumers by ensuring professional integrity and efficacy.
- Financial Planning Association of New Jersey Serving financial planners and the public, this professional organization fosters competency and professional ethics through professional development and advocacy. Members benefit from career resources, events, and networking opportunities.
- National Association of Black Accountants -- Northern New Jersey Chapter NABA of Northern New Jersey connects and supports Black accounting professionals by running conferences, providing volunteer and leadership opportunities, and offering continuing education.
Accounting Programs in New Jersey
Updated regularly with higher education data gathered by the NCES's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, the list of schools below includes all accredited New Jersey institutions with accounting programs.
- Degree Levels