The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 10 percent growth rate for accountants through the next decade. This is a quicker growth rate than the average for all occupations in the United States.
As an aspiring accountant, there isn't a better time to pursue the profession than now. A growing economy, changing tax regulations, and increasing globalization are some of the factors that will drive the demand for accountants.
The only thing that remains is for you to join an accounting school and learn how to prepare and examine balance sheets and other financial statements.
But which are the best schools for accounting?
In this article, we list some of the best schools, as well as some of the factors to consider in your hunt.
Top Factors to Consider in Your Search
These days there are non-profit, educational associations in almost every profession. These associations play many roles, including developing standards for higher education in that profession, and providing accreditation to schools or programs.
In the accounting profession, we have The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). It accredits business schools in the United States and beyond.
When searching for the best schools for accounting, consider those with AACSB accreditation, as they have a proven ability to offer accounting instruction that meets rigorous AACB standards.
When browsing the web lately, you must have come across headlines like "These Colleges Produces the Most CEOs" or "Where Did the Top CEOs Go to University?"
There is no doubt the ability of a school to produce graduates who become top industry professionals adds to its reputation. The best students want to go to such colleges and follow in the ways of those top CEOs.
Evaluate the reputation of the accounting schools you're eyeing.
Do they have any alumni making it big in the accounting profession? Does it have a reputation for offering quality instruction? What are current students saying? What about the state of school amenities and the ratio of student to faculty?
A selective college is one that does not admit every applicant.
Generally, the more selective a college is (low acceptance rates), the more attractive it becomes to aspiring students. It means the demand for student places is high, mostly as a result of offering quality education.
While it's okay to apply to highly selective accounting schools, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Send your applications to colleges with higher acceptance rates as well.
Types of Accounting Programs on Offer
Are you looking to pursue a certificate/diploma, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree or Ph.D.?
A prospective accounting school should offer the level of program you want to pursue.
The Best Schools for Accounting
1. University of Southern California (USC)
Located in Los Angeles, the USC is one of the best places to pursue an accounting degree, and it's easy to see why. Fall 2018 marked the year it received a record number of applications, and had the lowest acceptance rate at 13 percent.
It offers accounting programs through the Leventhal School of Accounting, which runs under the Marshall School of Business. Programs are offered at the bachelor's, masters and doctorate level.
If you're to secure an admission to the USC, you better be one of the sharpest students.
2. University of Notre Dame
The city of Notre Dame, Indiana, hosts this university, which has a reputation for producing competent accounting professionals.
Through the Mendoza College of Business, students have an opportunity to pursue a bachelor of business administration in accounting, and a master of science degree in accounting.
Of the 20,371 Fall 2018 applications made to the university, only 3,610 were successful.
3. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
In the 2018 edition of best universities, US News ranks the UIUC at #52 nationally. When we narrow down to schools for accounting, though, only a few schools are a match.
UIUC's Gies College of Business - aptly named after a famed alumnus, Larry Gies, Founder and CEO of Madison Industries - offers a certificate in accountancy and a bachelor of science in accountancy for aspiring accountants. Graduate programs are also available.
With an average acceptance rate of 62 percent (62 applicants out of every 100 secure an admission), it's fair to say you stand a moderate chance of getting in.
4. Ohio State University
Located in Columbus, Ohio, this public university first opened its doors in 1870.
OSU offers its accountancy programs through the Fisher College of Business. The bachelor's program is particularly attractive to aspiring accountants, because many of the students typically receive an employment offer after completing an internship.
The university has an average acceptance rate of 54 percent.
5. Texas A&M University
Located in College Station city, Texas A&M University also makes it to our list of the best accounting schools in the country.
The University's Mays Business School houses the department of accounting, which has over the years received consistently high rankings. In a 2015 Public Accounting Report, for instance, Texas A&M was ranked among the top 10 public institutions to pursue an accounting program.
The school's bachelor of business administration in accounting will give you an adequate preparation to become an innovative accountant. But to get there, you have to beat a 66 percent acceptance rate.
Have Your Pick!
We've done our part and give you the best schools for accounting in the country. And now that you know some of the factors to consider when choosing, we're confident you have the tools to make the right pick.
Don't stop there. Keep coming back to our blog for more career insights.