Accounting Degree Overview for Vermont

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Vermont, the “Green Mountain State,” hosts a scenic array of hiking trails, state parks, and historic sites. The state also boasts a vibrant, thriving economy, and the financial services field is a key industry in the state. Already home to more than 2,600 accountants and auditors, Vermont can expect solid job growth for its financial occupations in the coming years.

Education serves as the first step to starting your finance career, and this guide provides information on earning accounting degrees in Vermont, including why the state is a great place to work in this growing industry.

Vermont at a Glance

Population628,061
Per Capita Income$33,956
Fortune 500 Companies1
Number of Higher Learning Institutions24
ClimateAverage Annual Temperature: 42.9℉

Annual Precipitation: 42.7 inches
Major Sports TeamsVermont Lake Monsters
Accountants in Vermont2,610

Top Vermont Schools for Accounting

  • Norwich University
  • Saint Michael’s College
  • Northern Vermont University
  • Castleton University
  • University of Vermont

Why Go to College for Accounting in Vermont?

Apart from offering scenic views, rolling hills, and a growing economy, Vermont also hosts 24 colleges and universities. According to a report from the Vermont Higher Education Council, more than 38,000 students enrolled in higher education programs in Vermont in 2019, including over 4,600 students in graduate-level programs. Of those students, 74% attended on a part-time basis, and just 26% enrolled full time.

The report also reveals that 19% of students enrolled exclusively in distance education programs, and an additional 15% enrolled in at least some distance education courses.

Vermont provides a variety of aid options for funding an accounting degree in the state. For instance, residents can take advantage of three unique state-based grants, including one intended specifically for part-time students. The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation also offers access to scholarships for residents of the state.

Education Statistics for Vermont

In Vermont, 37.3% of adults over 25 hold at least a bachelor’s degree, according to census data. This data, paired with the additional data outlined below, highlights the way the state values higher education. The percentage of adults over 25 in Vermont who hold graduate degrees surpasses the national average, and despite the state’s small size, it offers 24 higher education institutions.

The table below offers more detailed data on higher education in Vermont. 

Higher Education in Vermont

Vermont DataNational Data
Number of Four-Year Colleges233,004
Number of Two-Year Colleges11,579
Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education23.3%34.7%
Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student$2,914$8,196 
Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education2.5%5.8%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree8.5%8.4%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor’s Degree 22.1%19.4%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher15.3%12.1%
Sources: NCES, SHEEO, U.S. Census Bureau – American Community Survey

Accreditation for Vermont Schools

When researching accounting programs in Vermont, prospective students should make finding accredited schools a priority. When an institution is accredited, it has met or surpassed certain quality standards set by an accrediting agency. These agencies set standards that ensure schools provide high quality, comprehensive education across its program offerings.

Schools can hold two types of accreditation: national and regional. Regional accreditation, the more common of the two, is reserved for nonprofit institutions. Regional accreditation agencies, like the New England Commission of Higher Education which accredits schools in Vermont, provide assurance that a school’s programs meet important learning standards.

Considerations for an Accounting Degree in Vermont

As you research the best accounting schools in Vermont, it’s important to account for a variety of factors. Some considerations, like tuition, may weigh more heavily on your decision. Other factors, like concentration offerings and the availability of online courses, should play a role as well.

Schools in Vermont offer accounting degrees from associate to master’s levels. Each degree offers its own advantages and leads to its own unique career prospects and opportunities. Some programs may also offer concentration or specialization options that allow students to focus their studies in a specific area of accounting. 

Keep reading to learn more about what to consider when choosing an accounting degree.

Accounting Degree Levels

Vermont schools offer associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in accounting. Students can opt to pursue multiple degrees, or follow whatever track leads to their specific career goals. In Vermont, the accountancy board requires a minimum of 150 semester hours at an approved school to earn a license and work as a CPA. This amounts to at least a bachelor’s degree.

The following degree paths lead to careers in accounting.

Accounting Concentration Options

Earning a degree in accounting in Vermont can lead to a variety of career opportunities. Not limited to just working as a CPA, graduates can pursue accounting careers in all kinds of industries, fields, and within all kinds of workplaces. Fortunately, accounting degrees provide skills useful to careers in many areas.

Pursuing a concentration or specialization within your degree program provides knowledge and skills within a focused area of accounting, preparing you for different types of careers. The concentrations outlined below serve as just some examples of concentration options some schools may offer. 

