Accountancy Versus Finance: Which Master’s Degree is Right for Me?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

So numbers are your thing. We get it. It’s understandable that a person who’s got a way with numbers could be at a crossroads when deciding between getting a Master’s in Finance or a Master’s in Accountancy degree. Businesses need employees with this type of acumen—without them, they might go bankrupt before you can say ‘business school.”

But there are quite a few differences between the two degrees that could help you decide which path you’d prefer to take.

Accounting Versus Finance: Typical Course Content

With either degree, you’ll take courses like Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting, Risk Management and Economics. However, the MS in Accounting curriculum focuses more on all aspects accounting (big surprise), as well as auditing, budget analysis and business strategy.

MS in Finance students take more in-depth finance classes like Equity Valuation and Modeling and Financial Markets and Institutions.

Accounting Versus Finance: Career Options

Accounting jobs and careers in finance also contain some overlapping professional positions. Both can lead to the role of financial analyst, since this job requires skills that both accounting and finance students possess.

Top careers in finance usually fall under job titles such as Risk Manager, Applications Developer, Quantitative Analyst or Credit Manager. 

Alternately, top accounting job titles are Accountant, Staff Accountant, Accounting Manager and Tax Manager.

Accounting Versus Finance: Salary

Both finance and accounting are promising for both job security and high salaries. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects financial analyst positions to increase 16 percent between now and 2022, while accounting is expected to see a 13 percent increase through that same time frame.

Overall, whether you decide to earn a master’s in finance or a master’s in accounting, you’ll be learning very similar job skills, taking similar courses and making a relatively similar salary. Find which area of study resonates with you more, and work with those numbers.

Have questions about our Master’s in Accountancy and Taxation program? See if our FAQ answers your questions. For more information about our Master’s in Finance, our FAQ may have the answers you need. Another resource for prepping for an accountancy career is the Big 4 Career LAB


Amy Schmitz
(619) 260-4658