Crunching the Numbers: The Benefits of an Online Master’s in Taxation
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 3,600 master’s in taxation degrees were granted to graduates in 2013. Of those universities granting taxation master’s degrees, the average in-state tuition for graduate students was $16,000, making the graduate program an affordable option for students.
Before enrolling in a graduate program, prospective students should survey the marketplace, and have an understanding of hiring demand and career potential after investing in their graduate education. According to a 2015 study from human resources consulting firm Robert Half, the outlook for trained, qualified and highly skilled accountants and financial professionals is positive, with an increasingly growing demand projected.
One of the largest drivers impacting the need for tax professionals and accountants is the increased pressures of the highly regulated financial environment. Robert Half notes that individuals with skills sets in compliance, internal auditing and risk are increasingly in demand. For those with both tax and industry-based experience in healthcare, energy and financial services, the outlook is especially strong.
Additionally, Robert Half projects an emerging talent shortage in accounting and auditing and compliance – which should be welcomed news for students considering a graduate degree in taxation. Below are targeted in-demand accounting careers identified by Robert Half:
- Cost Accountant
- Senior Accountants
- Staff Accountants
As an industry, accounting is projected to experience 13 percent national employment growth between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For other accounting and tax-related positions, the BLS projects the following career increases between 2012 and 2022 nationally:
Earning Potential for Online Master’s in Taxation
- Personal Finance Advisors: 27 percent
- Auditing Clerks: 11 percent
- Financial Managers: 9 percent
- Real Estate Assessor: 6 percent
- Financial Analyst: 16 percent
In light of the projected demand for accounting professionals in regulation and tax-related positions, completing a graduate degree in taxation makes professional sense for a few reasons. First, it improves the marketability of accountants and financial professionals in a competitive marketplace. Second, it positions graduates for additional certification from the AICPA. Third, it prepares graduates to pursue advanced or leadership-based positions an the industry that may require an advanced education for employment.
Data from the BLS shows the national median of salaries for accountants and auditors in 2013 was in the $65,000 range.