ConcentrationDescription
Financial Accounting A key industry in Vermont, finance offers a variety of career options for accountants. Financial accountants help businesses and organizations analyze, plan, and manage funds and expenses.
Information Systems A concentration in information systems accounting provides skills in accounting software, and prepares students for careers in all kinds of industries and fields. This concentration emphasizes computer systems and software that help businesses function.

Explore More Accounting Concentrations

On-Campus Versus Online Program Options

Almost a quarter of students in Vermont enroll in some distance education courses. Prospective students should consider which learning method best suits their needs and lifestyle.

On-Campus Programs

Earning your degree on campus offers the advantage of developing a community among other students at your school. Learners who thrive when attending in-person classes may find on-campus learning their best option. Vermont also features many schools with scenic campuses. Students who plan to enroll full time might also find on-campus learning and living to provide the structure they need.

Online Programs

Online programs may best suit self-sufficient students who can manage their time well and stay organized. Online learning requires a great deal of focus and the ability to manage assignments and course requirements without the added element of in-person lectures. Online learning eliminates commute times, and many programs offer fully asynchronous learning, ideal for students continuing to work full time while earning their degree. Some schools may offer accelerated online programs that can shorten the length of your program.

Hybrid Programs

Hybrid programs offer students the opportunity to learn both on-campus and online. Each hybrid program may require different levels of in-person and online attendance; for instance, one program may only require one campus visit per semester, and another program may require monthly check-ins on campus. Hybrid programs suit students who want some of the advantages of in-person learning while still seeking flexibility in their schedule.

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
Vermont Students16.5%6.8%76.7%
United States Students16.3%18.4%65.3%
Source: NCES

Paying for Your Accounting Degree

As displayed in the table below, the average cost of tuition and fees at a four-year public institution in Vermont sits at $16,103 — much higher than the national average of $9,037. Out-of-state learners pay even more, with the average tuition and fees for these students sitting at over $38,000 per year. 

Identifying funding options and understanding available opportunities for scholarships and grants in the state can help offset these costs. Fortunately, Vermont offers a variety of funding and aid options, including need-based grants and merit scholarships

Keep reading to learn more about tuition costs in Vermont, and explore the links below to understand financial aid options.

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

VermontNational
Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)$16,103$9,037
Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Four-Year)$38,968$25,657
Average Tuition and Fees (Private Four-Year)$42,637$30,731
Average In-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)$6,414$3,243
Average Out-of-State Tuition and Fees (Public Two-Year)$12,678$7,971
Source: NCES

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

Attending a university or college in Vermont as an out-of-state student may lead to dramatically increased tuition and fees, as demonstrated by the data in the table above. Out-of-state learning, even when pursued through distance education options, can often incur much higher costs. 

However, some schools may offer special options for distance learners. For instance, some online accounting degrees in Vermont may provide the option to pay in-state tuition, regardless of location. Additionally, some online programs may offer flat-rate options for distance learners and on-campus learners alike, allowing students to pay flat rates based on enrollment.

When researching accounting degrees in Vermont, be careful to consider tuition costs. Weigh these costs against other factors like your cost of living and any financial aid you have available.

Vermont’s Cost of Living

As you consider tuition costs at Vermont colleges, keep in mind to factor those costs against the cost of living in the state. This includes costs like groceries, rent/housing, and utilities. Vermont’s cost of living index of 114.5 sits above the national average of 100. This ranks Vermont 39th in the nation for cost of living.

Groceries in Vermont tend to cost more than the national average, and the state’s housing cost index of 126.7 sits much higher than the national index of 100.

Other School Selection Criteria

When selecting an accounting program in Vermont, factors like tuition costs and program availability should naturally impact your choice. However, you should keep in mind a variety of other factors throughout your selection process. 

  • Program Length

    Consider how long you want to spend working on your degree. Earning a bachelor’s typically takes 4-6 years, depending on enrollment status. Pursuing a master’s in accounting could add another 2-3 years to that time frame.

  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio

    Schools with smaller student populations may offer smaller student-to-teacher ratios. This could provide more one-on-one attention and individualized instruction from professors, further enriching the learning experience.

  • University Resources

    Even online students should consider what resources a school offers, especially for distance learners. Look for resources like career services, student organizations, and academic support programs.

  • Graduation and Retention Rates

    Consider each school’s graduation and retention rates, specifically within accounting or the major that houses accounting, like business. If the program has low rates, that may be a sign of a less effective program.

