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Is an Accounting Degree Worth $100,000?

With the rising cost of college this article will detail why an accounting degree simply isn't worth the price tag. 

Today, an accounting degree can cost upwards of $100,000.  Ask any recent college graduate in this field and they will all tell you that this degree will cost an arm and a leg – but is it worth it? The short answer is no – the long answer is probably not.  Keeping in mind the rising cost of a college education, this article will detail why an accounting degree simply isn’t worth the price tag.

There’s Cheaper Ways to Learn Accounting 

There are a million and one resources and tools online to teach you everything you need to know about accounting. Most of these resources are relatively inexpensive and some are even free. is a free online resource for anyone who wants to learn about the basic fundamentals of accounting. It’s even setup like an online course with chapters, lessons, and quizzes. offers online accounting courses that can be used to earn college credits. The monthly ‘college accelerator’ subscription only cost $199.99 a month and allows students to take as many courses as they please. This equates to roughly $800 a semester. Students can earn up to two years of college credits which would cut the cost of college in half.

Buy a textbook and actually read it. You will learn way more reading an accounting textbook and answering all the practice questions then you would if you just sat through a college class.

College Only Gets You an Entry Level Job

After 4 grueling years and thousands of dollars spent on tuition and textbooks, a 4 year degree in accounting will only get you an entry-level job. Even worse, most of the skills and knowledge you’ll need to be successful in your position will be obtained through on the job training.

4 years working in public accounting is worth 10 years of a college education. That’s because most of the classes you take during your college career have nothing to do with accounting. Phycology, art history, religious studies, introduction to the harmful effects of paying for pointless classes, all will do little to prepare you for the demands of a career in accounting.

Accounting Basics Haven’t Changed Much

The basic entry-level accounting courses haven’t changed much throughout the years -what has changed is the price tag. Saying an accounting degree is worth $100,000 for the level of knowledge and skills you gain is a stretch to say the least. And the worst part is that the cost of college is increasing year after year.

With the availability of free or relatively inexpensive ways to learn the accounting basics it’s hard to make an argument for the high cost of accounting classes – especially because much really hasn’t changed.  Debits still need to equal credits, and balance sheets still need to, you guessed it, balance. Learning these basics shouldn’t cost thousands of dollars.

So What is an Accounting Degree Good For?

An accounting degree does have its upsides but it’s not for the reasons you may think. A college education is great for people who want to get out of their parents house and spend 4 years drinking an ungodly amount of alcohol.

Make new friends, go to some great parties, meet your future husband or wife – all these and many more are great reasons to get an accounting degree.  One thing that you will be exposed to by getting a 4 year degree is opportunity, whether it be in the form of an internship, a professor you meet, or your classmate, you never know.  If you’re reading this then odds are you’re considering getting an accounting degree, so I’ll break this down for you with some numbers.

Consider the cost of rent and food for 4 years and $100,000 seems about right. Especially considering that you’ll get a decent paying job upon graduation (let’s be honest that’s why you went into accounting). If you want to actually learn about accounting at a reasonable price then there are several alternatives, but leave the partying for college.

1 comment on “Is an Accounting Degree Worth $100,000?

  1. Pingback: Is an Accounting Degree Worth $100,000? – The Daily CPA – Practice Builder Publishing – Tools & Resources For Accountants And Tax Practitioners

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