So, you’ve decided that community college is right for you, and you’ve decided to pursue a career in accounting. Smart choices. But you still have another decision to make: What kind of accounting degree do you want? To decide that, you need to know the facts.
You can choose between two different degrees, an Associate of Science (AS) or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS). Let us walk you through the differences. Both degrees prepare you for a career in accounting, but for different kinds of jobs.
If you want to become a CPA, you’ll need to go for the Associate of Science in Business Administration degree. This track lets you take the first two years of a bachelor’s degree at the community college level and transfer 60 hours of credits into a four year university. Chances are you won’t specialize in accounting until then. That means the bulk of your community college schedule will be made up of core requirement classes. The AS degree is designed to prepare you to get your bachelor’s degree in accounting.
On the other hand, the Associate of Applied Science degree focuses on specific accounting classes, but most credits you earn don’t transfer to a university. That certainly doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. This degree is designed for those looking to gain immediately-applicable accounting skills. Students who graduate with this degree go on to fulfilling careers as paraprofessional accountants, accounts payable/receivable clerks and bookkeepers. Just know that this degree does not lead to CPA licensure unless you eventually take more classes and go on to a four year school.
So there you have it. It really just comes down to the kind of career you want and corresponding degree path. Your community college advisor is a great resource to tap in to for questions, concerns or clarifications.