  • Admission Requirements

    Applying to colleges can incur costs like application fees, and fees to send official transcripts. Graduate school applications may also include letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose or intent. Consider the application and admission requirements for each program.

  • Careers for Accounting Graduates in Vermont

    Although pursuing a career as a CPA may seem like the most straightforward option for accounting school graduates, there are a host of other options, too. Businesses and organizations in all industries and fields utilize workers with accounting skills to help them run their business and manage their finances. 

    Vermont’s relatively small economy boasts a consistently low unemployment rate. U.S. News & World Report ranks the state 29th in the nation for economic strength, with a median household income of $32,443. 

    Vermont’s largest employers include hospital and healthcare systems, banks and finance corporations, and manufacturing firms. All of these employers utilize the skill sets and knowledge of accountants, and may offer job prospects for graduates of accounting programs in Vermont. 

    Select Accounting Careers in Vermont


    • Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks


      Bookkeeping clerks manage all financial transactions for a business. They handle all received money and funds, whether by check, electronic payments, or cash. They keep records of all transactions, and maintain reports of account balances. Generally, bookkeepers have at least an associate degree.


    • Tax Examiners and Collectors


      Tax examiners and collectors follow federal and state law and tax policy to help businesses and individuals understand their tax liability. This process sometimes includes auditing a business or individual’s finances, and determining what taxes they owe. Tax examiners also collect payment for any owed taxes, and submit payments on behalf of clients.


    • Financial Managers


      Financial managers maintain the financial stability and health of a business or organization. Their duties include drafting and preparing financial documents and statements, creating and planning financial goals, ensuring legal financial policies are followed, and helping the business or organization make informed financial decisions. Typically, these managers hold at least a bachelor’s degree, but many hold a master’s.


    Vermont Employment Trends

    Projected Job Growth for Accountants

    3,280 Employees2018
    3,410 Employees2028
    Vermont 4.0% increase
    1,424,000 Employees2018
    1,514,700 Employees2028
    National 6.4% increase
    Source: Projections Central

    Curious about other accounting jobs? Explore more here

    As demonstrated by the above data, higher-level degrees tend to afford more advanced career roles and a higher average salary. Associate degrees in accounting tend to earn an average salary in the $40,000 range in Vermont, whereas master’s degrees earn average salaries in the $70,000-$100,000 range each year. Based on this data, prospective accounting students may consider pursuing a bachelor’s or a master’s to qualify for positions with higher earning potential.

    Vermont Requirements for Certified Public Accountants

    Earning a license as a certified public accountant serves as just one typical route for graduates of Vermont accounting programs. CPAs serve all kinds of clients, including individuals and businesses, and may work as private contractors and consultants or within an accounting firm that supplies accounting services.

    In Vermont, the state’s Board of Public Accountancy governs all licensing and policy for accountants practicing in the state. This board sets the requirements for earning a CPA license in Vermont

  • To sit for the CPA exam, prospective accountants must complete a baccalaureate of at least 150 semester hours of coursework or at least 120 credit hours toward an in-progress bachelor’s degree at a board-approved school
  • College graduates’ 150 semester credit hours must include at least 42 credits in accounting, auditing, and related fields, while those still working toward their degree must have completed at least 30 credits in these same subjects
  • After the exam is passed, licensed CPAs must renew their license every two years.
  • Resources

    Frequently Asked Questions


    • Is accounting a good career in Vermont?

      Yes. Some careers in accounting offer lucrative salaries and opportunities for growth, particularly those careers requiring a higher degree. Prospective Vermont accountants should keep in mind that earning a bachelor’s or higher can increase salary potential.


    • How much do accountants earn in Vermont?

      Earnings depend on a variety of factors. In Vermont, careers in financial management and personal financial advising earn average annual salaries exceeding $100,000, whereas entry-level careers like bookkeeping yield an average salary in the $40,000 range.


    • What accounting jobs are there in Vermont?

      Accountants in Vermont can work in a variety of fields and career roles, serving businesses and clients in all kinds of industries.


    • Can I get an accounting degree in Vermont?

      Yes. Vermont’s colleges and universities offer several options to pursue an accounting degree. Students may choose to learn fully online, on campus, or through a hybrid delivery.


    • Does Vermont have online accounting programs?

      Yes. Many of the schools in Vermont with on-campus accounting programs also offer online versions of their courses. Students should check with individual schools about their online offerings and find out about any in-person requirements.


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