If a career that involves crunching numbers is something that interests you, accounting may be a perfect match. However, many students want to try to get a taste of the industry before deciding to complete a two-year or four-year degree program. Fortunately, an online certificate in accounting will allow you to get some accounting experience before leaping committing to an associate degree or bachelor’s degree. Several colleges offer an online certificate in accounting and we have listed them in order according to our point system (which we will discuss later).
1. Foothill College (25 Points)
Founded in 1957, Foothill College offers its 4,372 undergraduate students 180 degrees and certificate programs to choose from, including a certificate in accounting. The certificate requires 53 credits to complete and requires a combination of core and support courses, but general elective courses are not required. Students will learn frameworks, terminology, principles, and concepts that will provide a thorough understanding of performing accounting-related calculations and solving problems in accounting.
- Annual in-state tuition: $1,563
- Graduation rate: 61%
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 27 to 1
2. University of California- Berkeley (22 Points)
Ranked as the #1 Public University Worldwide by U.S. News & World Report, the University of California- Berkeley has been the educational home for 31 Nobel Prize Winners in the fields of medicine, chemistry, physics, and economics. More than 350 degree and certificate programs are available at this highly reputable institution. One of the certificate programs available in Professional Accountancy, which blends networking events with traditional coursework. The certificate can be completed in one summer by earning the required 14-16 credits, but students can complete 30 credits in two summers that are needed for the CPA licensure.
- Annual in-state tuition: $14,253
- Graduation rate: 93%
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 19 to 1
3. Linfield University (21 Points)
Located in McMinnville, Oregon, Linfield University is a private, Christian college that has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The institution’s School of Business offers an accounting certificate that can be completed either online or on-campus. The program offers a structured online environment that will allow students to pursue this certificate from anywhere in the world. If you choose to further your education beyond the certificate, an online Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Accounting is available.
- Annual in-state tuition: $13,365
- Graduation rate: 70%
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 6 to 1
4. University of Virginia (20 Points)
The University of Virginia has gained a positive reputation across the country for being the 4th Best Public National University by U.S. News & World Report and the second Best Value Public University by Money Magazine. The Accounting Certificate program is designed for professionals who are at various levels in their careers, including those who are new to the industry and those who are mid-level professionals. This 30-credit program is completed on a part-time basis and is expected to take approximately 20 months to complete. The credits earned can go towards the coursework needed to sit for the Certified Public Accountant examination.
- Annual in-state tuition: $14,640
- Graduation rate: 95%
5. Framingham State University (19 Points)
Framingham State University began as a one-classroom building in the year 1839. Today, the institution continues to be a small university with 39 majors and 14 varsity sports. However, Framingham State University was honored with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. The undergraduate certificate in accounting is ideal for those who are interested in learning more about the accounting profession but are not ready to complete a two-year or four-year degree. Six curriculum and two elective courses are required.
- Annual in-state tuition: $11,100
- Graduation rate: 61%
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 13 to 1
6. Brigham Young University- Idaho (18 Points)
Ranked #4 for Best Value Colleges, Brigham Young University- Idaho has affordable educational options for all students, including a Basic Accounting Certificate. This program will teach future accountants how to create and analyze accounting statements, use budgeting tools, utilize accounting programs like Quickbooks, create professional spreadsheets, and become a more effective communicator and listener in the workplace. A total of 15 credits are needed to complete the program.
- Annual in-state tuition: $4,208
- Graduation rate: 60%
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 19 to 1
7. Stanly Community College (17 Points)
The Accounting and Finance program at Stanly Community College is designed to give students a deeper look into what is expected of an accountant. Theories, real-world practice, and accounting principles will be taught through online coursework. Graduates can expect to qualify for entry-level employment at banks, accounting firms, hospitals, and other organizations. The certificate requires a total of 18 credits and can be completed in one year.
- Annual in-state tuition: $2,673
- Graduation rate: 44%
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 14 to 1
8. University of Massachusetts- Lowell (16 Points)
The University of Massachusetts- Lowell is a public research university that is located just 25 miles outside of Boston. This institution has been ranked as the 14th Best Online Colleges in America and one of the Top Public Universities in America. The Certificate Program in Accounting is available both online and on-campus and includes six courses that will teach the fundamentals of accounting. It can be completed in 12 months and has a flexible schedule, allowing students to complete the coursework when it is most convenient for them. The program is offered through the School of Business, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.
- Annual in-state tuition: $15,648
- Graduation rate: 66%
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 17 to 1
9. Coastline Community College (15 Points)
Located in Newport Beach, California, Coastline Community College is a small institution, with an undergraduate enrollment of 1,370 students. The Accounting Certificate has five specialty areas for students to choose from: Bookkeeping, General Accounting, Taxation, Intermediate Accounting, and Advanced Accounting. The first four options require 24 credits to earn the certificate, while the Advanced Accounting Certificate only requires 10 credits. Participating in this certificate program will prepare students to sit for the Certified Public Accountant licensure.
- Annual in-state tuition: $1,150
- Graduation rate: 23%
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 36 to 1
10. Anoka Technical College (14 Points)
The Payroll Accounting Certificate program from Anoka Technical College is a 19-credit program that will provide students with strong accounting skills they can take with them into the workforce. Upon completion of this program, students will be prepared to further their education with nationally recognized certification programs, including Fundamental Payroll Certification conferred by the American Payroll Association and Certified Quickbooks User conferred by Intuit.
- Annual in-state tuition: $5,734
- Graduation rate: 49%
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 18 to 1
What do the Points Mean?
To determine how the schools should be ranked, we created a point system. To do this, all of the schools were placed in a spreadsheet, followed by their annual in-state tuition costs and graduation rates. Once this data was gathered, we decided to grant points to each school, giving more points to the institution with the lowest tuition cost and highest graduation rate. The schools were then placed in order based on the points they were given, listing the top point earners at the top of the list.
This information should help you make the educational leap you need to get a career in accounting. If you have a question, feel that some of this information should be corrected, or want us to list your institution in one of our future articles, do not hesitate to contact us!