As the world’s economy continues to grow and change, there is an increasing demand for accounting professionals who can guide individuals and businesses to navigate the ever-changing conditions. From bookkeepers to certified public accountants and auditors, accounting professionals occupy key positions in local, national and global business. Western Carolina University graduates an average of 35 accounting majors each year, many of whom go on to contribute their knowledge and skills to the private, government or public sectors. Undergraduate accounting majors can take a number of Master of Accountancy Program courses during their senior year under WCU’s Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s.
The WCU Accounting Program focuses on the development of students’ critical thinking and decision-making abilities to prepare them for the challenges they will face in the workplace. The business core requirements span multiple disciplines, including accounting, economics and marketing. The requirements include courses such as Financial Accounting, Introductory Microeconomics and Social Issues, and Marketing Planning and Strategy. The major requirements include Intermediate Accounting and Auditing. Numerous internship opportunities are available to students in the program. Each fall WCU hosts an Accounting Career Day in which employers come to campus to interview students for internship positions. The annual Meet the Firms Night in Asheville also allows students to network with employers.
WCU accounting graduates are well prepared for a variety of career opportunities, from bookkeeping to accounting and auditing. Many accountants go on to become certified public accountants. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 13 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is in line with the average forecast for all occupations. Generally, employment growth is expected to be tied to the health of the overall economy. With a growing economy, it is expected that accountants and auditors will continue to be in demand for the preparation and examination of financial documentation. Through the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s program, undergraduate students can complete a Master's of Accountancy in an shortened time frame while completing the AICPA and state board requirements for CPA licensure.