Should I Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting or Business Administration?

There are many career options in the world of business, accounting, and finance, and it can be hard to choose which degree might lead you to a job you will enjoy.

When considering the business degree that is right for you, it is important to think about your skills and preferences, as well as the types of jobs you may qualify for with each degree. We’ve outlined some of the key differences below to help you decide which degree and career is right for you.

Business vs. Accounting

A bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration have some classes in common, but the degrees and the skills that will be learned in each are different and therefore lead to different types of careers.

A bachelor’s degree in Business Administration will prepare you to take on the daily ins-and-outs of running and managing a business or department of a business. As a business grows larger, this may include oversight of additional departments, marketing, and assisting with finance or human resources. Typically, if you have a degree in business administration, you will not be responsible for bookkeeping, accounting, or tax management. The business administration degree can prepare you for a career as an assistant director or junior executive and position you to work your way up the ladder. In addition, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration can give you the tools and skills to start your own business.

A bachelor’s degree in Accounting will prepare you for a career focused solely on the finances in the public or private sector, including government, nonprofit, and corporate settings. In the public sector, an accountant might specialize in tax law or tax preparation. Government accountants oversee city, state, or federal government spending. Management accountants are often hired by private companies to manage finances including investments, budgeting, and assets. With a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, you will likely focus on money or money management, but typically will not delve into the logistics of running a business. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 10% through 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

If you have a desire to further your career, a B.S. in Accounting is a stepping-stone for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and certification. The Accounting program at Peirce provides instruction in all areas required for the CPA exam. 

Accounting and Business Administration at Peirce

At Peirce College, our business programs prepare you with the skills and knowledge you will need to succeed in whatever field you choose. We offer a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).  In fact, our accounting program is one of only 19 programs with this specialized accreditation. 

Both programs are designed around the unique needs of working adults and can be completed entirely online or through a combination of online and on-campus classes, which allow you to earn your degree on your schedule.

Up to 90 transfer credits can be applied to each program and students can earn credit for professional and military training and college-level knowledge gained outside the traditional classroom. Peirce has created affordable, degree completion pathways that make it possible for you to complete your business degree for about $22,000.

Both degrees offer introductory classes in areas like finance, accounting for business, business law, and marketing to provide a solid business foundation required to advance your career.

If you choose the Business Administration program, you will learn to effectively manage a business. Courses include human resource management, ethical leadership, marketing management, and operations management to ensure you are ready to take on the daily tasks involved in running a business. Although there are introductory courses in finance, the focus is on developing managerial skills and a knowledge of marketing techniques and effective business strategies. You will also take business electives that allow you to focus on the areas of business that most interest you, further developing your skills.

You can further narrow your focus by choosing one of the two concentrations: Management and Entrepreneurship/Small Business Management. In the Entrepreneurship/Small Business Management concentration, you’ll focus on the skills that address the challenges that small business owners face, such as business plan development and launch plans. In the Management concentration, you’ll focus on the skills necessary for the management of a department within a business, such as operations management, project management, ethical leadership, policy and strategy formulation, and how to recruit and manage staff.

If you choose the Accounting program, you will take more advanced classes in accounting, auditing, cost accounting, and government and non-profit accounting. There is a heavy focus on finance and math, as well as legal issues in accounting. Upon graduation, Peirce accounting graduates are prepared to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) exams, which can open many doors for many different careers.

Both options can prepare you for professional advancement. If you’re still unsure what program is right for you, our Admissions team at Peirce College can answer any questions you might have and help you select the program that best aligned with your goals.

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