Typically requiring around 60 credits and two years to complete, this degree includes general education and introductory accounting courses.
The third most-populous state in the country, New York hosts many accounting programs and job opportunities. Accounting degrees often lead to business, financial, and accounting occupations, with national median annual salaries often falling in the $50,000-$90,000 range, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Accounting professions often pay considerably more in New York than they do in other states. For instance, accounting degrees prepare students for jobs as financial accountants and financial managers, who earn respective median salaries of $71,550 and $129,890, according to the BLS.
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This guide contains important information for anyone considering accounting degrees in New York, including accounting-related careers, degree types, program formats, and concentrations.
|PER CAPITA INCOME||$38,884|
|FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES||89|
|NUMBER OF HIGHER LEARNING INSTITUTIONS||304|
|CLIMATE||Average Annual Temperature: 45.4 degrees F|
Annual Precipitation: 41.8 inches
|MAJOR SPORTS TEAMS||New York Yankees, New York Mets, New York Red Bulls, New York Giants, New York Jets|
|ACCOUNTANTS IN NEW YORK||112,030|
New York boasts 304 higher education institutions. Private higher education institutions dominated New York until 1948, when many public colleges and technical schools united through the State University of New York (SUNY) education system. SUNY offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, and tuition rates at New York State’s public, four-year universities prove lower than national average rates for such schools.
Housing in New York costs nearly double the national average, though New York City costs much more than other areas of the state. Home to top accounting schools, such as New York University, New York City offers many benefits for students. Students in the city can choose from many accounting programs and enjoy nearly endless options for cultural events, food, and entertainment.
Top accounting schools found elsewhere in the state include University of Buffalo, Ithaca College, and Rochester Institute of Technology. Online accounting programs allow distance learners to enroll in New York schools without relocating to more expensive areas. However, students who choose programs in the area where they plan to work can facilitate more professional networking opportunities.
Drawn from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the data below indicates that New York features many four- and two-year colleges. The state boasts above-average rates of educational attainment, especially in the graduate degree category.
|NEW YORK DATA||NATIONAL DATA|
|Number of Four-Year Colleges||235||3,004|
|Number of Two-Year Colleges||69||1,579|
|Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education||17.3%||34.7%|
|Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student||$9,139||$8,196|
|Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education||3.7%||5.8%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree||8.7%||8.4%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor’s Degree||20.2%||19.4%|
|Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher||15.7%||12.1%|
Aspiring New York accounting students should choose a school accredited by the New England Commission for Higher Education (NECHE). One of several regional accrediting agencies approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), NECHE accredits New England schools that meet rigorous academic standards. Such standards include accomplished faculty, large libraries, well-constructed curricula, and positive institutional performance statistics.
Many faith-based and professional schools earn accreditation from CHEA-approved national accrediting agencies rather than regional ones. These nationally accredited schools do not meet the same high academic standards as regionally accredited schools. Regionally accredited schools usually only recognize credits and degrees from other regionally accredited schools.
Enrollees from both nationally and regionally accredited schools may qualify for federal financial aid. However, students attending schools lacking accreditation from CHEA-approved agencies do not qualify for federal aid.
Selecting the right college and program often demands time and attention to detail, and New York’s diverse accounting program offerings can make choosing difficult. The sections below provide an overview of accounting degree levels, concentration and program options, costs, and funding methods for accounting degrees in New York.
Many New York schools offer accounting degrees at multiple levels. Associate-degree graduates qualify for entry-level positions, like bookkeeper, while bachelor’s graduates meet the entry-level educational requirements for most accounting-related careers. However, certified public accountants (CPAs) need 150 college credits, which many accountants achieve by earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Master’s graduates may also obtain management positions, while Ph.D. graduates often become professors or researchers.
Typically requiring around 60 credits and two years to complete, this degree includes general education and introductory accounting courses.
This degree usually comprises around 120 credits and takes four years to complete. Accounting bachelor’s degrees include many accounting and business core courses and electives.
Students at this degree level take advanced accounting courses and specialize in specific fields. These programs typically comprise 30-60 credits and take 1-2 years to complete.
Doctoral study requires original, independent research and may involve some graduate teaching. These programs may take 3-5 years to complete.
New York State’s accounting schools offer various concentration options, which prepare students for work in specific roles, fields, and/or industries. Popular concentration options include auditing, public accounting, and taxation. Less-common specializations may include sports accounting, environmental accounting, and mergers and acquisitions. New York’s relatively high pay and demand for cost estimators and finance professionals can make cost accounting and financial accounting concentrations attractive.
Prospective New York accounting students can choose from various delivery formats, including on-campus, online, and hybrid formats. The following sections cover these formats in more detail.
Traditional on-campus programs entail in-person class sessions and meetings with professors. On-campus students often participate in collaborative projects and group work. These learners typically benefit from more structure and access to student resources than online students, including extracurricular activities, conferences, and networking opportunities.
Many online programs allow students to listen to lectures and participate in online discussions asynchronously, when convenient. Unrestricted by geography, online students often enjoy more program choices than on-campus students.New York’s schools and population tend to cluster within commuting distance of New York City, making it easier for many learners to attend in-person courses. However, online students throughout the state can save time and money through online learning.
