While no one disputes that it is a great accomplishment for undergraduates to have earned an online accounting degree with a concentration on taxation, the complexity of today’s tax code plus the uncertainty of the new administration’s attempts to alter the tax code, make your intention to pursue an online masters in taxation a wise decision.
As you know, tax laws are in flux. The tax world is changing. What used to be the basic job of someone with an accounting degree specializing in taxation: turning financial statements into tax statements and inserting numbers into forms, are now largely mechanized functions done through computer programs.
So, is it really worthwhile to get a master’s degree in taxation? Judging by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the answer is a resounding yes. But be aware that job outlook projections by the BLS vary according to the field you enter with your masters degree. And, of course, the location and pay structure of the company will be factors in pay compensaton.
Note: It doesn’t seem to matter if the degree is earned attending the school campus, or as is increasingly the case, an online degree. Just make sure the school is accredited.
Having a masters degree in taxation increases your value to a company. You’ll be valued for your ability to help with acquisitions, save companies money, and strategize for global expansion. Think of yourself as more of a business partner. And your job prospects, and compensation potential after getting that online masters in taxation are evidence of a good return on your investment of time and money.
Taxation professionals work with individuals, small businesses, nonprofits or corporations. Many are employed as certified public accountants, financial advisers and chief financial officers. All of these skills are part of your preparation for taxation careers, and key components (you should seek) as you look for the best online accounting degree with a concentration in taxation.
What follows are career paths someone with a masters degree in taxation can take.
Potential Job Roles for Masters in Taxation Holders
Certified Public Accountant: Besides preparing individual taxes, CPAs often advise clients on issues related to their taxes and income. A master’s degree in taxation is not required for this position, but there is a requirement that most states impose of having 150 credits of college coursework to be eligible for the Uniform CPA Exam, through which states license certified public accountants. According to the BLS, job prospects for accountants and auditors are expected to increase 11% between 2014 and 2024. The latest data on salaries, 2016, shows a median salary of $68,150.
Financial Adviser: Will assess the financial needs of individuals, corporations or nonprofits. Advisers help their clients plan for both long-term and short-term goals, including education expenses, retirement plans, budgeting and general investments. The BLS projects that financial advisers will see a 30% uptick in job opportunities from 2014-2024, probably due to millennials now starting to accrue wealth. Financial advisers earned median salaries of $123,100 in 2016. For personal financial advisors, the average median salary (2014) is $81,060.
Chief Financial Officer: A path to the C-suite. Ultimately, having a masters in taxation is the foundation needed to become a chief financial officer. The CFO is responsible for the finances of a corporation. Job responsibilities include reviewing financial risks, creating business plans and keeping financial records. The CFO may analyze the financial data within a company and report his or her findings to the company’s board of directors and CEOs. According to PayScale.com, the median salary among CFOs was $ $121,942 as of January 2016.
Overall, looking at the BLS and websites such as Study.com, you’ll notice a trend: a demand for new tax practitioners regularly exceeds the number of students available for placement, particularly for the Big Four accounting firms. There simply aren’t enough tax people to go around. So be diligent, take your time, and be smart in your choice of schools offering a masters in taxation.