While many programs boast 100% online attendance, others feature blended online and on-campus participation. These hybrid programs often entail one weekday evening or day session on campus each week. Some hybrid programs require just one or two trips to campus at the beginning or end of the semester, year, or program.
|ENROLLED EXCLUSIVELY IN DISTANCE EDUCATION COURSES||ENROLLED IN SOME BUT NOT ALL DISTANCE EDUCATION COURSES||NOT ENROLLED IN ANY DISTANCE EDUCATION COURSES|
|New York Students||6.9%||10.4%||82.8%|
|United States Students||16.3%||18.4%||65.3%|
Degrees often come with hefty price tags, but eligible students can defray education costs through financial aid in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships. The FAFSA connects eligible students with federal grants and low-interest loans. Loans require repayment, while grants and scholarships do not. Students may apply for scholarships based on factors like identity, financial need, field of study, or academic performance.
Graduate programs sometimes offer fellowships, which typically entail yearly stipends in exchange for teaching or research. Consult the links below to better understand financial aid options for accounting students.
|Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)||$7,938||$9,037|
|Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)||$21,662||$25,657|
|Average Tuition and Fees (Private Four-Year)||$39,007||$30,731|
|Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)||$5,229||$3,243|
|Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)||$9,151||$7,971|
Tuition rates vary widely by school, but average tuition rates for four-year, public schools in New York state compare favorably to national averages. In-state tuition at New York schools averages about $900 less than the national average, while out-of-state tuition averages $4,000 less. Two-year schools, however, cost around $1,000-$2,000 more in New York than the national average.
New York participates in a tuition break program, administered by the New England Board of Higher Education. This program allows New England residents to pay discounted tuition prices in other New England states. Obtaining residency in New York state or another New England state can make education much more affordable. In-state tuition at public, four-year institutions in New York averages just $8,000 annually, while out-of-state tuition costs $21,662, on average.
Prospective students budgeting for their education should consider cost of living, which varies considerably by state. According to the World Population Review‘s cost-of-living index, New York state is considerably more expensive than many other states. At 139.1, compared to the national average index score of 100, New York ranks No. 48 in terms of affordability. And at 204.4 on the housing cost index, New York housing costs over twice the national average.
When searching for an accounting program in New York or another state, take time to consider the following important factors:
Big schools often offer more program options and student services than smaller schools. They also feature bigger student cohorts and alumni networks. Smaller schools often feature smaller student-to-teacher ratios and more individualized teaching and learning.
Large research universities often boast more faculty per department, which may allow for greater diversity and a more global perspective. Prestigious schools tend to attract top performers in given academic fields and/or industries.
Traditionally paced programs take longer to complete than accelerated programs, which offer several terms of intensive courses each year. Part-time programs often prove more manageable for busy students, but they take longer to complete than full-time programs.
Some schools offer relevant, resume-building extracurriculars, such as clubs, student leadership opportunities, and special events.
Degrees from schools with positive local or national reputations often transfer well and impress potential employers.
Students should check post-graduation salary averages for prospective schools when available, as these can help measure a program’s return on investment.
Accounting, auditing, and related careers typically make above-average salaries. At $69,820 as of May 2019, the median annual salary for business and financial occupations surpassed the $39,810 median wage for all U.S. occupations. Many accounting-related careers in New York pay well, as indicated in the comparative salary table below. Keep in mind that New York City salaries, inflated to accommodate the high cost of living, drive up these numbers.
Home to accounting’s “Big 4” firms — Deloitte LLP, PwC, Ernst & Young, and KPMG — New York City employs many of the state’s accounting professionals. A leader in the financial activities sector, the city also employs many well-paid financial managers and advisors. Accounting degree graduates also find work in other New York industries, such as healthcare, leisure and hospitality, construction, and manufacturing.
Personal financial advisors counsel clients on various financial decisions regarding investments, mortgages, estate planning, and retirement. They often spend their days researching opportunities, monitoring investments, and explaining financial options to clients. Competitive candidates often boast master’s degrees in related areas.
Job Outlook in New York: +11% (2018-28).
Source: Projections Central
The salary data above indicates that New York’s accounting-related professionals usually earn healthy wages. The state’s average annual salaries vary by position and education level, but all of the careers above exceed the national average. Financial managers, personal financial advisors, accountants and auditors, and budget analysts — the top-paying careers above — sometimes require master’s degrees.
Finance professionals especially prosper in New York. Averaging $166,790 annually, New York’s personal financial advisors make almost twice the national average salary of $87,850 for this occupation. Topping the New York salary chart, financial managers average $210,240 annually — about $70,000 above the national average.
State requirements often differ regarding CPA licensure, so aspiring professionals should check requirements for the states where they plan to work. New York CPAs must be at least 21 years old and meet the following requirements:
CPA candidates with at least 15 years of relevant, supervised, board-approved professional experience can bypass accounting education and exam requirements.
Home to many major accounting and finance firms, New York employs many accounting-related professionals.
Accounting and related careers in New York often pay well, as evidenced by the salary tables above.
Common entry-level, accounting-related jobs in New York include bookkeeping and auditing clerk, cost estimator, and payroll clerk. Popular advanced roles include accountant, auditor, personal financial advisor, and financial manager.
New York offers many accounting degree program options, from associate degrees to doctorates. The list of accredited accounting schools below outlines available accounting education options in this state.
Many New York schools offer online degree programs in accounting. Either 100% online or hybrid, these programs accommodate working adults’ busy schedules.
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